The word “crystal” is a technical term; iron and steel, for example, are crystals whereas glass is not. In fact, "crystal" means materials of a crystalline structure.
Just like any other kind of material, crystals can change their structure. For example, if the temperature rises sufficiently, it passes from a solid to a liquid state. But other, not so noticeable, structural changes also take place, such as those that occur in the solid state, itself. These changes are known as solid-to-solid phase transitions and are induced by changes in either temperature or pressure. Moreover, the electrical and magnetic properties of the crystals are affected during these transitions and are, thereby, of great interest for technology.
At the Leioa (Bizkaia) campus of the University of the Basque Country (EHU), a research team has been analysing solid-to-solid transitions of crystals. They selected a group of crystals known as double perovskites for this purpose. Prior to the analysis a certain amount of preparation work is required in the lab: the perovskites have to be synthesised.
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Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
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