Researchers have created a nanocomposite of ceramics with a two-dimensional material that opens the door to new designs of nanocomposites with a variety of applications, such as solid-state batteries, thermoelectrics, varistors, catalysts, chemical sensors and more. Sintering is a method that uses high heat to compact powder materials into a solid form; ceramic powders are typically compacted at temperatures of 800°C or higher. A sintering process developed by a team of researchers at Penn State, called the cold sintering process (CSP), can sinter ceramics at much lower temperatures—less than 300°C—saving energy and enabling a new form of material with high commercial potential.
“We have industry people who are already very interested in this work,” said Jing Guo, a post-doctoral scholar working in the group of Clive Randall, professor of materials science and engineering at Penn State. Guo is first co-author on a paper appearing online for the journal Advanced Materials. “They are interested in developing some new material applications with this system and, in general, using CSP to sinter nanocomposites.”