First 'porous liquid' invented

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have made a major breakthrough by making a porous liquid - with the potential for a massive range of new technologies including 'carbon capture'.

Researchers Discover Thin Material that Could Pave the Way for Next-Gen Quantum Communications

A major breakthrough has been made by researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney that could pave the way for the next-generation of quantum communications.

This foam 'pump' works like a human heart

A new stretchy foam mimics the pumping action of a human heart. The researchers who created say it could make other body parts. They

The 'Artificial Leaf'

An "artificial leaf" made by Daniel Nocera and his team, using a silicon solar cell with novel catalyst materials bonded to its two sides, is shown in a container of water with light (simulating sunlight) shining on it. The light generates a flow of electricity that causes the water molecules, with the help of the catalysts, to split into oxygen and hydrogen, which bubble up from the two surfaces.

World’s lightest material is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam

The world’s lightest material --- with a density of 0.9 mg/cc --- about 100 times lighter than Styrofoam --- has been developed by a team of researchers

New process for manufacturing nanocellulose: using nanocellulose to create novel composite materials

For some time now nanocellulose has been at the focus of a good deal of industrial and scientific interest as a novel biomaterial. Potential applications range from the creation of new kinds of commercially useful materials and uses in medical technology all the way to the food and pharmaceutical industries. Swiss researchers have now developed a manufacturing process for nanocellulose powder, the raw material for creating polymer composites which can be used, for example, in lightweight structures for the car industry or as membrane and filter material for biomedicinal applications.

Micro-explosion reveals new super-dense aluminium

( -- Although materials scientists have theorized for years that a form of super-dense aluminum exists under the extreme pressures found inside a planet’s core, no one had ever actually seen it. Until now.

Chemists fabricate 'impossible' material

( -- When atoms combine to form compounds, they must follow certain bonding and valence rules. For this reason, many compounds simply cannot exist. But there are some compounds that, although they follow the bonding and valence rules, still are thought to not exist because they have unstable structures. Scientists call these compounds "impossible compounds." Nevertheless, some of these impossible compounds have actually been fabricated (for example, single sheets of graphene were once considered impossible compounds). In a new study, scientists have synthesized another one of these impossible compounds -- periodic mesoporous hydridosilica -- which can transform into a photoluminescent material at high temperatures.

Search for advanced materials aided by discovery of hidden symmetries in nature

A new way of understanding the structure of proteins, polymers, minerals, and engineered materials will be published in the May 2011 issue of the journal Nature Materials. The discovery by two Penn State University researchers is a new type of symmetry in the structure of materials, which the researchers say greatly expands the possibilities for discovering or designing materials with desired properties. The research is expected to have broad relevance in many development efforts involving physical, chemical, biological, or engineering disciplines including, for example, the search for advanced ferroelectric ferromagnet materials for next-generation ultrasound devices and computers. The paper describing the research will be posted early online by the journal on 3 April 2011, prior to its publication in the journal

Stronger than steel, novel metals are moldable as plastic

Imagine a material that's stronger than steel, but just as versatile as plastic, able to take on a seemingly endless variety of forms. For decades, materials scientists have been trying to come up with just such an ideal substance, one that could be molded into complex shapes with the same ease and low expense as plastic but without sacrificing the strength and durability of metal.

New material provides 25 percent greater thermoelectric conversion efficiency

Automobiles, military vehicles, even large-scale power generating facilities may someday operate far more efficiently thanks to a new alloy developed at the U.S. Department of Energy