Someone Go Find a Practical Use for This Sweet Conductive Plastic

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I see a science paper and think, dang, that’s really cool, I really wish it could do X. Like, maybe a major advancement in flexible, transparent plastic conductors could solve all of my cracked smartphone screen problems. Of course, things are more complex than just that, and a single new material won’t solve my concrete-induced woes. But this latest research definitely conjures some intriguing possibilities. Read More >>

Scientists Finally Made Carbyne—a Material Stronger Than Graphene—That Lasts

Several years ago, scientists calculated the properties of an exotic form of carbon—called Carbyne—and found that it promised more strength and stiffness than any other known material. Now, it’s finally been made in stable form inside an Austrian lab. Read More >>

A Brand New 2D Semiconductor Could Put Silicon in the Shade

A new kind of semiconductor is the first material with a 2D geometry to provide the electrical properties of silicon—but its shape could mean that it’s actually able to outperform the reliable old material. Read More >>

This New Shape-Changing Polymer Can Lift 1,000 Times its Own Weight

All materials react to heat in some way. But this new shape-changing polymer reacts to temperatures as small as the touch of human skin to contract – and in the process lifts as much as 1,000 times its own weight. Read More >>

Scientists Can Make Aerogel From Waste Paper

Aerogel is usually the preserve of expensive laboratory experiments — but what if you could make it from litter? Now, a team of researchers has developed a technique to turn scrap paper into a incredibly light, highly insulating super material. Read More >>

We Finally Understand How Concrete Behaves at a Microscopic Level

In modern cities, there’s concrete at every turn. So it might surprise you to hear that, until now at least, we haven’t really understood how it works at the microscopic level—despite the fact we trust it to build huge structures. Read More >>

This Simple Black Film Made From Carbon Nanotubes is Stronger Than Kevlar

This looks like the kind of thin material you might make a bin bag out of. But that would be a waste because this material, made from carbon nanotubes, is stronger and more compliant then kevlar or carbon fibre. Read More >>

3d printing
Can Physicists Prove to Engineers That 3D-Printed Metal Parts Are Safe?

There’s no denying that 3D printing is a fast and effective way to build new objects, but most engineers are taking tentative steps to its mass adoption because the results aren’t proven to be truly robust. Now, physicists hope to convince them once and for all. Read More >>

Move Over, Graphene: The Latest Super Material is Borophene

Graphene is the best-known two-dimensional material, with its atom-thick layers proving plenty of fascinating material properties. But now a team of scientists has developed a new material with a similar structure that they’re calling borophene. Read More >>

This Dry Glue Only Becomes Sticky When You Crush It

Usually, dry glue is a sign that you need a new tube of adhesive. But researchers in Japan have developed a new type of glue that’s perfectly dry until you crush it—at which point it becomes super sticky. Read More >>

A New Technique Can Weld Together Un-Weldable Materials

In recent decades, scientists have created ever-stronger metals — but the techniques used to weld them often ruin the materials' molecular properties. Now, a team has developed a way to weld together these previously un-weldable materials. Read More >>