skip to main content


Title: Aerodynamic levitation, supercooled liquids and glass formation

Containerless processing or ‘levitation’ is a valuable tool for the synthesis and characterization of materials, particularly at extreme temperatures and under non-equilibrium conditions. The method enables formation of novel glasses, amorphous phases, and metastable crystalline forms that are not easily accessed when nucleation and growth can readily occur at a container interface. Removing the container enables the use of a wide variety of process atmospheres to modify a materials structure and properties. In the past decade levitation methods, including acoustic, aerodynamic, electromagnetic, and electrostatic, have become well established sample environments at X-ray synchrotron and neutron sources. This article briefly reviews the methods and then focuses on the application of aerodynamic levitation to synthesize and study new materials. This is presented in conjunction with non-contact probes used to investigate the atomic structure and to measure the properties of materials at extreme temperatures. The use of aerodynamic levitation in research using small and wide-angle X-ray diffraction, XANES, and neutron scattering are discussed in the context of technique development. The use of the containerless methods to investigate thermophysical properties is also considered. We argue that structural motifs and in the liquid state can potentially lead to the fabrication of materials, whose properties wouldmore » differ substantially from their well known crystalline forms.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS). X-ray Science Division
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS). X-ray Science Division; Materials Development Inc., Arlington Heights, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advances in Physics: X
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2374-6149
Taylor & Francis
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Containerless; Levitation; Neutron; X-ray; glass; liquid
OSTI Identifier: