The Max Plank Institute along with Kiel University have collaborated to create a crystalline material that achieves a state called “the hexatic state,” which is a state between the solid and isotropic liquid state (or phase). The state was achieved at room temperature using energy that is dramatically less than what an old theoretical method would have required. The researchers used ultrashort laser bursts to achieve the state.
The applications for the new material are far and wide and range from energy conversion to information technology. The new material could lead to far more efficient energy transfers that could make solar cells significantly more efficient. Some of the potential applications are yet to be discovered.
From Tech Explorist:
“The necessary spatial resolution can theoretically be achieved using electron microscopes, but they are often too slow. The Göttingen team, led by Max Planck Director Claus Ropers, has filled this gap by creating an “ultrafast” electron microscope that can capture even the most rapid processes in the nano cosmos. These experiments also used this microscope, which allowed us to take several pictures of the unusually organized phase and its temporal development.”
“Numerous scientific problems and potential applications are raised by the highly complicated dynamics of this layered crystal. The foundation is made up of intriguing network-like structures that can only be created and examined in close cooperation with cutting-edge research facilities, such as those at the MPI in Göttingen and DESY in Hamburg.”