Strength and ductility are normally ingrained in a material during synthesis and processing; they are set by the choice of alloy components or microstructure and are almost always a compromise for a given application. Now, a team from China and Germany has developed a tunable material that can change properties in response to an electrical signal.
The hybrid material consists of a strong backbone of nanoporous gold that is interpenetrated with a perchloric acid electrolyte solution as the second component. The materials could have wide applications in construction, sensors and medicine.
- A Material with Electrically Tunable Strength and Flow Stress
H.-J. Jin, J. Weissmueller,
Science 2011, 332(6034), 1179-1182.