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Researchers at Penn State have shown a previously undescribed liquid phase in thin films of a glass-forming molecule. The work shows how thin films of glass can be fabricated to be denser and more stable, and it provides a framework for new applications and devices through improved design.
Glass is typically created through solidification of a liquid when it is cooled to a temperature where its motion arrests. The structure of a glass closely resembles the liquid phase, but its properties are similar to solids, akin to a crystal.
Glasses that are made into ultrathin, nanometer-scale films are widely used in OLED displays and optical fibers. However, when these types of glasses are made into thin films, even at cold temperatures,…READ MORE