Materials Science

Materials Science News -- ScienceDaily Materials Science News and Research. Read all the latest in materials engineering, chemical engineering, and more.

  • Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties
    on September 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    When a nitrogen atom is next to the space vacated by a carbon atom, it forms what is called a nitrogen-vacancy center. Now, researchers have shown how they can create more NV centers, which makes sensing magnetic fields easier, using a relatively simple method that can be done in many labs. […]

  • Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    It has always been the Holy Grail of materials science to describe and control the material's structure-function relationship. Nanoparticles are an attractive class of components to be used in functional materials because they exhibit size-dependent properties, such as superparamagnetism and plasmonic absorption of light. Furthermore, controlling the arrangement of nanoparticles can result in unforeseen properties, but such studies are hard to carry out due to limited efficient approaches to produce well-defined three-dimensional nanostructures. […]

  • Ultra-light aluminum: Chemist reports breakthrough in material design
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Chemists report a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum has been computationally designed using density functional calculations with imposing periodic boundary conditions. […]

  • New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects
    on September 21, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3-D rendering methods. […]

  • Dancing electrons lose the race
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Ultrashort pulses of light were employed by physicists to start a race between electrons emitted from different initial states in a solid material. Timing this race revealed an unexpected result: the fastest electrons arrived in last place. […]

  • Breaking Coulomb's law: Scientists find a way around the rule that 'opposites attract'
    on September 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Scientists have taken a big step towards creating the next generation of batteries, as well as more effective water treatment and better alternative energy after defying one of nature’s most fundamental rules on an atomic scale. […]

  • Rapid imaging of granular matter
    on September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Granular systems such as gravel or powders can be found everywhere, but studying them is not easy. Researchers have now developed a method by which pictures of the inside of granular systems can be taken 10,000 times faster than before. […]

  • New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides
    on September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Researchers have determined formulas to guide development of a promising new high-tech material, composed of insulating metal oxides known as alkaline-earth-metal binary oxides, that could lead to better computer memory chips, refrigeration systems, and other devices. […]

  • Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time, study suggests
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time. Engineers have now developed and tested a nano composite smartfoam that can be placed inside a football helmet (and pads) to more accurately test the impact and power of hits. […]

  • Precisely defined polymer chains now a reality
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    The materiality exhibited by humanmade polymers currently relies on simple chemical bonds and the sequence order taken by molecules in the polymer chain. We now no longer need to rely on fate to determine such materiality with this new technique for precisely defining polymer-chain order. This system uses highly specific 'grabber' ends on each molecule that bond with only one type of 'pin' end on another molecule. […]

  • Bio-inspired approach to RNA delivery
    on September 20, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    A team of chemical engineers, inspired by the way that cells translate their own mRNA into proteins, has designed a synthetic delivery system that is four times more effective than delivering mRNA on its own. […]

  • New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
    on September 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    An inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to sustainably replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications has been developed by researchers, who predict its adoption would greatly reduce pollution. […]

  • World's first 'molecular robot' capable of building molecules
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Scientists have created the world's first 'molecular robot' that is capable of performing basic tasks including building other molecules. […]

  • Scientists make atoms-thick 'Post-It notes' for solar cells and circuits
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    A new study describes an innovative method to make stacks of semiconductors just a few atoms thick. The technique offers scientists and engineers a simple, cost-effective method to make thin, uniform layers of these materials, which could expand capabilities for devices from solar cells to cell phones. […]

  • Spinning a lighter, safer electrode
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A fabric-like material electrode has been created that could help make energy storage devices -- batteries and supercapacitors -- faster and less susceptible to leaks or disastrous meltdowns. Their design for a new supercapacitor, which looks something like a furry sponge infused with gelatin, offers a unique alternative to the flammable electrolyte solution that is a common component in these devices. […]

  • Straining the memory: Prototype strain engineered materials are the future of data storage
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Researchers have strain-engineered a data storage material to store data by exploiting a process of avalanche atomic switching. Memory cells using this material substantially outperform state-of-the-art phase change memory devices. […]

