Hot Ice To Lubricate Artificial Joints
Physicists Alexander D. Wissner-Gross and Efthimios Kaxiras of Harvard modeled water ice on top of a diamond surface coated with sodium ions. They found that ice layers should persist on the treated diamond up to temperatures of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 Celsius), and in some circumstances could remain frozen beyond the boiling point of water.
Because of the gem's strength and other unusual characteristics, artificially grown diamond films are among the most promising candidates for applications ranging from medical implants to solar cells. Adding a layer of high-temperature ice could make the diamond even more suitable for medical devices by reducing its abrasiveness and inhibiting protein build-up.
Among other promising applications, the physicists believe that the ice layer could enhance the efficiency of diamond film-based solar collectors, while being much more environmentally friendly than lithium-ion batteries and other energy storage devices.
A short film that the researchers made from of some of their simulations was a finalist in the 2007 Materials Research Film Festival (http://www.alexwg.org/DiamondIce.mov).
Article based on information provided by: American Physical Society, College Park, Maryland U.S.A.
Adapted and published by: Mooshee.com
Originally released on: September 12
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