Category Archives: Materials

Atom scattering at low energies has a long history as a useful probe of surface properties. The most common atomic projectiles are helium atoms formed into a monoenergetic beam directed toward the surface with energies in the thermal range, meaning […]

Many methods can be used to synthesise non-molecular inorganic solids. Some solids can be prepared by a variety of routes but others, especially those that are not thermodynamically stable, may be much more difficult to prepare and may require special […]

The wave nature of light expresses itself in the propagation all over space, showing an intrinsic limitation to be localized beyond the so-called diffraction limit which is of the order of half the wavelength of the photons propagating. However when […]

Since the discovery that graphene, the two dimensional carbon allotrope, can be isolated and incorporated into electronic devices intense research efforts have been triggered. Driving forces usually mentioned behind the experimental and theoretical studies of graphene are the exceptional electronic […]

Topological insulators are materials with special universal properties, which are protected against perturbations. Such properties are theoretically described by topology, a branch of mathematics concerned with the properties of geometrical objects that are unchanged by continuous deformations. Concretely, topological insulators […]

After years of watching manufacturing plants relocating offshore, hundreds of thousands of jobs gone and deindustrialization creeping up, policy makers and investors from high-income countries are finally willing to bring the manufacturing sector back. But they won’t get this done […]

A class of materials of utmost fundamental and applied interest is that of semicrystalline polymers. Actually, all solid synthetic polymers are, in general, partly crystalline and partly amorphous. The degree of crystallinity depends on the polymer structure and on how […]

Both the depletion of fossil fuels and the environmental concerns are a powerful drive for the development of sustainable routes to commodity chemicals. Lignocellulose, comprised of lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, is the ideal candidate, but its inherent complexity hampers its […]


Imagine a bucket filled with hard spheres. As these spheres are free to pack together as closely as geometry allows they tend to adopt a close-packed structure, a structure in which there is least unfilled space. X-ray diffraction studies […]

In ‘Chemistry Essentials for Dummies‘, John T. Moore writes:
Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. It can exist in one of three classic states: solid, liquid, and gas. When a substance goes from one […]