Melt-driven mechanochemical phase transformations in moderately exothermic powder mixtures
August 24, 2016
Professor Chris Schuh and Sam Humphry-Baker established a third type of mechanochemical reaction between solid phases. A paper on their research was recently published by Nature.
"If one or more of the powder reactants has a low melting point and low thermal effusivity, it is possible that local melting can occur from deformation-induced heating. The presence of hot liquid then triggers chemical mixing locally. The molten events are constrained to individual particles, making them distinct from self-propagating reactions, and occur much faster than conventional gradual reactions. We show that the mechanism is applicable to a broad variety of materials systems, many of which have important functional properties. This mechanistic picture offers a new perspective as compared to conventional, gradual mechanochemical synthesis, where thermal effects are generally ignored."