Materials Science

  1. graphene-based foam
    Materials Science

    A new graphene foam stays squishy at the coldest temperatures

    Researchers have now made a material that is superelastic even at extremely cold temperatures, which could be helpful in space.

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  2. spider
    Materials Science

    Bacteria can be coaxed into making the toughest kind of spider silk

    Lab-altered bacteria have made a copy of a spider’s strongest silk strands, which could one day be used to make more sturdy materials.

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  3. microscopic water droplets showing iridescent rings of colored light
    Physics

    How droplets of oil or water can glow vibrant colors

    Viewed from various angles, tiny droplets of water or oil glow different colors under white light.

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  4. insulator
    Materials Science

    A new insulation material is practically weightless yet still durable

    Extreme heat and temperature swings are no match for this lightweight insulator.

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  5. breathable fabric
    Materials Science

    A new fabric becomes more breathable as you work up a sweat

    A yarn-based textile can switch from breathable to insulating and back again, depending on how much you sweat.

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  6. crystalline lattice structure illustration
    Materials Science

    Being messy on the inside keeps metamaterials from folding under stress

    Inspiration from disordered arrangements of atoms in crystalline metals may lead to longer-lasting, next-gen materials.

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  7. metamaterial unit cells
    Materials Science

    Magnets make a new soft metamaterial stiffen up in a flash

    Scientists can dial the stiffness of a bizarre new type of synthetic material up or down using magnets.

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  8. Materials Science

    Questions about toxic red tides, and more reader feedback

    Readers had inquiries about a new deicing material, harmful algal blooms and more.

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  9. vanadium atoms
    Physics

    Vanadium dioxide’s weird phase transition just got weirder

    When shifting from one crystalline structure to another, the atoms inside vanadium dioxide bumble around a lot more than expected.

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  10. polymer painted panel
    Materials Science

    This reflective paint could keep sunbaked buildings cool

    A new type of polymer coating that reflects sunlight to control heat could supplement or replace air conditioning systems.

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  11. robotic skins on a stuffed horse
    Materials Science

    High-tech ‘skins’ turn everyday objects into robots

    Robotic skins turn inanimate objects into multipurpose machines.

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  12. graphene frequency illustration
    Materials Science

    Here’s how graphene could make future electronics superfast

    Graphene-based electronics that operate at terahertz frequencies would be much speedier successors to today’s silicon-based devices.

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