Scientists Create Entirely New Material That ‘Can’t Be Explained’

Scientists Create Entirely New Material That ‘Can’t Be Explained’

Scientists have created an entirely new material that cannot be explained, they say.

The material can be made as plasticbut conducts electricity as a metal. The discovery goes against what scientists would expect to see and could lead to new kinds of breakthroughs, the researchers say.

“In principle, this opens up the design of a new class of materials that conduct electricity, are easy to model, and are very robust under everyday conditions,” said John Anderson, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago and the lead author of the study, in a statement.

Scientists have created all kinds of conductive materials, and the differences between them are what have allowed us to create a variety of electronic devices that work under different conditions.

But through all these differences, conductive materials share similarities. They are made up of atoms or molecules that run in straight, densely packed lines, which scientists thought was necessary to ensure they could conduct electricity effectively.

In the new study, however, the scientists say they have created a new type of material in which these fragments are damaged, and not in order. However, it is still able to conduct electricity very well.

“From a fundamental picture, this shouldn’t be a metal,” Professor Anderson said. “There is no solid theory to explain this.”

The researchers say the material can withstand being bent, crushed and formed into a variety of different formations. Its creators liken it to “conductive Play-Doh,” as it can be shaped in a variety of ways and will still allow electricity to flow through it.

The discovery should allow electronics to be made in new ways, its creators say. For example, current chip or device design is limited by the fact that the metal must be melted into the right shape, which can cause problems for other components, but the new material can be manufactured at room temperature and, therefore, it poses less risk.

Similarly, the materials’ ability to withstand heat, moisture, or extreme acidity or alkalinity means it can be used to create devices that can function in conditions where traditional materials would be destroyed.

The finding is reported in a new paper, “Intrinsic glassy metal transport in an amorphous coordination polymer,” published in Nature today.

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