Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smallest lattice structure worldwide

03.02.2016

3-D lattice with glassy carbon struts and braces of less than 200 nm in diameter has higher specific strength than most solids

KIT scientists now present the smallest lattice structure made by man in the Nature Materials journal. Its struts and braces are made of glassy carbon and are less than 1 µm long and 200 nm in diameter. They are smaller than comparable metamaterials by a factor of 5. The small dimension results in so far unreached ratios of strength to density. Applications as electrodes, filters or optical components might be possible. (DOI: 10.1038/nmat4561)


The smallest lattice in the world is visible under the microscope only. Struts and braces are 0.2 µm in diameter. Total size of the lattice is about 10 µm.

Photo: J. Bauer / KIT

"Lightweight construction materials, such as bones and wood, are found everywhere in nature," Dr.-Ing. Jens Bauer of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the first author of the study, explains. "They have a high load-bearing capacity and small weight and, hence, serve as models for mechanical metamaterials for technical applications."

Metamaterials are materials, whose structures of some micrometers (millionths of a meter) in dimension are planned and manufactured specifically for them to possess mechanical or optical properties that cannot be reached by unstructured solids. Examples are invisibility cloaks that guide light, sound or heat around objects, materials that counterintuitively react to pressure and shear (auxetic materials) or lightweight nanomaterials of high specific stability (force per unit area and density).

The smallest stable lattice structure worldwide presented now was produced by the established 3D laser lithography process at first. The desired structure of micrometer size is hardened in a photoresist by laser beams in a computer-controlled manner. However, resolution of this process is limited, such that struts of about 5 - 10 µm length and 1 µm in diameter can be produced only. In a subsequent step, the structure was therefore shrunk and vitrified by pyrolysis. For the first time, pyrolysis was used for manufacturing microstructured lattices. The object is exposed to temperatures of around 900°C in a vacuum furnace. As a result, chemical bonds reorient themselves. Except for carbon, all elements escape from the resist. The unordered carbon remains in the shrunk lattice structure in the form of glassy carbon. The resulting structures were tested for stability under pressure by the researchers.

"According to the results, load-bearing capacity of the lattice is very close to the theoretical limit and far above that of unstructured glassy carbon," Prof. Oliver Kraft, co-author of the study, reports. Until the end of last year, Kraft headed the Institute for Applied Materials of KIT. This year, he took over office as KIT Vice President for Research. "Diamond is the only solid having a higher specific stability."

Microstructured materials are often used for insulation or shock absorption. Open-pored materials may be used as filters in chemical industry. Metamaterials also have extraordinary optical properties that are applied in telecommunications. Glassy carbon is a high-technology material made of pure carbon. It combines glassy, ceramic properties with graphite properties and is of interest for use in electrodes of batteries or electrolysis systems.

###

Approaching Theoretical Strength in Glassy Carbon Nanolattices, J. Bauer, A. Schroer, R. Schwaiger, and O. Kraft, DOI 10.1038/nmat4561

Other press releases on this subject:

https://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2014_14594.php

https://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2015_110_invisibility-cloak-might-enhance-efficiency-of-solar-cells.php

https://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2013_12589.php

For further information, please contact:

Kosta Schinarakis, PKM - Science Scout, Phone: +49 721 608 41956, Fax: +49 721 608 43658, E-mail: schinarakis@kit.edu

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,400 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe.

KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association

Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university.

This press release is available on the internet at http://www.kit.edu.

Media Contact

Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414

 @KITKarlsruhe

http://www.kit.edu/index.php 

Monika Landgraf | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries
22.03.2017 | Yale University

nachricht Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold
22.03.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>