Modern flashlights with bright, white LEDs probably use a mixed indium-gallium nitride alloy as semiconductor to convert electricity into light. A Blu-ray disk system also employs a blue InGaN-based laser. However, indium is becoming scarce and costly, sending researchers scurrying to find an alternative technology.
Ohio State University researchers recently discovered potential keys to mass producing a specific pattern of graphite in a layer just one atom thick, signaling a breakthrough that could lead to “graphene” challenging silicon as the preferred material for manufacturing faster, more efficient computer chips.
The understanding of surface reconstructions has become essential as scientists seek to develop materials with tailored properties. For instance, researchers over the past few years have been searching for a process to mass-produce circuits using a material called graphene – a one-atom-thick layer of graphite – which displays unique electronic properties.
Over time, the properties of polymer materials slowly change through a process known as aging. Aging can cause changes in volume, which may lead to cracks in a material, and alter mechanical properties, making it more brittle. Thus, aging can seriously impact the performance of polymer products used in a wide range of applications.