Ceramics

Making garnets the hard way

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Science  20 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6322, pp. 258-259
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6322.258-g

Chemically distinct synthetic nanopolycrystalline garnets

PHOTO: T. IRIFUNE ET AL. NAT. COMMUN. 7 (7 DECEMBER 2016) © 2016 MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS

Several techniques can alter ceramics to enhance properties such as hardness or tune optical properties for specific applications. Irifune et al. used high pressures and temperatures to synthesize extremely hard yet optically transparent garnets. They produced several colors of garnets by changing the chemical composition. The high-quality garnet samples owe their exceptional properties to being nanopolycrystalline, with the high-pressure synthesis avoiding pitfalls such as the introduction of pore space that plague other techniques. This technique may provide a new route for the development of nanograined ceramics for use in optical devices.

Nat. Commun. 10.1038/ncomms13753 (2016).

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