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Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

Amir Abdollahi's picture

 

There’s no way that turning a material upside down makes it any softer, right? Wrong! Through the combined effect of two properties inherent to certain types of crystal, flexoelectricity and piezoelectricity, researchers at the ICN2 led by Prof. Gustau Catalán have found that polar materials can be made more or less resistant to dents when they are turned upside down… or when a voltage is applied to switch their polarisation. Published this week in Advanced Materials, this research points to the future development of “smart mechanical materials” for use in smart coatings and ferroelectric memories.

 

Article reference:
Kumara Cordero-Edwards, Neus Domingo, Amir Abdollahi, Jordi Sort, Gustau Catalan. Ferroelectrics as Smart Mechanical MaterialsAdvanced Materials, 2017. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201702210
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201702210/abstract

 

 

 

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