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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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Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds

Researchers from the Faculties of Chemistry and of Materials Science of Lomonosov Moscow State University have developed a new way of increasing the sensitivity of detecting volatile compounds, especially chlorine, using metallic nanoparticles. The work has been published in the Talanta journal.

Metallic nanoparticles, in particular the nanoparticles of gold and silver, are widely used in analytical chemistry. Amongst their uses is creating optical...

20.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

Novel process facilitates production of high-voltage cathodes for lithium-ion batteries

Power on the go is in demand: The higher the battery capacity, the larger the range of electric cars and the longer the operating time of cell phones and...

19.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

New material for digital memories of the future

Ferroelectric self-assembled molecular materials

Professor Martijn Kemerink of Linköping University has worked with colleagues in Spain and the Netherlands to develop the first material with conductivity...

19.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

Osaka University-led research team develops new way to make non-stick fluoropolymers adhesive using heat and plasma

The convenience of non-stick, Teflon-coated cookware is appreciated in kitchens worldwide, particularly by anyone doing the washing up. The chemical making up...

18.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Think laterally to sidestep production problems

Super thin photovoltaic devices underpin solar technology and gains in the efficiency of their production are therefore keenly sought. KAUST researchers have combined and rearranged different semiconductors to create so-called lateral p-n heterojunctions--a simpler process they hope will transform the fabrication of solar cells, self-powered nanoelectronics as well as ultrathin, transparent, flexible devices.

Two-dimensional semiconductor monolayers, such as graphene and transition-metal dichalcogenides like WSe2 and MoS2, have unique electrical and optical...

17.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics

A new method that precisely measures the mysterious behavior and magnetic properties of electrons flowing across the surface of quantum materials could open a path to next-generation electronics.

Found at the heart of electronic devices, silicon-based semiconductors rely on the controlled electrical current responsible for powering electronics. These...

16.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Missing atoms in a forgotten crystal bring luminescence

A little-studied member of the perovskite family of materials could find use in a range of electronic devices, after researchers at KAUST discovered the secret of its strong photoluminescence.

Perovskites are a wide group of materials that are known to have remarkable optical and electronic properties. Perovskites with the general formula ABX3, and...

11.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

New test opens path for better 2-D catalysts

Rice University, Los Alamos method quickly probes atom-thin materials' ability to produce hydrogen

Rice University researchers have taken a deep look into atom-thick catalysts that produce hydrogen to see precisely where it's coming from. Their findings...

06.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

Nanoscale islands dot light-driven catalyst

Rice University scientists develop method to make multifunctional plasmonic nanostructures

Individual nanoscale nuggets of gold, copper, aluminum, silver and other metals that capture light's energy and put it to work are being employed by Rice...

05.10.2017 | nachricht Read more

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

05.10.2017 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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