  • Real or fake? Creating fingers to protect identities
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Biometric experts for the first time have designed and created a fake finger containing multiple key properties of human skin. Commonly called a spoof, this fake finger has been used to test two of the predominant types of fingerprint readers to help determine their resilience to spoof attacks. […]

  • Naked molecules dancing in liquid become visible
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Moving, vibrating and leaping molecules make up our world. However, capturing their movement is not an easy task. Scientists were able to see the movement of molecules stored inside a graphene pocket without the need to stain them. This study paves the way for observing the dynamics of life building blocks, like proteins and DNA, as well as the self-assembly of other materials. […]

  • Halogen bonding-mediated metal-free controlled cationic polymerization
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Chemists report a metal-free method to control cationic polymerization that provides a new framework for higher quality industrial polymers. The reaction depends on weak halogen bonding and the addition of a small amount of ammonium salt to produce long, homogeneous polymers. […]

  • Getting to the heart of the matter: Nanogels for heart attack patients
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Heart disease and heart-related illnesses are a leading cause of death around the world, but treatment options are limited. Now, one group reports that encapsulating stem cells in a nanogel could help repair damage to the heart. […]

  • Advanced lithium-ion and metal-air batteries
    on September 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Engineers are developing energy storage technologies that are cheaper, safer and more efficient. […]

  • One-way track for microwaves based on mechanical interference
    on September 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Researchers use interference in the motion of a micrometer-size drum to route microwave signals in a single direction. […]

  • Nonlinear physics bridges thoughts to sounds in birdsong
    on September 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    The beautiful sound of birdsongs emerging from the trees is a wonderful example of how much nature can still teach us, even as much about their origins are still mysterious to us. About 40 percent of bird species learn to vocalize when they are exposed to a tutor, a behavior of interest to many neurologists and neurobiologists. The other 60 percent can vocalize instinctually in isolation. The variety across species, and the relationship between the nervous system and biomechanics makes birdsong production a complex process to unravel and understand. […]

  • A dream of foam: better concrete, beer froth and ice cream
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Researchers have discovered a new method to design stable foams. Their findings could make beer froth and ice cream last longer -- and revolutionize construction materials such as concrete. […]

  • Molecular motors: Slowing the clockwork
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Progress on the way to smart nanomachines: Chemists have modified the synthesis of a molecular motor so as to reduce the speed of its light-driven rotation, thus permitting the researchers to analyze the mechanism of motion in complete detail. […]

  • Supercontinuum lasers can lead to better bread and beer
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Researchers have analyzed whole grains with long near-infrared wavelengths using a new type of light source, the supercontinuum laser. The research has significance for our knowledge of food ingredients and may, for example, eventually lead to better quality of bread and beer. […]

  • Graphene and other carbon nanomaterials can replace scarce metals
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Scarce metals are found in a wide range of everyday objects around us. They are complicated to extract, difficult to recycle and so rare that several of them have become "conflict minerals" which can promote conflicts and oppression. New research shows that there are potential technology-based solutions that can replace many of the metals with carbon nanomaterials, such as graphene. […]

  • One step closer to lifelike robots
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Researchers have developed a 3-D-printable synthetic soft muscle that can lift 1,000 times its own weight. The muscle has intrinsic expansion ability and, unlike previous artificial muscles, it does not require an external compressor or high voltage equipment, signaling a breakthrough in the creation of soft robots that can move independently. The new material also has a strain density -- an ability to expand -- that is 15 times larger than natural muscle. […]

  • New mirror-coating technology promises dramatic improvements in telescopes
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:23 am

    An electrical engineer has teamed up with astronomers to improve telescope mirrors using thin-film technology from the electronics industry. They are developing new protective coatings using an atomic layer deposition system large enough to accommodate telescope mirrors. […]

  • DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots'
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Biochemical engineers have used sequences of DNA molecules to induce shape-changing in water-based gels, demonstrating a new tactic to produce "soft" robots and "smart" medical devices that do not rely on cumbersome wires, batteries or tethers. […]