Lab-grown wood could be future of furniture

American scientists are working on a plan to "grow" wood in a laboratory without sunlight or soil.

March 4, 2021 ~3 min

Smart materials: From tiny robots to colour-swapping clothes

A report examines the potential of materials that can change shape, adapt and repair themselves.

Feb. 18, 2021 ~5 min

Super-light smart gel nets drinking water from air

A new aerogel can suck up water vapor in the air and then release it as clean drinking water, researchers report. It doesn't even need a power source.

National University of Singapore • futurity
Feb. 2, 2021 ~4 min

Soap simplifies making 2D nanosheets

Just a little soap helps clean up the challenging process of preparing two-dimensional hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), chemists report.

Mike Williams-Rice • futurity
Jan. 28, 2021 ~5 min

Smashing nanoclusters can make harder metals

A new way to make bulk metals with enhanced properties like hardness starts with smashing individual nanoclusters.

Kevin Stacey-Brown • futurity
Jan. 26, 2021 ~6 min

Solar panels capture more sunlight with capsaicin - the chemical that makes chili peppers spicy

Chemicals found in food and solar cell technology have an interesting history – as my own research shows.

Jon Major, Research Fellow, Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool • conversation
Jan. 13, 2021 ~6 min

Fluorine may replace lithium for rechargeable batteries

Fluorine, a relatively abundant and light element, may be a good substitute for lithium without changing how long batteries last much.

Beth Miller-WUSTL • futurity
Dec. 17, 2020 ~6 min

Atlas shows off 466 carbon nanotube colors

New research maps out a huge number of carbon nanotube colors. "Carbon, which we see as black, can appear transparent or take on any color of the rainbow."

Jade Boyd-Rice • futurity
Dec. 15, 2020 ~8 min

New way to make perovskite solar cells is super fast

A new method of making perovskite cells for solar modules could be cheap and fast enough to make it scalable, researchers say.

Mark Shwartz-Stanford • futurity
Dec. 1, 2020 ~8 min

See metal and plastic micromachines zip around

See how incredibly tiny micromachines made from metal and plastic move according to their shape. They're a step toward better drug delivery.

Fabio Bergamin-ETH Zurich • futurity
Nov. 25, 2020 ~5 min