September 16, 2014 — When Orlando Rios first started analyzing samples of carbon fibers made from a woody plant polymer known as lignin, he noticed something unusual. The material’s microstructure -- a mixture of perfectly spherical nanoscale crystallites distributed within a fibrous matrix -- looked almost too good to be true.
A Metallic Alloy That is Tough and Ductile at Cryogenic Temperatures
September 09, 2014 — A new concept in metallic alloy design – called “high‐entropy alloys” - has yielded a multiple-element material that not only tests out as one of the toughest on record, but, unlike most materials, the toughness as well as the strength and ductility of this alloy actually improves at cryogenic temperatures.
Materials Scientists Play Atomic ‘Jenga’ and Make a Surprising Discovery
August 28, 2014 — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory got a surprise when they built a highly ordered lattice by layering thin films containing lanthanum, strontium, oxygen and iron. Although each layer had an intrinsically nonpolar (symmetric) distribution of electrical charges, the lattice had an asymmetric distribution of charges.