2 -New types of magnetic materials will allow increased amounts of information to be stored. This is already one of the main areas of research in materials science.
3-Smart materials, which can react to outside stimuli, are already part of many of the important components found in the appliances used in daily life.
4 -Biomaterials have inspired materials scientists to study and copy nature's machinery. Together with biologists, they have developed biomaterials using well defined proteins under specific environmental conditions. Materials scientists are also looking at ways to use DNA to find new ways of storing information.
5 -Biomedical materials have many important practical applications, serving, for example, as implants in the human body. They need to be compatible with human tissue, and one day could even function as spare parts for the human body.
6 -Materials that can generate clean energy and store energy without polluting the environment could solve one of the biggest challenges of the next century - the provision of plentiful amounts of clean energy for the Earth's ever-increasing population.
7 -Porous materials with pores from a few atoms in size to thousands of atomic diameters act like sieves that can be used to select different compounds. They could be important for synthesizing other materials.
8 -Diamond and other hard materials can be used as very thin surface layers to toughen materials, such as industrial tools.
9 -Polymers that can be made by chain reaction allow scientists to develop materials with specific molecular architectures.
10 -Surface and interface science will be critical in the development of new materials. Techniques need to be developed that allow atoms to be imaged either directly on the surfaces of materials or with advanced electron microscopy.
Sources: Based on P. Ball's book published in 1997 reviewed in 1998. (1) Made to Measure: New Materials for the 21st Century, by Philip Ball, 1997 Princeton University Press 480pp. (2) Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld Manfred Rühle reviewed P. Ball's book for physicsworld, IOP-Inst. of Physics UK. M. Rühle is director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany