Materials Science

  1. Materials Science

    Rice hulls could nourish Silicon Valley

    Scientists are developing ways to extract and purify the silicon that occurs naturally in rice hulls.

  2. Materials Science

    Better-Built Diamonds: Fast growth, purity may multiply uses

    A research group has fabricated the purest diamonds ever made or found, and another has devised a way to grow high-quality diamonds up to 100 times faster than typical growth rates.

  3. Materials Science

    Foamy polymers hit goal right on the nose

    Biodegradable polymer foams made with a new technique can act as scaffolds for regenerating tissues that may someday be used as replacement body parts.

  4. Materials Science

    What the mail must go through

    Mail irradiation in Washington, D.C. is damaging valuable objects and documents intended for scientific study or archiving at the Smithsonian, the White House, and other government organizations.

  5. Materials Science

    A Cut above the Ordinary: Low-tech machining yields coveted nanostructure

    A new finding that machining of metals imparts a hard, fine-grained structure to turnings and other scraps may lead to less costly but more durable parts for cars and other applications.

  6. Materials Science

    Spinning Fine Threads: Silkworms coerced to make better silk

    The caterpillars that spin commercial silk can make tougher or more elastic threads, depending on how fast they're forced to spin.

  7. Materials Science

    Vision Quest

    Increasing numbers of people with less-than-perfect vision can now wear contact lenses, thanks to innovations in lens design and materials.

  8. Materials Science

    New gel could lead to cartilage repair

    A new scaffold material that contains cartilage cells and encourages their growth could help scientists create living tissue replacements suitable for treating osteoarthritis and sports injuries.

  9. Materials Science

    Gems of War

    While international bodies grapple with regulatory schemes to stem the diamond trade that funds ongoing civil conflicts in African countries, scientists are attempting to develop methods for identifying gems from conflict zones.

  10. Materials Science

    In glass, fast crowds boogie to brittle end

    New experiments suggest that a coordinated dance involving more and more molecules may help explain the puzzling transformation from liquid to the molecular gridlock of solid glass.

  11. Materials Science

    Healing Wounds: Interactive dressing speeds the process

    A new, easily prepared hydrogel material promotes more rapid wound healing in laboratory animals than do conventional dressings.

  12. Materials Science

    Molecular template makes nanoscale helix

    Using ribbons made of organic molecules as minuscule templates, researchers have coaxed a semiconductor material into tiny helical coils.