New technique builds super-hard metals from nanoparticles

Metallurgists have all kinds of ways to make a chunk of metal harder. They can bend it, twist it, run it between two rollers or pound it with a hammer. These methods work by breaking up the metal's grain structure—the microscopic ...

Finding the missing step of an important molecular process

Lysine is an important amino acid that must be supplied in our diets, as our bodies can't produce lysine on their own. Most cereal grains have low levels of lysine, and scientists have worked to breed crops with higher lysine ...

A new strategy to create 2-D magnetic order

Grain boundaries, which consist of periodic arrangement of structural units and are generally recognized as a two-dimensional "phase," can exhibit novel properties that do not exist in the intrinsic bulk crystal. The altered ...

Transparent ceramics make super-hard windows

Scientists have synthesised the first transparent sample of a popular industrial ceramic at DESY. The result is a super-hard window made of cubic silicon nitride that can potentially be used under extreme conditions like ...

Making ceramics that bend without breaking

Ceramics are not known for their flexibility: they tend to crack under stress. But researchers from MIT and Singapore have just found a way around that problem—for very tiny objects, at least.

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