Will metamaterials provide us with better materials?
A team led by University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers has discovered a groundbreaking one-step process for creating materials with unique properties, called metamaterials. Their results show the realistic possibility of designing similar self-assembled structures with the potential of creating "built-to-order" nanostructures for wide application in electronics and optical devices.
The research was published in Nano Letters.
In general, metamaterials are materials made in the lab so as to provide specific physical, chemical, electrical, and optical properties otherwise impossible to find in naturally occurring materials. These materials can have unique properties which make them ideal for a variety of applications from optical filters and medical devices to aircraft soundproofing and infrastructure monitoring. Usually these nano-scale materials are painstakingly produced in a specialized clean room environment over days and weeks in a multi-step fabrication process.
In this new research, a University of Minnesota team was studying a thin-film material called strontium stannate or SrSnO3. During their research, they noticed the surprising formation of checker-board patterns at the nano scale similar to the metamaterial structures fabricated in the costly, multistep process.
"At first we thought this
must be a mistake,
8 day(s) ago