Logic dictates that when you increase the pressure acting on a material, it should compact. So a report from an international team of scientists that they have discovered a crystal formation that expands under pressure is intriguing. The counterintuitive behavior may be exploited to make a crystal sponge for chemical cleanup.
Images: ©Journal of the American Chemical Society/Courtesy BNL
Writing in the December 19 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers describe the behavior of natrolite, a type of zeolite, under increasing pressure. Zeolites are solids characterized by a three-dimensional structure containing regularly spaced pores within the molecular framework of atoms that includes aluminum, silicon and oxygen (see top image). When the scientists subjected natrolite to pressures up to 50,000 times the normal atmospheric pressure between two diamonds, the material initially compressed, as expected. But when the pressure ranged between eight and 15 thousand times atmospheric pressure, the crystal expanded (bottom image). "This is not supposed to happen," co-author Thomas Vogt of Brookhaven National Laboratory says. "Normally, when you squeeze something, its supposed to get smaller. This stuff gets bigger." As the pressure increased, the material compressed further.
An X-ray analysis suggests that the material expanded because extra water molecules were squeezed into the pores within the natrolite. Terming the unusual property pressure-induced expansion, the team suggests that the material may be used to mop up chemical or radioactive pollutants. "When you increase the pressure and the material gets bigger, the pores get bigger, too," co-author Joseph Hriljac of the University of Birmingham explains. If pollutant molecules enter the structure, he says, "when you release the pressure, the pore would get smaller and trap the pollutants inside."
Sarah Graham | Scientific American
New concept for structural colors
18.05.2018 | Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg
Saarbrücken mathematicians study the cooling of heavy plate from Dillingen
17.05.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News