‘Smart building skins’ change shape in the heat

See how smart skins for buildings that react to environmental cues like heat or light could make the structures far more energy efficient.

National Science Foundation | Jan. 17, 2020 | futurity
~1 mins   

Tags: earth-and-environment featured buildings materials-science sustainability

Defects can boost battery cathodes but only to a point

Too much stress in widely used lithium iron phosphate battery cathodes can open cracks and quickly degrade batteries.

Mike Williams-Rice | Jan. 15, 2020 | futurity
~3 mins   

Tags: science-and-technology batteries materials-science

Team uses plastic to make super light 18-carat gold

Love gold but not how heavy it is? Researchers used plastic to create an incredibly lightweight 18-carat gold that weighs about five to 10 times less.

Peter Rüegg-ETH Zurich | Jan. 10, 2020 | futurity
~4 mins   

Tags: featured science-and-technology gold materials-science metals plastics weight

Tiny sensors check strain of materials under pressure

A new nano-sized sensor can measure the stresses and strains of materials at high pressures to see when they fail and hunt for new states of matter.

Mike Krapfl-Iowa State | Jan. 6, 2020 | futurity
~4 mins   

Tags: science-and-technology materials-science nanotechnology pressure sensors

2D and 3D combo could keep Moore’s Law going

Using 2D materials and 3D integration practices could take integrated chips beyond their limits and keep Moore's Law going indefinitely, researchers say.

Sonia Fernandez-UCSB | Jan. 3, 2020 | futurity
~8 mins   

Tags: science-and-technology computers electronics materials-science microchips semiconductors

How a few tweaks revived near-dead solar tech

Researchers had all but given up on emerging organic solar cell technology, but chemical tweaks brought them back from the brink. Here's how it worked.

Ben Brumfield-Georgia Tech | Dec. 30, 2019 | futurity
~6 mins   

Tags: earth-and-environment science-and-technology materials-science renewable-energy solar-cells

Flexible polymer could power future pacemakers non-stop

The polymer has many potential uses, including powering pacemakers without needing new batteries and keeping street lights on with energy from passing cars.

U. Melbourne | Dec. 27, 2019 | futurity
~3 mins   

Tags: health-and-medicine science-and-technology electricity materials-science medical-devices nanotechnology polymers

Thin films could make solar panels better and cheaper

A new kind of semiconductor made from barium zirconium sulfide instead of silicon could pave the way for better solar panels, LEDs, and sensors.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo | Dec. 26, 2019 | futurity
~4 mins   

Tags: science-and-technology electronics led materials-science renewable-energy solar-cells

Band-Aid adhesive replacement won’t ruin the planet

A new kind of adhesive works just as well as plastic-based versions but degrades in less than a year instead of lasting forever.

Jessica Colarossi-Boston University | Dec. 18, 2019 | futurity
~5 mins   

Tags: earth-and-environment adhesives materials-science plastics sustainability

Magnetic fields turn material bendy and twisty

Researchers can control the shape of a new material called a magnetic shape memory polymer with magnetic fields, which could be useful for future robots.

Josh Brown-Georgia Tech | Dec. 17, 2019 | futurity
~4 mins   

Tags: featured science-and-technology magnetic-fields materials-science polymers robots

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