From U Chicago: “Molecular scientists unexpectedly produce new type of glass”

Science Springs

U Chicago bloc

University of Chicago

August 13, 2015
Carla Reiter

1UChicago researchers co-led experiments that produced glass with an organized molecular structure, a material previously thought to be entirely amorphous and random.

When Prof. Juan de Pablo and his collaborators set about to explain unusual peaks in what should have been featureless optical data, they thought there was a problem in their calculations. In fact, what they were seeing was real. The peaks were an indication of molecular order in a material thought to be entirely amorphous and random: Their experiments had produced a new kind of glass.

Their unforeseen discovery, reported in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and chosen by Science as an editor’s choice paper in Materials Science, could offer a simple way to improve the efficiency of electronic devices such as light-emitting diodes, optical fibers and solar cells. It also could…

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