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Iowa State, Ames Laboratory scientists advance the understanding of the big getting bigger
Date:11/4/2010

udy how coarsening happens on the surface of objects.

They've studied nanoscale particles grown on the surface of silver and how adding sulfur can increase coarsening. They're trying to learn the mechanism of that increase and understand the nature of the messengers that move atoms during the coarsening process.

What Thiel and Evans are looking for is a general principle that explains what they call additive-enhanced coarsening. To do that, Thiel said they still need to collect and analyze data from more coarsening systems.

Evans said a better understanding of the coarsening process can help researchers develop small structures including nanoscale technologies, catalysts or drug suspensions that resist coarsening and are therefore more durable. A better understanding could also help researchers manipulate coarsening to develop structures with a very narrow distribution of particle sizes, something important to some nanotechnologies.

"When we're building something on a small scale, for it to be useful, it has to be robust, it has to survive," Evans said. "And one thing we're looking at is the stability of the very tiny structures that are crucial to nanoscale technologies."


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Contact: Patricia Thiel
thiel@ameslab.gov
515-294-8985
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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