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Materials sciences - an interdisciplinary research field

Materials sciences involves the research, development, characterization, manufacture and processing of materials.

Materials sciences- the basis

As an interdisciplinary field, materials sciences encompasseschemistry, physics, mineralogyand many other areas of science. As a result, it is also tied closely to copper, iron and steel.

The transition from natural materials such as stone, wood, ivory or leather to the targeted production of materials such as copper, steel or iron

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Copper, steel and iron were produced as early as the Neolithic, roughly around 4,300 B.C. Copper and iron were produced as far back as the New Stone Age, roughly 4,300 B.C. This was then followed by the transition to the Bronze Age. It wasn't until the Iron Age that apart from iron, steel and copper, aluminum was also produced using the Hall-Héroult process. For a long time, materials sciences was interested almost exclusively in metals such as iron, copper and steel. However, this has changed with the rediscovery of concrete. While the first, mass-produced plastic materials eventually attracted the interest of the broad public, materials sciences continues to carry out research into iron, copper and steel.

The first metals and the ancient times

Copper, steel and iron were the first metals that mankind became familiar with as it evolved. Copper is very easy to process. As a result, copper was already being used 10,000 years ago by the oldest known cultures 10,000. The era of large-scale copper use (between 3,000 and 5,000 B.C.) is referred to as the Copper Age. The devotees of alchemy associate copper with Venus, the symbol of femininity. The first mirrors were even made from copper. The Roman Empire was the largest producer of copper prior to the Industrial Age. Copper remains an extremely popular material.

Steel - stable and dependable

Mankind has acquired long years of practical experience with steel. Steel is a preferred material in engineering because of its durability, excellent corrosion properties and suitability for welding. It is significantly more stable than copper. The European steel registry lists more than 2,300 types of steel. Coal and steel served as the pillars of heavy industry over a long period of time and were thus the foundations of political power. Steel is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with less than 2.06 percent carbon content. Steel, or iron, has a density of 7.85-7.87 g/cm3. Steel melts at a temperature that can be as high as 1,536°C and therefore withstands much higher temperatures than copper.Steel was first produced around 1,000 B.C., much later than copper. In an ecological sense, steel is a sustainable material because it can be continuously reused with minimal quality loss .

Iron - from decoration to general utility

The use of iron was first recorded around 4,000 B.C. in Egypt. It was a solid iron used for decorations and for making spear tips. It was more suitable for these purposes than steel or copper. Smelted iron appeared later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, but it was only intended for ceremonial purposes. Perhaps iron came about as a byproduct of bronze production. After the Hethiter developed a method to produce iron, cultures became increasingly reliant on iron between 1,600 and 1,200 B.C. Iron is thought to be a major element of the earth's core, along with nickel. Iron is produced by reducing iron ore through a chemical reaction with carbon. In contrast to steel or copper, iron is produced in blast furnaces.

Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Latest News:

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Thermal treatment for magneto-resistant materials design

Reader heads of compact discs and computer hard discs or position and magnetic field sensors are some of the applications of magneto-resistant materials, which are normally obtained by costly methods. Precisely in order to solve this problem, university teacher María Luisa Fernández-Gubieda Ruiz, of the University of the Basque Country, is carrying out research into developing a simpler and more effective method for the preparation of these materials, based on their undergoing thermal treatment. The 09.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Electronics sector progresses with breakthroughs in materials science

Technical Insights Electronics and Semiconductors Industry Impact Research Service: Developments and Opportunities in Advanced Electronic Materials Materials such as polymers, superconducting ceramics, and diamond films are likely to shape the electronics industry in the coming decade. Processing technologies for these improved materials will also gain importance. "Advanced materials are synthesized at nano levels, creating the possibility of achieving several new structures 09.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Titanate thin films becoming a reality with crystal ion slicing

Technical insights’ advanced coatings and surface technology alert The recently developed method of crystal ion slicing (CIS) is rapidly gathering interest and attention as a novel way of successfully obtaining single-crystal thin films. The excellent opto-electrical properties of barium titanate, BaTiO3, make this ferroelectric crystal eminently suitable for applications such as capacitors, pyroelectric detectors, and nonlinear optics. These films possess high dielectric c 08.07.2003 | nachricht Read more

Scientists announce first 3-D assembly of magnetic and semiconducting nanoparticles

Scientists from Columbia University, IBM and the University of New Orleans today announced a new, three-dimensional designer material assembled from two different types of particles only billionths of a meter across. In the June 26 issue of the journal Nature, the team describes the precision chemistry methods developed to tune the particles’ sizes in increments of less than one nanometer and to tailor the experimental conditions so the particles would assemble themselves into repeating 3- 26.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Computer simulations mimic growth of ’dizzy dendrites’

Crystals are more than just pretty faces. Many of the useful properties associated with metal alloys or polymer blends -- like strength, flexibility and clarity -- stem from a material’s specific crystal microstructure. So the more scientists know about how crystal patterns grow as a material solidifies, the better they’ll be able to create new materials with specific properties. In a recent issue of Nature Materials, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researche 25.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

New Antibacterial Textiles - Research News in Polymer International

Nano-sized silver particles open way to new breed of antimicrobial materials Scientists can now incorporate silver particles into polypropylene to produce an anti-microbial material that could be used in anything from carpets, to napkins and surgical masks. Silver has been medically proven to kill over 650 disease-causing organisms in the body and is also very safe. By combining silver and polypropylene to produce an organic-inorganic fibre, researchers have produced the first safe, ant 24.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Imaging Lithium Atoms

One Angstrom Microscope’s observations of the smallest, lightest metal atoms are a first for electron microscopy For the first time researchers have used a transmission electron microscope -- the One Angstrom Microscope (OÅM) at the Department of Energy’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- to image lithium atoms. Only atoms of hydrogen and helium are smaller and lighter than those of lithium, which under ordinary conditions is 16.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Wood to replace oil in building polymers

A new type of polymers can be produced in a more environmentally friendly way, using wood instead of oil as a raw material, according to research at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. The next step is to replace the wood with the process water from the pulp industry. This means a solution to an environmental problem and access to a cheap renewable raw material. The substances in question, hemicellulose-based hydrogels, are a good example of how oil can be replaced 12.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Miniature mix-ups to speed materials research

A new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) project aims to stir up materials research by adapting "lab-on-a-chip" technology to mix and evaluate experimental concoctions at a rapid clip, hastening improvements in products ranging from paints to shampoos to plastics. Initially, researchers at the NIST Combinatorial Methods Center (NCMC) and several of the NCMC’s company members plan to rev up the search for new or better emulsions--often-complex formulations that are th 11.06.2003 | nachricht Read more

Tooth, heal thyself

Dentists beware: Teeth soon may be smart enough to fix themselves. "Smart materials" invented at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) soon may be available that stimulate repair of defective teeth. Laboratory studies show that these composites, made of amorphous (loosely structured) calcium phosphate embedded in polymers, can promote re-growth of natural tooth structures efficiently. In the presence of saliva-like solutions, the material releases calcium and pho 11.06.2003 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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