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
Stronger, better solar cells: Graphene research on the cusp of new energy capabilities
(Phys.org) —There remains a lot to learn on the frontiers of solar power research, particularly when it comes to new advanced materials which could change how we harness energy.
Researchers improve performance of III-V nanowire solar cells on graphene
(Phys.org) —Imagine a field of small wires—standing at attention like a tiny field of wheat—gathering the Sun's rays as the first step in solar energy conversion.
Vine-tree-like CNT architectures
The vine-tree structure is widely observed in nature when the plant has a growth habit of trailing or climbing stems. The vines use trees for growth rather than devoting energy to development of supportive tissue, enabling ...
Sperm-bots are made to move in desired direction (w/ Video)
New shrinking gel steers tooth tissue formation
A bit of pressure from a new shrinking, sponge-like gel is all it takes to turn transplanted unspecialized cells into cells that lay down minerals and begin to form teeth.
Soft elastomeric structures easy to fabricate using 'click-e-bricks'
New material could be used for energy storage
(Phys.org) —Lawrence Livermore researchers have made a material that is 10 times stronger and stiffer than traditional aerogels of the same density.
New material structures bend like microscopic hair
MIT engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hairlike structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field. Depending on the field's orientation, the microhairs can tilt to form a path through ...
Big beats bolster solar cell efficiency
(Phys.org) —Playing pop and rock music improves the performance of solar cells, according to new research from scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London.
Nano-cone textures generate extremely 'robust' water-repellent surfaces
When it comes to designing extremely water-repellent surfaces, shape and size matter. That's the finding of a group of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, who investigated the effects ...