A new state of matter
"Liquid glass"- This is how scientists at the German University of Konstanz describe the new state of matter that they were able to observe in experiments. The new phase seems to be between a solid and a colloidal State (such as a Gel) to be located. The researchers observed tiny particles of this type of substance at the transitions between liquid and solid phases. For these experiments, colloidal fines were generated from elliptically shaped particles. When substances change from liquid to solid, their molecules usually organize themselves into one crystalline pattern
Image source: Pixabay (image only as an example)
However, this material behaved differently. In the "liquid glass"State can be the colloidal molecules move but not rotate, ie they have more flexibility than in solidified glass, but not enough to be comparable with known liquid materials. By the use of ellipsoid colloidsInstead of the standard spherical shapes, these movements could be observed. The particles came together in groups with similar orientations, which then interlocked within the material.
A description of the researchers' results was in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) released. The authors note that a better understanding of Phase transitions could have a major impact on research in many areas of science, from biology to cosmology. Not only does it emphasize the importance of particle shape Phase transitions but also allows us to think about practical applications, such as the design of self-organizing Material nanostructures. An interesting dissertation too You can find phase transitions in the context of dynamic scaling here.