Date: Mar 01, 2021 Source: Dept of Energy (
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Many materials are processed in the liquid state to produce a variety of structures and properties, including high performance optical and laser glasses, defect-free single crystals for the semiconductor industry, nanocomposite alloys for lighter weight and improved strength, and amorphous pharmaceuticals. Understanding the short-lived metastable states formed in liquids, particularly at high temperature, is critical for producing desired properties in energy conversion materials, or to model the behavior of nuclear fuels to optimize safety. However, the study of materials in extreme conditions is hampered by the container. A perfectly inert container does not exist in nature; therefore, sample interaction with the hot container's walls often sabotages experiments by introducing contamination and other spurious effects. Materials Development, Inc. (MDI) has a solution to the container problem that is brilliant and technically complex at the same time: eliminating the container!