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Thursday, 12 February 2009

The Year 2008 in Materials from MIT's Tech Review

Just reviewed and up-dated my RSS feed, tarrying on MIT's Tech Rev. Fortunately I did not give-up in face of the such advanced topics and the complexities of the underlying materials science. Note in passing the incredible revival in these metallurgical and materials fields.

You may have noticed that perseverance, "courage" is of great assistance in serendipity-good luck.

On instinct I picked a couple of stories from the MIT Tech. Rev:
(you may wish to follow this lead and find your own hopefully inspired by my unfinalised RSS approach and remarks)

Story 1: Super-Resolution Imaging and a $10 Microscope
key words which caught my a attention "low cost (10$)" and "metamaterials"

Super-Resolution Imaging and a $10 Microscope Metamaterials are usually lauded for their potential to direct light around an object, completely hiding it. This year brought the first designs for acoustic metamaterials, which will shield objects from sound. But the earliest application of metamaterials, usually made up of metals carefully structured on the nano- or microscale to tailor their interactions with light, is likely to be in super-resolution imaging. Light microscopes with resolutions on the scale of biological molecules will help biologists understand not just what proteins are at work in diseased cells, but also how they interact with other molecules to cause disease. Nicholas Fang of the University of Illinois is using metamaterials made up of metals structured on the nanoscale to make superlenses, which increase the resolution of biological light microscopes by an order of magnitude.

Read More...


Story 2. Tough, Strong, and Sticky
Key words new ceramics - negative overplayed "gecko" almost made me skip this

Some of the year's coolest new materials were made possible by mimicking the nanoscale features of natural structures. For years, researchers have been trying to make materials that are as tough as nacre, the material that lines abalone shells, with limited success. This year, materials scientists created a new ceramic that's better than nacre; it could eventually be used as a structural material for buildings and vehicles. Like nacre, the new ceramic is a composite of a hard material and a gluey one. Researchers have also finally outdone the gecko, which uses arrays of nanoscale hairs on its paws to scale walls and ceilings. Arrays of carbon nanotubes with two layers--one vertically aligned, the other tangled--mimic gecko-foot structures but are 10 times as sticky.


As one thing leads to another -> Other Top Choice Topics are:
Graphene, the strongest material ever, the tip of an atomic force microscope!

Nanomedicine and Nanomaterials Safety.
Hey there!
Two studies in mice suggested that carbon nanotubes could behave like asbestos in the lungs, causing cancer.
Read More...

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High Purity Cr sources for Superalloys

Energy for th Future:Phil.Trans.A-Vol. 365, N° 1853 / April 15, 2007, curtesy The Royal Soc. London

Engineered foams and porous materials: Phil Trans A. Vol 364, N° 1838 / 06 curtesy_The R Soc. Lond