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New Gold-Silver Alloy To Supply U.S. Military With Lighter, More Powerful Devices

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New Gold-Silver Alloy To Supply U.S. Military With Lighter, More Powerful Devices

(Kitco News) - Scientists backed by the U.S. Army have developed a new gold-silver alloy that would lighten U.S. military’s devices as well as make them more powerful, according to a new study.

The new alloy comes from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory — completed in conjunction with the University of Maryland and Brazil's Paulista State University.

The discovery opens doors for lighter electronic devices that are more precise, powerful and energy efficient, authors of the study wrote in an article published in the Advanced Optical Materials last month.

“When tuned properly, the integrated alloyed materials can lead to reductions in the weight of energy harvesting devices, lower power requirements for electronics and even more powerful optical sensors,” said one of the authors Joshua McClure from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

The results of the study are “useful to soldiers,” McClure noted, highlighting many applications including, “photocatalytic reactions, sensing/detection, and nanoscale laser applications.”

Scientists achieved the results by altering the gold-silver alloy chemical composition and gaining control over the optical and plasmonic properties of the new material.

“We demonstrated and characterized gold/silver alloys with tuned optical properties, known as surface plasmon polaritons, which can be used in a wide array of photonic applications,” said one of the authors of the study David Baker from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. “The work highlights that the electronic structure of the metallic surface may be engineered upon changing the alloy's chemical composition, paving the way for integration into many different applications.”

The results are that this new type of alloy can outperform systems made solely out of elements such as gold, the researchers said.

This study is likely to lead to more experiments with other types of metal and non-metallic alloys, the scientists said.

“Researchers in these fields are limited to a handful of elements on the periodic table; gold and silver are two of the most commonly studied. This lack of options limits the available properties for technology development. By knowing the fundamental optical and electronic properties of alloys, we can develop new designer materials with a broader range of capabilities,” Baker said.

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