Researchers have shown that crystals can be so flexible they can be bent repeatedly and even tied up in knots, overhauling our current understanding of the structures, and challenging the very definition of a crystal.
Crystals are brittle because of the way their molecules are arranged - they're highly organised structures that are made up of infinitely repeating molecular components. That means no matter which way you look at a crystal structure, it will look the same.
Most importantly, these flexible crystals still retained all the traditional properties of crystals we rely on in our technology - essentially making them a brand new type of material altogether. "The crystals that we have prepared fall outside the limits of what have traditionally been considered to be hard and soft matter," the lead researchers write over at The Conversation.
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