Mechanism behind solid-solid phase transitions uncovered

19 septiembre 2014

Two solids made of the same elements but with different geometric arrangements of the atoms, or crystal phases, can produce materials with different properties. Coal and diamond offer a spectacular example of this effect. Researchers have found that some crystals have an easier time of making a solid-solid transition if they take it in two steps. Surprisingly, the first step of the process involves the parent phase producing droplets of liquid. The liquid droplets then evolve into the daughter phase.