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May 2015

Oxygen: Poison to Titanium


Scientific Achievement

Scientists working at the Molecular Foundry have found the mechanism by which titanium becomes brittle with just a few extra atoms of oxygen.

Significance and Impact

The expense of purifying titanium to achieve low levels of oxygen prevents its wider use in applications for the construction, automotive and aerospace industries. Understanding how oxygen hardens titanium offers a target for research into control of the process.

Research Details


Q. Yu, L. Qi, T. Tsuru, R. Traylor, D. Rugg, J. W. Morris Jr, M. Asta, D. C. Chrzan, A. M. Minor. Science 2015 347, 6222.