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Home > News > Liquid alloy shows solid-like crystal structure at surface

July 7th, 2006

Liquid alloy shows solid-like crystal structure at surface

A substance used in nanotechnology contains unusual structures at its surface, a team of researchers led by Oleg Shpyrko, Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has learned. The substance in question is a gold-silicon eutectic alloy, 82 percent gold and 18 percent silicon. The term eutectic means that the combination melts at a temperature lower than that of the melting temperature of either of its components. For most eutectic alloys, the difference between the melting point of the alloy and those of its pure components is about 100 degrees Celsius; the gold-silicon eutectic alloy melts about 1,000 C lower than either of its components, at 360 C (680 F).

Argonne National Laboratory

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