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Exotic Discovery Made in Soft Polymer

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Photo showing marshmallows representing hairy spheres connected with plastic coffee stirrers.

To illustrate the new phase they discovered in a block copolymer crystal, Frank Bates, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, along with graduate student Sangwoo Lee, used large fluffy marshmallows to represent the hairy spheres, connecting them together with plastic coffee stirrers.

"Marshmallows represent the 'squishiness' of the hairy microspheres, and they are flexible enough to allow the many different angles required to combine them in the complicated sigma-phase configuration," Bates explained.

Credit: Frank Bates

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