Nav: Home

On-demand glass is right around the corner

March 20, 2020

Glasses used for camera lenses or reading glasses are not like those used to make windshields. They have a different degree of transparency and they break in a different way (the former break in large pieces, the latter in a multitude of tiny pieces). The techniques to obtain glasses with specific properties have long been known to the industry: a slow process for optical applications, tempering for glasses designed to break safely. These procedures determine the stress within the glass, which can therefore be easily minimized or maximized. But how to control the stress stored in a glass to adjusts it to our needs? If we could do that, we would be able to design new types of glass for new applications.

That is the question a research group of UniTrento, made up of physicists, tried to answer. The researchers focused on colloidal glasses, which are made up of microscopic particles dispersed in a solution at a concentration that allows the formation of a compact solid. The physicists of the University of Trento conducted a number of experiments at the Petra facility in Hamburg (Desy, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), Germany, and managed to create colloidal glasses characterised by a unidirectional stress, that is to say that the stresses stored locally in this material during the formation are all heading in the same direction. The results of the study were published in open access in Science Advances, the online peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, based in Washington.

Giulio Monaco, director of the Department of Physics of the University of Trento and coordinator of the research work, explained: «Colloidal glasses are relatively stable. Think about window glass, that can last for centuries. However, locally, the atoms and particles are subject to heavy stresses, whose intensity, distribution and direction determine the mechanical properties of the material. It would be very useful if we could control those stresses».

He continued: «Measuring the intensity and direction of the stress stored in a glass is a crucial step to control these forces and therefore use them in industrial applications».
About the article

The authors of the article "Microscopic pathways for stress relaxation in repulsive colloidal glasses" are: Francesco Dallari, who is currently at Desy in Hamburg, and Alessandro Martinelli (principal authors), Federico Caporaletti and Giulio Monaco, of the University of Trento; and Michael Sprung and Gerhard Grübel for the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg, Desy.

The research study was funded within the European project CALIPSOplus, Convenient Access to Light Sources Open to Innovation, Science and to the World (Horizon 2020).

The article was published today in Science Advances and is available in Open Access.

Università di Trento

Related Stress Articles:

Early life stress is associated with youth-onset depression for some types of stress but not others
Examining the association between eight different types of early life stress (ELS) and youth-onset depression, a study in JAACAP, published by Elsevier, reports that individuals exposed to ELS were more likely to develop a major depressive disorder (MDD) in childhood or adolescence than individuals who had not been exposed to ELS.
Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress.
How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS
How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.
Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.
Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.
Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.
Maternal stress at conception linked to children's stress response at age 11
A new study published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease finds that mothers' stress levels at the moment they conceive their children are linked to the way children respond to life challenges at age 11.
More Stress News and Stress Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.