News: Complex Materials and Processing
Consider the humble tire. Sitting outside on a frigid winter day, it’s hard as a stone, yet when spinning under a drag racer, a tire becomes warmly pliable. For everyday materials, from glass to rubber to plastic, these fundamental changes in behavior are determined by the glass transition temperature.
Slimy, hard-to-clean bacterial mats called biofilms cause problems ranging from medical infections to clogged drains and fouled industrial equipment. Now, researchers at Princeton have found a way to cleanly and completely peel off these notorious sludges.
Popping the top on house paint usually draws people to look inside the can. But Princeton researchers have turned their gaze upward, to the underside of the lid, where it turns out that pattern of droplets could inspire new ways to make microscopically small structures.