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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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Custom sequences for polymers using visible light

Applying a light-controlled catalyst to combine polymer building blocks in complex ways

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University used a light-sensitive iridium-palladium catalyst to make "sequential" polymers, using visible light to change...

22.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

The search for dark matter widens

New scintillation material shows promise in search for light dark matter particles

Astronomers have observed that galaxies rotate with such great speed they should be torn apart, yet they are not. It is as if some hidden mass is holding the...

21.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

In a new study, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratories observed the formation of two kinds of defects in individual nanowires, which are smaller in diameter than a human hair.

These nanowires, made of indium gallium arsenide, could be useful for a wide range of applications in a field scientists have termed optoelectronics, which...

19.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter

Researchers have produced a "human scale" demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory.

The researchers report their findings in the journal Nature.

The team's work with QTIs was born out of the decade-old understanding of the properties of a class of materials called topological insulators. "TIs are...

15.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Scenario 2050: Lithium and cobalt might not suffice

With the increased significance of lithium-ion batteries, the pressure on the availabiltity of relevant ressources rises -- publication in Nature Reviews Materials

Lithium and cobalt are fundamental components of present lithium-ion batteries. Analysis by researchers at the Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) of the Karlsruhe...

15.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Splicing together a thin film in motion

Technology reliant on thin film materials has become ubiquitous in our everyday life. Control of the electronic properties of materials at the nanometer level is reflected in advances of computers, solar energy and batteries. The electronic behavior of thin films is heavily influenced by the contact with their surroundings, as exemplified by the recent discovery of 2D superconductivity at a thin film interface. However, information about how such entwined states come into existence is limited by the lack of tools capable of visualizing such buried interfaces.

The recent work of Dr. Kenneth Beyerlein, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics (MPSD) in Hamburg, provides a new approach to...

15.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Boron can form a purely honeycomb, graphene-like 2-D structure

Seeking for low-dimensional boron allotropes has attracted considerable interest in the past decades and tremendous theoretical works predict the existence of monolayer boron. As boron has only three valence electrons, the electron deficiency makes a honeycomb lattice of boron energetically unstable. Instead, a triangular lattice with periodic holes was predicted to be more stable. In 2015, Prof. Wu has led a research team at Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and successfully synthesized 2D borophene sheet on silver surface, which is exhibiting the predicted triangular lattice with different arrangements of hexagonal holes.

An intriguing question is whether it is possible to prepare a borophene monolayer with a pure honeycomb lattice. Honeycomb borophene will naturally host Dirac...

15.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Researchers develop spectroscopic thermometer for nanomaterials

A scientific team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has found a new way to take the local temperature of a material from an area about a billionth of a meter wide, or approximately 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

This discovery, published in Physical Review Letters, promises to improve the understanding of useful yet unusual physical and chemical behaviors that arise in...

15.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Removing heavy metals from water with MOFs

An estimated 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, a problem expected to worsen with climate change, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, higher energy needs and increased use of heavy metals in industrial processes have increased human exposure to these toxic materials from drinking water in recent decades. Researchers now report in ACS Central Science a new material that can remove heavy metals and provide clean drinking water in seconds.

There are many sources of exposure to toxic heavy metals. Lead, in particular, has been used in paints, ceramic glazes, jewelry, toys and in pipes. Current...

14.03.2018 | nachricht Read more

Flat gallium joins roster of new 2-D materials

Rice University, Indian Institute of Science introduce gallenene

Scientists at Rice University and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have discovered a method to make atomically flat gallium that shows promise for...

12.03.2018 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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