Thursday, December 23, 2010

Physicists grow pleats in two-dimensional curved spaces

Physicists grow pleats in two-dimensional curved spaces: "Irvine, an assistant professor in physics, and colleagues have developed an experimental system that allows them to investigate crystal order on surfaces with spatially varying curvature, both positive and negative. On negatively curved surfaces, they observed two types of defect that hadn’t been seen before: isolated heptagons (analogous to the pentagons on a sphere) and pleats.
The pleats allow a finer control of crystal order with curvature than is possible with isolated point defects, and may find application in curved structures such as waisted nanotubes (long, thin microscopic cylinders of material that display novel properties), or in materials created by techniques that permit control at the atomic and molecular levels, such as soft lithography or directed self-assembly."

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