A group of scientists conducted a study in which they found out that quasicrystals are able to combine. They reported this on the website of the University of Michigan. Scientists are confident that this study will help bring quasicrystals back to industry in the future.

The scientists’ work shows a way to create much larger quasicrystals without the defects that have plagued past manufacturers. “One of the reasons the industry has given up on quasi-crystals is because they are full of defects. We hope to bring the material back into use. Our research shows that this is possible, ”said Eshwin Shahani, assistant professor of materials science, engineering and chemical engineering at UM.

The first manufacturers to try to commercialize the material found the problem – tiny cracks between crystals that corrode, exposing the quasicrystals to destruction. New data from Shahani’s team show that under certain conditions, small quasicrystals collide and merge into one large crystal. The phenomenon came as a surprise to researchers while observing the formation of the material.

At Argonne National Laboratory, the team replicated the process virtually using computer simulations. Thanks to this, scientists were able to determine the exact conditions under which the tiny crystals merged into one. The simulation was done in the laboratory of Sharon Glozer, professor of engineering at John Werner Kahn University.

The technology will likely take years to commercialize. Simulation data can be useful in designing a process for the production of large quasicrystals.

At the moment, Shahani and Glotser are working together, trying to learn more about defects in quasicrystals, how they form, move and develop. The research team also includes Brookway National Laboratory.

The full work of the scientists is published in Nature Communications.