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Glass

Materials

Embedded nanoparticles clear the way for smart glass devices

In a breakthrough new "direct-doping" process, scientists have embedded light-emitting nanoparticles into glass so that it remains almost perfectly transparent, but glows brightly when stimulated by lower frequency light. Able to be molded in almost any shape, and even extruded into optical fibers, the researchers claim that this new "hybrid glass" could be used to create new smart glass devices, including smart 3D displays and remote radiation sensors.Read More

Materials

Researchers shine a light through transparent wood

Wood already has plenty to offer conventional construction methods as an inexpensive and bountiful resource, but it may soon have a new trick up its sleeve. Scientists have come up with a way to turn a block of linden wood transparent, winding up with a material that could find use in everything from cars to advanced light-based electronics systems.Read More

Architecture

People in glass houses: The best uses of glass in architecture

Architects have long used glass to provide light and views, but the following homes and buildings go a lot further. Ranging from practical full-time home to experimental sustainable dwelling, each is a completed project that is either mostly made from glass or uses the material in such a way as to make it the defining feature. Join us as we highlight the best glass architecture we've seen so far. Read More

Science

A touch of silver lets smart windows go from clear to translucent

Imagine if instead of installing curtains or blinds, you could simply adjust the opacity of the glass in your windows. Not only would this allow you to vary the amount of privacy they provided, but it would also let you determine how much sunlight got through, keeping rooms from overheating during the day yet still letting light in later on. Well, that's how the various types of smart windows work. Researchers at Harvard University have now developed one of their own, which they say is simpler and cheaper than what's come before.Read More

3D Printing

3D printer extrudes molten glass to produce objets d'art

The list of materials capable of being extruded through a 3D printer seems to grow by the week, moving well beyond plastics, food and metals to now include another unlikely substance: glass. And while previous 3D printing methods have used powdered glass and silica sand, a team of researchers led by Neri Oxman out of MIT’s Mediated Matter Group has developed a 3D printer that extrudes molten glass.Read More

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