Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Shows Potential for Quasicrystals

20.03.2013
Ever since their discovery in 1984, the burgeoning area of research looking at quasiperiodic structures has revealed astonishing opportunities in a number of areas of fundamental and applied research, including applications in lasing and sensing.

Quasiperiodic structures, or quasicrystals, because of their unique ordering of atoms and a lack of periodicity, possess remarkable crystallographic, physical and optical properties not present in regular crystals.


Figure Caption: Two-dimensional Penrose type quasicrystal made using only two tile shapes: a thick rhomb and a thin rhomb. The structure proposed by Roger Penrose lacks translational symmetry and exhibits five-fold rotational symmetry not allowed in regular crystals.

In the article "Optics of photonic quasicrystals," in the March issue of Nature Photonics, Amit Agrawal, professor in the Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science along with his colleagues from the University of Utah present the history of quasicrystals and how this area can open up numerous opportunities in fundamental optics research including possibilities for building smaller optical circuits, performing lithography at a much smaller length scale and making more efficient optical devices that can be used for biosensing, solar cells or spectroscopy applications.

Up until their discovery, researchers including crystallographers, material scientists, physicists and engineers, only focused around two kinds of structures: periodic (e.g. a simple cubic lattice) and random (e.g. amorphous solids such as glass).

Periodic structures are known for their predictable symmetry, both rotational and translational, and they were believed to be the only kinds of repeating structures that could occur in nature. From basic solid state physics, these structures are only allowed to exhibit strict 2, 3, 4 or 6-fold rotational symmetry, i.e., upon rotation by a certain angle about a crystallographic axis, the shape would still look identical upon each rotation. It was not believed that there could be a structure that existed which violated these four symmetry rules. Random systems, the other big area of research, looks at amorphous or disordered media like gases.

The introduction of quasicrystals – an ordered structure that lacks periodicity, exhibits some properties similar to periodic structures (such as atomic ordering over large-length scales) while violates rotational symmetry rules associated with them (i.e., a quasicrystal can exhibit 5 or 8 fold rotational symmetry) – was an area initially met with resistance from the research community. Agrawal explores this transition from skepticism to the ultimate acceptance by a growing number of researchers exploring the potential of these unique structures.

Ariel DuChene | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.syr.edu

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Start of work for the world's largest electric truck
20.04.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo
19.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's smallest optical implantable biodevice

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

First Li-Fi-product with technology from Fraunhofer HHI launched in Japan

26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>