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“Perfect Glass”

Princeton University researchers have developed a computational model for creating a "perfect glass" that never crystallizes — even at absolute zero. The molecular structure of a glass suggests it should have liquid properties, yet it behaves with the rigidity of a solid. The researchers expanded beyond the typical 2-body interactions — which refer to the interaction between molecules — to consider 2-, 3- and 4-body interactions. The simulation above depicts a collection of particles (red) being cooled rapidly to 0 degrees Kelvin (absolute zero). The researchers were able to suppress crystallization at absolute zero so that the final state shown is a perfect glass. (Video by Ge Zhang, Department of Chemistry)

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    Researchers measure the breakup of a single chemical bond

    The team used a high-resolution atomic force microscope (AFM) operating in a controlled environment at Princeton’s Imaging and Analysis Center. The AFM probe, whose tip ends in a single copper atom, was moved gradually closer to the iron-carbon bond until it was ruptured. The researchers me ... more

    New route to chemically recyclable plastics

    As the planet's burden of rubber and plastic trash rises unabated, scientists increasingly look to the promise of closed-loop recycling to reduce waste. A team of researchers at Princeton's Department of Chemistry announces the discovery of a new polybutadiene molecule - from a material kno ... more

    Modern alchemists are making chemistry greener

    Ancient alchemists tried to turn lead and other common metals into gold and platinum. Modern chemists in Paul Chirik's lab at Princeton are transforming reactions that have depended on environmentally unfriendly precious metals, finding cheaper and greener alternatives to replace platinum, ... more

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