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Russian Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Property of Ceramics

Scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have discovered a previously unknown physical effect, which significantly increases the control capabilities of ceramics. According to the authors of the study, their findings can be used to develop new types of ceramics with improved performance.

The TPU scientists have discovered that after treating alumina ceramics with high-energy ion beams, their structural properties change at depths exceeding ion penetration depth. A similar phenomenon – the so-called long-range effect – was previously observed only when irradiating metals.

“We’ve found that structural-phase changes in ceramics occur at depths hundreds of times greater than ion penetration depth. There is still no definite explanation for this effect; there’re still heated discussions regarding the phenomenon,” Sergey Gyngazov, Professor at the TPU Control and Diagnostics Department, said.
According to scientists, ion treatment allows to radically change the properties of surface layers up to several tens of microns thick, getting the so-called “gradient ceramics.” Moreover, as the TPU experts noted, today it is the only effective method to modify the characteristics of ceramics.

According to the researchers, this technology will improve the performance of ceramics in various fields, primarily industrial catalysis, as well as the technology to create complex micro-reliefs and gas sensors.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good on the TPU scientists; this discovery may well change the way industrial ceramics are created forever!!