Latest Materials News

In-Space Production Applications: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing on the International Space Station
February 25, 2021

The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory enables long-term, iterative studies within the unique, microgravity environment inside the ISS, including in-space materials research in the areas of advanced or exotic materials production. Access to persistent microgravity opens new opportunities for novel materials manufacturing, including unique microstructures, larger crystal growth, and potentially increased homogeneity. Please join us for a discussion of new research opportunities and current case studies of in-space production of advanced materials.

More information here.

By Pabitra K. Nayak
February 19, 2021

Perovskite solar cells are at the edge of commercial success. Device efficiency records continue to break at a regular pace, while stability and optimization are progressing rapidly. The first commercial products could reach the market very soon, just a decade since perovskite photovoltaics were first discovered. MRS Bulletin presents coverage of the most recent impactful advances in the burgeoning field of perovskite research.

Read the article in MRS Bulletin.

Spatial control through voxel design enables customizable properties in additive manufacturing

By Vincent Hembrick
February 18, 2021

Voxels of different materials properties can be assembled to manufacture a part with highly tunable properties. Now a research group has proposed a new voxel design mechanism of constructing digital materials for additive manufacturing by optimizing the voxel size to directly customize thermomechanical properties throughout a bulk material.

Read the article in MRS Bulletin.

Wearable sensor tracks vitamin C level

By Yufeng Shou
February 17, 2021

On the working electrode (i.e., vitamin C detection electrode), through simple surface modification using Au nanodendrites, an electroactive conducting polymer (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/LiClO4 deposition), and a protective membrane layer (enzyme immobilized surface), the electrode shows superior electrochemical properties and can stably detect vitamin C from the μM to mM level. 

Read the article in MRS Bulletin.

Quantum sensing system measures intracellular temperature over long periods

By Jessalyn Hui Ying Low

February 16, 2021

This novel quantum thermometric and analysis system for sensing uses fluorescent nanodiamonds.

Read the article in MRS Bulletin.

Thiol-ene materials promote volumetric 3D printing
By Yufeng Shou
February 15, 2021

The versatility of mechanical properties shows great promise for VAM-printed objects in the manufacturing industry and biomedical engineering.

Read the article in MRS Bulletin.

Sustainable fabrics reducing the impact of microplastics on the planet

By Melanie Windridge
February 12, 2021

Although we are aware of how severe an issue plastic waste is globally, we have only recently become aware of how pervasive plastic can be when it breaks down. 

Read the article in Forbes.

Graphene sensor arrays for mapping brain activity
By Liam Critchey
February 11, 2021

A lot of research over the years has gone into developing large sensors arrays on flexible materials so that they will conform to the surface they are applied to. This has been a common approach for biocompatible intraneural probes that can map brain activity. However, there is a drive within the neural engineering space to make these sensors more effective by increasing their bandwidth, specifically, increasing their sensitivity and spatial resolution (in direct measurement approaches) so that the results produced are more accurate.

Read the article in electropages.

Can silicon nanostructures knock plastic lenses out of cell phone cameras?
By Tekla S. Perry
February 10, 2021

Startup Metalenz says its nanostructures do a better job of guiding light to image sensors than curved plastic lenses

Read the article in IEEE Spectrum.

Zinc-ion batteries could reach higher energy densities by avoiding a traditional anode 
By Carolyn Wilke
February 9, 2021

Without a thick zinc metal anode, the batteries can be smaller and lighter

Read the article in c&en news.

Physicists create tunable superconductivity in twisted graphene “nanosandwich”
February 8, 2021

When two sheets of graphene are stacked atop each other at just the right angle, the layered structure morphs into an unconventional superconductor, allowing electric currents to pass through without resistance or wasted energy. This “magic-angle” transformation in bilayer graphene was observed for the first time in 2018. Since then, scientists have searched for other materials that can be similarly twisted into superconductivity. For the most part, no other twisted material has exhibited superconductivity other than the original twisted bilayer graphene. Until now.

Read the article in Science Blog.

How to build a better composite battery enclosure
By John Blyler
February 5, 2021

Composites are finding a growing role in electric vehicle battery enclosures, but product development can be a balancing act.

Read the article in DesignNews.

Laser-based process allows direct creation of 3D glass structures

By Lisa McDonald
February 4, 2021

Glass additive manufacturing is a less developed field compared to methods for printing plastic, metal, and ceramic, but the last few years saw significant advances. Three researchers in France now propose that two-photon polymerization, a technique used in fields such as micro/nanophotonics, could offer an effective way to 3D print glass directly rather than by layer-on-layer procedures.

Read the article in Ceramic Tech Today.

What’s the technology behind a five-minute charge battery?

By John Timmer

February 3, 2021

The company behind a new battery isn't saying much, but we figured a few things out.

Read the article in ars TECHNICA.

Diamonds put the heat on cells
By Natalie Parletta
February 2, 2021

Tiny gems help scientists shed light on thermal conductivity.

Read the article in COSMOS.

Exploring ways to design on the nanoscale: Researchers develop strong and deformable organically linked supercrystals

By Lisa McDonald
February 1, 2021

Organically linked supercrystals are an emerging type of nanocomposite that could prove useful in next-generation electronic devices and as biomimetic structural materials. Researchers led by the Hamburg University of Technology in Germany have conducted several studies on these materials, with the most recent one exploring its deformation mechanisms.

