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.

Stretching the imagination: scientists create “liquid crystal elastomers” with amazing properties

We’ve all sat there in a dull moment at work stretching an elastic band between our fingers and watching it return to its original shape and size as we let it go. But how many of us would have thought of combining the elasticity of rubber with the optical properties of the liquid crystals commonly used in watches, laptops and calculators? On Monday 5th April at the Institute of Physics Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Conference in Warwick, Professor Mark Warner from the University of Camb

Aerogels: ’Solid Smoke’ May Have Many Uses

It looks like glass and feels like solidified smoke, but the most interesting features of the new silica aerogels made by UC Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers are too small to see or feel. Lighter than styrofoam, this strange material is riddled with pores just nanometers in size, leaving it 98 percent empty.

Water can soak into the material, but in the confined space the water molecules arrange themselves in unusual ways, said Subhash Risbud, professor of chemica

Research Reveals Halogen Characteristics

A stable cluster of aluminum atoms, Al13, acts as a single entity in chemical reactions, demonstrating properties similar to those of a halogen, reports a research team led by A. Welford Castleman Jr., the Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and Physics and the Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in Science at Penn State, in a paper to be published in the 2 April 2004 issue of the journal Science. Experimental results and theoretical calculations indicate that the cluster chemically resembles a “superhalo

Combinatorial techniques yield polymer libraries to expedite materials testing and design

Today’s advanced materials have become extremely complex in chemistry, structure and function, which means scientists need faster, more efficient ways to model and test new designs.

J. Carson Meredith, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has pioneered combinatorial synthesis and high-throughput screening in polymer science – techniques that allow researchers to create and evaluate thousands of polymeric materials in a

Creating polymers that act like biomolecules

Ames Laboratory researchers studying self-assembling polymers

A group of bioinspired polymers are being studied by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory to understand how they are able to form and react to stimuli similar to the way proteins, lipids and DNA react in nature. Unlocking how these soluble block polymers are able to self-assemble could potentially lead to a variety of uses such as controlled release systems for sustained and modulated delivery of d

The Jekyll and Hyde of granular materials uncovered

Granular materials – which include everything from coal to coco pops – are physical substances that don’t quite fit into any of the known phases of matter: solid, liquid, or gas.

Keep the grains under pressure, vacuum-packed coffee for example, and you have solid-like behaviour; open the pack and pour it into a container and suddenly the grains flow freely like a liquid.

The changing personalities of granular materials can have devastating implications, for example the distur

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