Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - 30

Materials & Coatings
or drug, generating a fine mist that can
deliver larger biological molecules di -
rectly to the lungs. The nebulizer technology
can also be used to encapsulate a
drug in protective polymer nano particles
in a one-step process, bringing together
nano-manufacturing and drug delivery.
The team also has used the sound
waves to drive crystallization for the sustainable
production of metal-organic
frameworks (MOFs), which are ideal for
sensing and trapping substances at mi -
nute concentrations to purify water or
air, and can also hold large amounts of
energy for making better batteries and
energy storage devices.
While the conventional process for making
a MOF can take hours or days and
requires the use of harsh solvents or intensive
energy processes, the researchers
developed a clean, sound wave-driven
technique that can produce a customized
MOF in minutes and can be easily scaled
up for efficient mass production. The
team successfully tested the approach on
copper- and iron-based MOFs.
The patented Respite nebulizer uses high-frequency sound waves to precisely deliver drugs to the lungs.
Sound waves can also be used for nanomanufacturing
of 2D materials, which are
used in myriad applications from flexible
electric circuits to solar cells. Sound wavegenerating
micro chips can be produced
using the standard processes for mass fabrication
of silicon chips for computers,
opening the possibility of producing industrial
quantities of materials with sound
waves through massive parallelization
using thousands of chips simultaneously.
For more information, contact Gosia
Kaszubska at gosia.kaszubska@rmit.edu.au;
+61 417 510 735.
Fine-Tuning Alloys for High-Temperature Use
Superalloys that withstand extremely high temperatures could be finely tuned for specific
properties such as mechanical strength.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
A
phenomenon related to the invar
effect - which enables magnetic
ma terials such as nickel-iron (Ni-Fe)
alloys to keep from expanding with
increasing temperature - has been discovered
in paramagnetic, or weakly magnetized,
high-temperature alloys.
The research, which includes a general
theory explaining the new invar effect,
promises to advance the design of hightemperature
alloys with exceptional
mechanical stability. Short for " invariant, "
invar plasticity enables magnetically disordered
Ni-Fe alloys to show practically
invariant deformation behavior over a
wide temperature range, making them
ideal for turbines and other mechanical
uses in extremely high temperatures.
The invar effect, however, has never
been fully understood. The new findings
help explain the peculiar high-temperature
properties of special alloys
used in jet engines such as nickel-based
superalloys. Invar has two known effects:
thermal expansion and elasticity (the
ability to spring back after bending).
Because both of these effects are linked
30
Cov
A piece of alloy is stress tested. (Photo: courtesy of Levente Vitos)
with the interplay between temperature
and magnetic order, they are considered
to be specific to magnetically
ordered alloys.
Using first-principles quantum me -
chanical modeling, the researchers identified
how invariant plasticity also occurs
in non-magnetic alloys when a structural
www.techbriefs.com
ToC
balance exists at the atomic level be -
tween cubic and hexagonal close-packed
structures. The new finding broadens
the palette of invar phenomena and
material compositions, with clear implications
for new applications.
For more information, contact David
Callahan at press@kth.se; +46 8 790 69 76.
Tech Briefs, August 2021
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Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - August 2021 - Cov2
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