A Chinese research team has reportedly turned cheap copper into a new material that is nearly identical to gold, according to a study recently published in Science Advances, a peer-reviewed journal. The authors of the study said that this discovery could substantially reduce the utilization of expensive, rare metals in factories.
Further from the reports, Professor Sun Jian of the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Liaoning, along with his colleagues, shot a jet of electrically charged, hot argon gas at a copper target. Copper atoms were blasted off the target by fast-moving ionized particles, with atoms cooling down and condensing on the surface of a collecting device to produce a thin layer of sand.
Apparently, every grain of the sand had a thousandth of the size of a bacterium, or a diameter of only a few nanometers. The material was placed by the researchers into a reaction chamber which was used for turning coal to alcohol, a difficult and sophisticated chemical process which only precious metals could handle efficiently.
Posted on the academy’s website recently, Sun and collaborators said in a statement that the copper nano particles had achieved catalytic performance that was very similar to that of silver or gold. Sun further mentioned the results have proved that metal copper could be transformed from low value material to a more valuable one after processing.
According to the researchers, this process could provide a significant boost for industries in China and prove to be lucrative. This technique developed by Sun and his team is able to inject a huge amount of energy into copper atoms and make the electrons more stable and denser.
Furthermore, researchers said that this newly developed material has the ability to resist high temperatures, erosion and oxidization. Allegedly, the new material created at Sun’s lab cannot be utilized for making fake gold pennies, as the material’s density remains the same as that of ordinary copper.