Research Opportunities for Materials with Ultrafine Microstructures
NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD (NAS-NAE) WASHINGTON DC
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Current research is focused on the design, synthesis, and processing of ultrafine material microstructures, extending into the nanoscale less than 100 nanometer regime. This research has been inspired by the realization that significant beneficial changes in the property of materials can be achieved by progressively reducing the scale of their microstructure while maintaining chemical and microstructural uniformity. Another incentive has been the discovery of the novel materials properties when the scale of the microstructure approaches nanoscale dimensions. The present report gives the state-of-the-art assessment of the activity in this exploring field of research and attempts to find new areas of research opportunity and some potential applications for the future. The focus is on materials with submicron-sized microstructure with a characteristic length scale less than 100 nanometers, irrespective of the specific type of material or materials being considered. The scope of of the present study includes what is known about the metal, ceramic, and polymeric materials and their composites, but it deliberately avoids significant discussion of semiconductor and superconductor materials, electronic and optical properties of multilayers, and rapidly solidified materials, all of which have been adequately treated in previous NMAB publications.
- Polymer Chemistry
- Ceramics, Refractories and Glass
- Laminates and Composite Materials