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Polymer

Prof. William Dichtel and Deepti Gopalakrishnan with samples of the polymer

Detecting bombs in places such as airports could be getting easier, thanks to a new fluorescing polymer. While you might expect the material to glow in the presence of explosives, they actually cause it to stop glowing.  Read More

A sheet made up of the polymer opals

Some of the most vividly colored materials in nature, including things like butterfly wings, don’t obtain their color from pigment. Instead, their internal structure reflects light at a given wavelength, producing a specific color. Opals are another example of something that utilizes this effect. In collaboration with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability, scientists from the University of Cambridge have now copied the colorful nanostructure of the opal. The result is a flexible, colorful material that won’t fade over time, that changes color when stretched, and that could have many applications.  Read More

The southern half of the stadium will boast the world's largest transparent roof

The Minnesota Vikings American football team has announced the final design for a new stadium to built in the Minneapolis city center that will feature the world’s largest transparent roof. This feat will be achieved using state-of-the-art polymer instead of glass to resist the extremes of Minnesota’s climate, while providing views of the city skyline and a sense of openness for fans and players alike.  Read More

Yaroslav Urzhumov with the 3D-printed invisibility cloak developed at Duke University

Invisibility cloaks have been around in various forms since 2006, when the first cloak based on optical metamaterials was demonstrated. The design of cloaking devices has come a long way in the past seven years, as illustrated by a simple, yet highly effective, radar cloak developed by Duke University Professor Yaroslav Urzhumov, that can be made using a hobby-level 3D printer.  Read More

A 300-micrometer microgripper at the opening of a cathether

When procuring tissue samples for medical diagnosis, doctors have been confined to bulky and invasive forceps. But with recent successful experiments in pigs, we may see doctors switching from the single forceps to hordes of a thousand "microgrippers." These metal discs, each only 300 micrometers in size, are designed to snip bits of tissue when introduced en masse into the body and then be easily retrieved by a doctor. Their small size, added to the fact that they need no batteries, tethers or wires, belies their complexity and autonomy in function, which could allow the microgrippers to provide diagnoses earlier, more easily, and with less trauma.  Read More

The TT Ultra Concept handles better, brakes faster and is quicker to 100 km/h (62 mph) in ...

First introduced as a concept at the 1995 Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi’s mighty, yet compact TT sport-coupe has changed little since its inception. But with its war-on-weight campaign, Audi decided the already lightweight TT could use a trim. So off to the fat farm went the Ultra Quattro Concept, and when all was said and done, a 300 kg (661 lb) lighter vehicle remained.  Read More

A petri dish of the sulfur-based polymer next to a (very small) stockpile of sulfur powder...

Whether sulfur is a by-product or a waste product of oil refinement and coal combustion depends on how you slice it. Certainly, some of that sulfur can be put to use producing sulfuric acid, fertilizer and other chemicals, but much of it is accumulating into stockpiles that are expensive to maintain (due to the need to neutralize acidic run-off). Researchers at the University of Arizona think more of that sulfur could be put to use thanks to a new chemical process that uses sulfur to make plastics that may one day be used to make a new generation of lighter, more efficient lithium-sulfur batteries.  Read More

Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves

Whatever you personally think of flat pack furniture, it appeals to many people. Thanks to a combination of availability and affordability, it's become insanely popular for those who don't want to spend a fortune on unique pieces for their home. It's these unique pieces we tend to cover here at Gizmag, and the Stratflex Collection from Wintec Innovation offers a form of flat pack furniture that is anything but banal.  Read More

The first prototype is used to analyze a golfer's swing

Danish company Danfoss PolyPower A/S has designed a new wearable sports sensor that has the potential to measure everything from stance to force. The sensor could prove a veritable technology on its own, but PolyPower technology is also being explored as a means of actuation and energy harvesting.  Read More

Researchers have created a bendable, transparent polymer that acts as an image sensor (Pho...

A research team from the Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an image capturing device using a single sheet of polymer that is flat, flexible and transparent. The researchers say the new image sensor could eventually find its way into devices like digital cameras and medical scanners, and that it may help to usher in a new generation of gesture-controlled smartphones, tablets and TVs.  Read More

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