Advanced Materials

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

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New self-healing plastics developed

Scratches in the car finish or cracks in polymer material: Self-healing materials can repair themselves by restoring their initial molecular structure after the damage. Scientists of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ...

dateApr 11, 2014 in Materials Science
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New solar-cell design based on dots and wires

Using exotic particles called quantum dots as the basis for a photovoltaic cell is not a new idea, but attempts to make such devices have not yet achieved sufficiently high efficiency in converting sunlight to power. A new ...

dateMar 25, 2013 in Nanophysics
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First step towards 'programmable materials'

Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing a prototype of a vibration-damping material that could change the world of mechanics forever. The material of the future is not only able to damp vibrations ...

dateMar 05, 2014 in Materials Science
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'Milking' brown recluse spiders for silk

( —Rabbit, a brown-recluse spider, is fastened to the proverbial treadmill in Hannes Schniepp's Nanomaterials & Imaging lab. She is restrained but relaxed. Her spinnerets are churning out exquisite ribbons of silk. ...

dateMar 10, 2014 in Materials Science
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