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Chemists Develop “Breakthrough” Crystal That Can Self-Repair Overnight

Breakthrough Crystal That Can Self-Repair Overnight

Imagine a future where buildings and roads can self-repair cracks; cogs installed deep inside complex machines can independently heal structural wear and tear; smartphones can automatically mend their broken screens; all without human intervention.

In the News

Going through a phase
Chemists are finding fascinating phase-change phenomena that make crystals jump and pop.
‘It started as a curiosity,’ recalls Pance Naumov, now an associate professor at NYU Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. ’One of my postdocs came to me and said: “I can’t get hold of my crystals, they are escaping!”’
Chemistry World | November 10, 2017

ACIE: press release on work from the Naumov Group entitled “Raucous Crystals.”
Some organic crystals jump around when heated up. This happens because of an extremely fast change in their crystal structure. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists have now demonstrated that the crystals send out acoustic signals during this process, which may be useful in analyzing the characteristics of this phenomenon. The researchers demonstrated that this process is analogous to martensitic transitions observed in steel and some alloys.
Wiley  |  June 16, 2017

Desy: Jumping crystals produce sound waves
Organic crystals behave like steel
Desy  |  June 14, 2017

Panče Naumov and colleagues were recognized for their work on firefly bioluminescence by the Human Frontier Science Program
The different color of bioluminescent light emitted by different organisms has inspired several decades of inconclusive research efforts and debates on its mechanism and the underlying photochemistry. Now, mathematical analysis of the spectra of firefly oxyluciferin, the emitting molecule in fireflies embedded in the bioluminescent enzyme luciferase, has for the first time provided direct insight into the mechanistic complexity of this natural system for generation of cold light.
HFSP  |  February 14, 2017

The bending, self-healing crystals that scientists believe have huge potential
Researchers in Abu Dhabi are among a team looking at crystals that can bend and then reform, leading to predictions that we might eventually see self-healing cars or buildings.
The National  |  October 29, 2016