It is possible to combine up to eight different metals into a single uniformly mixed particle that’s 100 billionths of a meter in size or smaller. How? Researchers at Johns Hopkins University used shock waves to heat the metals to temperatures higher than 3140°F at exceptionally rapid rates, both heating and cooling them in the span of milliseconds. The metals were melted together to form small droplets of liquid solutions at the high temperatures, which then rapidly cool to form homogeneous nanoparticles.
The new materials, high-entropy-alloy nanoparticles, are expected to improve energy efficiency in manufacturing and lower production costs. Learn more here.