From the brittle to ductile

Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how the element silicon changes its properties at high temperature, when it changes from being brittle to becoming ductile. Professor Christian Thaulow at NTNU and Professor Mark J. Buehler at MIT in the US have used a model at the atomic level to reach a technological understanding of why silicon changes.

The model has been featured in the prestigious US journal Physical Review Letters. Silicon is used in solar cells, electronics and computers, among other things. The picture shows industrially produced polysilicon.