Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry. With significant media attention focused on nanoscience and nanotechnology in recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities. It is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis. Materials science also deals with fundamental properties and characteristics of materials. The material of choice of a given era is often a defining point. Phrases such as Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Steel Age are good examples. Originally deriving from the manufacture of ceramics and its putative derivative metallurgy, materials science is one of the oldest forms of engineering and applied science. Modern materials science evolved directly from metallurgy, which itself evolved from mining and (likely) ceramics and the use of fire. A major breakthrough in the understanding of materials occurred in the late 19th
Mission possible: This device will self-destruct when heated
Where do electronics go when they die? Most devices are laid to eternal rest in landfills. But what if they just dissolved away, or broke down to their molecular components so that the material could be recycled?
Defects can 'Hulk-up' materials: Properly managed damage can boost material thermoelectric performances
In the story of the Marvel Universe superhero known as the Hulk, exposure to gamma radiation transforms scientist Bruce Banner into a far more powerful version of himself. In a study at Berkeley Lab, exposure ...
Researchers first to measure thermoelectric behavior by 'tinkertoy' materials
Sandia National Laboratories researchers have made the first measurements of thermoelectric behavior by a nanoporous metal-organic framework (MOF), a development that could lead to an entirely new class of ...
Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering
Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, ...
Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant ...
For batteries, one material does it all
Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a battery that is made entirely out of one material, which can both move electricity and store it.
Scientists create cheaper magnetic material for cars, wind turbines
Karl A. Gschneidner and fellow scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have created a new magnetic alloy that is an alternative to traditional rare-earth permanent magnets.
Electron trapping harnessed to make light sensors
Traps. Whether you're squaring off against the Empire or trying to wring electricity out of sunlight, they're almost never a good thing. But sometimes you can turn that trap to your advantage. A team from ...
Beyond the lithium ion—a significant step toward a better performing battery
The race is on around the world as scientists strive to develop a new generation of batteries that can perform beyond the limits of the current lithium-ion based battery.
Cobalt film a clean-fuel find
A cobalt-based thin film serves double duty as a new catalyst that produces both hydrogen and oxygen from water to feed fuel cells, according to scientists at Rice University.
Lab team develops hyper-stretchable elastic-composite energy harvester
A research team led by Professor Keon Jae Lee of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a hyper-stretchable elastic-composite ...
Research team develops 'smart' window
Commonplace as they are, windows are an important piece of technology. Beyond architectural aesthetics, a building's ecological footprint depends heavily on how its internal light and heat are managed. With ...
Inkjet-printed liquid metal could bring wearable tech, soft robotics
New research shows how inkjet-printing technology can be used to mass-produce electronic circuits made of liquid-metal alloys for "soft robots" and flexible electronics.
New membranes deliver clean water more efficiently
Researchers from the Melbourne School of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, in conjunction with CSIRO, have developed new membranes or micro-filters that will result in clean water in a much more ...
Researchers create 'nanofiber gusher'
Creating large amounts of polymer nanofibers dispersed in liquid is a challenge that has vexed researchers for years. But engineers and researchers at North Carolina State University and one of its start-up ...