Read the article in Ceramic Tech Today.

'This synthetic DNA contains our message to the future

By Verge Science
January 29 2021

As 2020 came to a close, Verge Science took a look back on their big and small science stories of the year by building a digital time capsule. And they stored their data using a remarkable new storage medium: synthetic DNA.

Catalyst works differently depending on how it’s activated

By Leigh Krietsch Boerner
January 28 2021
Heat and light invoke distinct hydrogenation pathways in cobalt catalyst

Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Drones
January 27 2021
By Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

New hydrogen power technology could mark a commercial breakthrough for drones, paving the way for mobile robot development with extended range and load capacity. Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) has announced it has successfully used hydrogen-powered drones to deliver humanitarian aid in remote locations.

New metamaterial merges magnetic memory and physical changes

By John Timmer

January 26 2021

A mix of actuator and bit-level memory.

Light-based quantum computer takes minutes to do a 2.5-billion-year task
By Roger Highfield
January 25, 2021

The most important mathematical work in China’s long history is Jiuzhang suanshu (“Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art”), a second BC text compiled by generations of scholars. Now a novel kind of computer named in its honour has lived up to the reputation of this grand book of mathematics.

How Audemars Piguet Made Black Ceramic The Hottest Material In Watchmaking

January 22 2021
By Stephen Pulvirent

It's the stuff that dreams are made of.

Read the article in Hodinkee.

The Curious Strength of a Sea Sponge’s Glass Skeleton
January 21, 2021

By Elena Renken

A glass sponge found deep in the Pacific shows a remarkable ability to withstand compression and bending, on top of the sponge’s other unusual properties.

Read the article in Quanta Magazine.

The search for ultra-light, super-strong automotive material
January 20, 2021

By M Ramesh

Indian labs are working on steel and beyond that can make cars fuel-efficent and safer for passengers.

Read the article in The Hindu Business Line.

Researchers Developed a “Swiss Army Knife” Catalyst from 10 Different Elements

By Mark B.
January 19 2021

The swiss army knife facilitates a lower combustion temperature of methane by down to half of the original temperature down to 600-700 Kelvin from over 1400 Kelvin. 

Read the article in Science Times.

Snakes’ Flexible, Heat-Sensing Organs Explained

By Harini Barath
January 18 2021
Scientists decode how some snakes “see” in the dark

Read the article in Scientific American.

Measuring how dental procedures aerosolize particles
January 15 2021
By measuring the dispersion of aerosolized particles during dental procedures, researchers are able to make recommendations on how to more safely continue dental training and patient care in the age of COVID-19. 

See the video from the University of Michigan.

Digital communication through human touch
January 14 2021
Instead of inserting a card or scanning a smartphone to make a payment, what if you could simply touch the machine with your finger?

See the video from Purdue University.

Magnetic spray transform inanimate objects into mini-robots
January 13 2021
The spray contains particles of iron, polyvinyl alcohol and gluten, which combine with water to form sticky, magnetic skins, or “M-skins.” 

See the video from Science Magazine.

Light-Based Quantum Computer Exceeds Fastest Classical Supercomputers
By Daniel Garisto
January 12 2021

The setup of lasers and mirrors effectively “solved” a problem far too complicated for even the largest traditional computer system.

Read the article in Scientific American.

Hollow-core optical fiber is clearer than glass
By Jeff Hecht
January 11 2021

An optical fiber with a hollow core could transmit higher power than standard solid-core fibers.

Read the article in IEEE Spectrum.

Special Symposium on Materials Approaches for Tackling COVID-19
By Jessalyn Low Hui Ying
January 8 2021

Fighting COVID-19 is a multidisciplinary problem requiring many specialists.

Read the article in MRS Meeting Scene.

Spin-guided scattering of light is observed in a liquid crystal
By Daisy Shearer
January 7 2021

Spin selectivity in a disordered optical medium paves the way for topological photonics. 

Read the article in physicsworld.

Japanese Space Capsule Carrying Pristine Asteroid Samples Lands in Australia
By Mike Wall.
January 6 2021

Gathered by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, the material from asteroid Ryugu will deepen scientists’ knowledge of early solar system history.

Read the article in Scientific American.

Tiny ultralight insulators, at the push of a button
By Michael Dumiak 
Materials researchers in Switzerland are using 3D printing to make tiny components from aerogel.

Read the article in IEEE Spectrum.

Wearable tech can spot coronavirus symptoms before you even realize you’re sick

By Geoffrey A. Fowler November 16, 2020

Researchers say the constant stream of data from Oura rings, Fitbits, and Apple Watches could eventually be used as a coronavirus early-warning system.

Read the article in The Washington Post.

Engineering a battery fast enough to make recharging like refueling

By John Timmer November 12, 2020

The structure of black phosphorus naturally makes channels to let lithium in.

Read the article in ars TECHNICA

Plastic film protects surfaces against novel coronavirus on contact

By Elton Alisson November 5, 2020

Nanoparticles of silver and silica are built into a polyethylene structure, eliminating 99.84% of the viral particles after two minutes of contact.

Read the article in FAPESP Innovative R&D.

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