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Crystal matchmaker

12:34pm, July 18, 2007

Having evolved from mathematical playthings to curiosities of physics, the structures known as quasicrystals could become great tools for the electronics industry.

Like crystals, quasicrystals are built from units of atoms arranged in an orderly fashion. But, unlike crystals, quasicrystals have building blocks that interlock in a pattern that doesn't repeat at regular intervals (SN: 10/12/96, p. 232).

Wolfgang Theis of the Free University of Berlin and his collaborators have now shown how to use layers of quasicrystals as connecting interfaces between different types of crystals that wouldn't otherwise match up well at the atomic scale.

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