A Finnish-Japanese joint research project has produced first-rate results by discovering a phase transition in the structure of crystalline materials in atomistic simulations. The research is part of the joint project "Novel approach to Fabrication of Microsystems within Joint Finnish-Japanese Collaboration" funded by the Academy of Finland.
In the research, fine, atomic-scale needles were pushed onto crystal surfaces. The sudden movement of the needle has traditionally been understood in terms of the movement of dislocations in the crystal structure. The results achieved in the project, however, suggest that it may in semiconductors be a question of a crystalline-to-crystalline phase transition. The discovery may in the future enable controlled structure transformation.
The results of the molecular dynamic simulations by Dr Dariusz Chrobak and Professor Roman Nowak from the Nordic Hysitron Laboratory of Helsinki University of Technology, together with Professor Kai Nordlund from the Helsinki University Accelerator Laboratory were published in Physical Review Letters on 26 January 2007.
The Nordic Hysitron Laboratory (NHL) international research group is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Helsinki University of Technology. The main target of NHL is mechanical characterisation of advanced materials and nanostructures using a Hysitron TriboIndenter capable of high precision probing (depth resolution 0.2 nm) of solid surfaces. The experiments are coupled with finite element and atomistic simulation of the explored nanometer-size contacts performed in cooperation with Professor Nordlund and his team from the Accelerator Laboratory at the University of Helsinki.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
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