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».
-end-
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:

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.
A new way to see stress -- using supercomputers
Supercomputer simulations show that at the atomic level, material stress doesn't behave symmetrically.
Beware of evening stress
Stressful events in the evening release less of the body's stress hormones than those that happen in the morning, suggesting possible vulnerability to stress in the evening.
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

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.