Materials Science

  1. illustrations of molecular knots
    Chemistry

    See the ‘periodic table’ of molecular knots

    A new table of knots points the way to twisting molecules in increasingly complex pretzels.

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  2. desalination plant in Dubai
    Materials Science

    A filter that turns saltwater into freshwater just got an upgrade

    Smoothing out a material used in desalination filters could help combat worldwide water shortages.

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  3. magnet
    Physics

    Strange metals are even weirder than scientists thought

    Some strange metals are odd in more ways than one, and that could help scientists understand high-temperature superconductors.

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  4. electronic spray illustration
    Tech

    A new kind of spray is loaded with microscopic electronic sensors

    For the first time, researchers have built circuits on microscopic chips that can be mixed into an aerosol spray.

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  5. human-made diamond
    Materials Science

    Designer diamonds could one day help build a quantum internet

    A new design in artificial diamonds stores and releases quantum information better than others.

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  6. 3-D printed wireless light-up device on a hand
    Tech

    A new 3-D printer builds temporary electronics on your skin

    A new 3-D printer that tracks and compensates for your slightest twitch can precisely print simple electronic devices onto your skin.

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  7. Tech fashion show illustration
    Tech

    Future smart clothes could pack serious gadgetry

    Casual daywear may someday contain some serious tech. But engineers have to take conventional electronics and make them comfortable to wear.

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  8. plastic stacked up in landfill
    Environment

    This plastic can be recycled over and over and over again

    A new kind of polymer is fully recyclable: It breaks down into the exact same molecules that it came from.

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  9. packaged meat
    Materials Science

    A new plastic film glows to flag food contaminated with dangerous microbes

    Plastic patches that glow when they touch some types of bacteria could be built into food packaging to reduce the spread of foodborne illness.

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  10. hospital
    Microbes

    This material uses energy from ambient light to kill hospital superbugs

    A quantum dot–powered material could help reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections, including those with drug-resistant bacteria.

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  11. hazmat suit
    Materials Science

    Toxic chemicals turn a new material from porous to protective

    A new material switches from a comfortable, breathable form to a sealed-up, protective state when exposed to dangerous chemicals.

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  12. eggshell
    Materials Science

    Eggshell nanostructure protects a chick and helps it hatch

    The nanoscale structure of a chicken eggshell changes to fulfill different functions as the egg incubates.

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