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Crystals 2017, 7(10), 309;

Challenges of Handling, Processing, and Studying Liquid and Supercooled Materials at Temperatures above 3000 K with Electrostatic Levitation

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8505, Japan
SOKEN-DAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Sagamihara 252-5210, Japan
INO, Remote Sensing Group, 2740 Einstein, Québec City, QC G1P 4S4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Geun Woo Lee and Helmut Cölfen
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 15 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Formation from Metastable Liquids)
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Over the last 20 years, great progress has been made in techniques for electrostatic levitation, with innovations such as containerless thermophysical property measurements and combination of levitators with synchrotron radiation source and neutron beams, to name but a few. This review focuses on the technological developments necessary for handling materials whose melting temperatures are above 3000 K. Although the original electrostatic levitator designed by Rhim et al. allowed the handling, processing, and study of most metals with melting points below 2500 K, several issues appeared, in addition to the risk of contamination, when metals such as Os, Re, and W were processed. This paper describes the procedures and the innovations that made successful levitation and the study of refractory metals at extreme temperatures (>3000 K) possible; namely, sample handling, electrode design (shape and material), levitation initiation, laser heating configuration, and UV range imaging. Typical results are also presented, putting emphasis on the measurements of density, surface tension, and viscosity of refractory materials in their liquid and supercooled phases. The data obtained are exemplified by tungsten, which has the highest melting temperature among metals (and is second only to carbon in the periodic table), rhenium and osmium. The remaining technical difficulties such as temperature measurement and evaporation are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: high temperature; levitation; refractory metals; supercooling; thermophysical property high temperature; levitation; refractory metals; supercooling; thermophysical property

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Ishikawa, T.; Paradis, P.-F. Challenges of Handling, Processing, and Studying Liquid and Supercooled Materials at Temperatures above 3000 K with Electrostatic Levitation. Crystals 2017, 7, 309.

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