New quantum phase discovered for developing hybrid materials

Scientists have discovered that, in the crystalline solid Ba1-xSrxAl2O4, a highly disordered atomic arrangement is formed in the AlO4 network at chemical compositions near the structural quantum critical point, resulting in both characteristics of crystalline and amorphous materials. This hybrid state can be created simply by mixing raw materials uniformly and heating them. These findings are expected to help with the development of hybrid materials for use in harsh environments, such as outer space, by applying the technique to a variety of materials.