New materials exhibit split personality

Julia Greer, professor of materials science, mechanics and medical engineering in Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science, creates materials out of micro- and nano-scale building blocks that are arranged into ...

Researchers find new ways to harness wasted methane

The primary component of natural gas, methane, is itself a potent greenhouse gas. A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has unveiled a high performance catalyst ...

Custom-made artificial mother-of-pearl

Natural mother-of-pearl, such as mussels, is one of the hardest, most stable and stiff natural materials. Researchers have always been fascinated by it. The structure of mother-of-pearl is exquisite under the electron microscope; ...

A tougher conductive ceramic at lower cost

By systematically refining standard processing techniques, A*STAR researchers have developed a low-cost method for manufacturing an electrically conductive aluminum oxide ceramic composite—a hard-wearing material used in ...

Engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the ...

Researchers report two-faced Janus membrane applications

Named for the mythical god with two faces, Janus membranes—double-sided membranes that serve as gatekeepers between two substances—have emerged as a material with potential industrial uses. Creating two distinct "faces" ...

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Aluminium oxide

Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric oxide of aluminium with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is also commonly referred to as alumina, corundum, sapphire, ruby or aloxite in the mining, ceramic and materials science communities. It is produced by the Bayer process from bauxite. Its most significant use is in the production of aluminium metal, although it is also used as an abrasive due to its hardness and as a refractory material due to its high melting point.

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