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Materials

Materials

Coal-based electronics: A potential usurper to silicon's throne?

Graphene may be the poster child of thin film electronics, and silicon the current king of materials for semiconductors, but if scientists from MIT get their way, graphene's humble cousin, coal, could soon be giving them both a run for their money. For the first time, electronic devices have been created from thin films of coal and the research points to a range of uses that this cheap and abundant material could have in electronic devices, solar panels, and batteries.Read More

Materials

Highly elastic metallic glass brings bounce to hardened materials

Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are artificial materials that boast superior strength and hardness to conventional metals due to a jumbled arrangement at the atomic level. By tweaking this recipe just a little, researchers have been able to produce a bouncy material with the highest degree of elasticity of any BMG, something they say could come to form everything from new drill bits and body armor to meteor-resistant satellite casings.Read More

Materials

Beating graphene at its own game

Over the last few years, you'd struggle to have not at least heard mention of an extremely strong, electrically- and thermally-conductive, one-atom thick material called graphene. But now, researchers at the University of Kentucky are looking to create a new material that might just boast even more impressive and useful attributes.Read More

Materials

Hybrid polymer shows promise in self-repairing materials, smart drug delivery, and artificial muscles

We live in an age of plastics, but even after a century of progress, most polymers still come in a single, homogenous form with basic properties. Now a team of researchers at Northwestern University under the leadership of materials scientist Samuel Stupp have developed a hybrid polymer that combines soft and hard areas like bones and muscles in animals. According to the team, this breakthrough in nanoengineering opens the door to applications ranging from self-repairing materials to artificial muscles.Read More

Materials

Self-adaptive composite heals itself and returns to its original shape

Self-healing materials that can repair cracks and other damage automatically have been the dream of scientists and engineers for decades, but a team of scientists at Rice University have come up with a new twist. It's a Self-Adaptive Composite (SAC) that is not only self healing, but also has reversible self-stiffening properties that allow it to spring back into shape like a sponge.Read More

Materials

New material is super water-resistant, cheap and safe

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis have developed a new class of hydrocarbon-based material that they say could be "greener" substitute for fluorocarbon-based materials currently used to repel water. Read More

Materials

Material one thousand times thinner than paper withstands the squeeze to retain its shape

Ultra-thin and lightweight, yet durable beyond the lab setting. These are the desirable attributes for scientists in pursuit of the next generation of versatile, high-performing wonder materials. Emphasizing one without compromising the others has been a tricky balancing act for engineers, but one team is now claiming a significant breakthrough. Its first-of-its-kind nanoscale plate is one thousand times thinner than paper and still manages to maintain its shape after being bent and twisted by a human hand.Read More

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