Disordered multicomponent systems, occupying the mostly uncharted centres of phase diagrams, were proposed in 2004 as innovative materials with promising applications. The idea was to maximize the configurational entropy to stabilize (near) equimolar mixtures and achieve more robust systems, which became known as high-entropy materials. Initial research focused mainly on metal alloys and nitride films. In 2015, entropy stabilization was demonstrated in a mixture of oxides. Other high-entropy disordered ceramics rapidly followed, stimulating the addition of more components to obtain materials expressing a blend of properties, often highly enhanced. The systems were soon proven to be useful in wide-ranging technologies, including thermal barrier coatings, thermoelectrics, catalysts, batteries and wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant coatings. In this Review, we discuss the current state of the disordered ceramics field by examining the applications and the high-entropy features fuelling them, covering both theoretical predictions and experimental results. The influence of entropy is unavoidable and can no longer be ignored. In the space of ceramics, it leads to new materials that, both as bulk and thin films, will play important roles in technology in the decades to come.
Oses, C; Toher, C; Curtarolo, S
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