Melting gold at room temperature

We just published a paper in Physical Review Materials, in which we demonstrate by both experiment and simulation that the topmost surface layers of a gold tip undergo a reversible order-disorder transition upon the application of an electric field. This phenomenon has been populary described as “melting gold at room temperature” and has been highlighted in a press release from Chalmers. The story has been picked up by a couple of news outlets, including e.g., Newsweek (US), SVT (Sweden), Ny Teknik (Sweden), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), and Focus Online (Germany). You can find our article here.

(illustration: Alexander Ericson)