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Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering - 22.10.2015
The ductility of magnesium explained
The ductility of magnesium explained
22. Zhaoxuan Wu and William Curtin of the Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics Modeling (LAMMM) have solved the 40-year-old scientific riddle of the low ductility magnesium. Magnesium is the lightest metal found on earth; it is four times lighter than steel and a third lighter than aluminum. It is also abundantly available, being the eight most common element in the earth's crust.

Materials Science - Physics - 28.09.2015
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
ETH material researchers are developing a procedure that allows them to mimic the complex fine structure of biological composite materials, such as teeth or seashells. They can thus create synthetic materials that are as hard and tough as their natural counterparts. Cross section of the artificial tooth under an electron microscope: Ceramic platelets in the enamel are orientated vertically.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.09.2015
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
Researchers reveal the reasons for these properties in a new study. During the charge and discharge process for this kind of battery, lithium ions need to move between the two electrodes. As it turns out, the rapid charging of these batteries is down to the fact that, at a higher charging voltage, the lithium ions are distributed evenly across the volume of the particles that make up the battery electrode, which contains lithium.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.07.2015
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibres.

Materials Science - Physics - 06.03.2015
Heat Waves in Graphene
Heat Waves in Graphene
EPFL researchers have shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms of heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials. They have shown that heat can propagate as a wave over very long distances. This is key information for engineering the electronics of tomorrow. In the race to miniaturize electronic components, researchers are challenged with a major problem: the smaller or the faster your device, the more challenging it is to cool it down.

Materials Science - 02.02.2015
Methane storage targets are too high
Methane storage targets are too high
Using natural gas for car fuel is a challenge, requiring massive research efforts to find materials that can efficiently store it. However, a Swiss-US study concludes that the best materials have not only been already discovered, but can only meet up to 70% of energy targets set by governments. Because of its low energy density, natural gas has to be compressed or liquefied, which makes it difficult to integrate into vehicles.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 21.01.2015
Controlling brain cells with light
Controlling brain cells with light
Scientists have used a cutting-edge method to stimulate neurons with light. They have successfully recorded synaptic transmission between neurons in a live animal for the first time. Neurons, the cells of the nervous system, communicate by transmitting chemical signals to each other through junctions called synapses.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.01.2015
Graphene multiplies the power of light
Graphene multiplies the power of light
Could graphene turn light to electricity? Scientists have shown that graphene can convert a single photon into multiple electrons, showing much promise for future photovoltaic devices. Graphene is a material that has gathered tremendous popularity in recent years, due to its extraordinary strength and light weight.

Physics - Materials Science - 12.10.2014
Useful for spintronics: Big surprises in a thin surface region
Useful for spintronics: Big surprises in a thin surface region
The need for ever faster and more efficient electronic devices is growing rapidly, and thus the demand for new materials with new properties. Oxides, especially ones based on strontium titanate (SrTiO 3 ), play an important role here. Researchers recently discovered that SrTiO 3 , although actually an insulator, can form a metallic layer on its surface, in which electric current can flow.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 16.05.2014
Detaching glue with light: possible thanks to a supramolecular adhesive
Detaching glue with light: possible thanks to a supramolecular adhesive
Something went wrong when gluing something? No problem. Researchers have developed a polymer structure which is capable of reversibly gluing materials together using nothing but light.

Health - Materials Science - 13.02.2014
When chemists invent new rattles
When chemists invent new rattles
Chemists have developed a one-pot synthesis process to encapsulate nanoparticles. This type of particle could improve the antimicrobial coating of implants.

Physics - Materials Science - 12.11.2013
Electrons with a split personality
Electrons with a split personality
Some electrons in a superconducting material behave as if they were in a conventional metal, others as in an unconventional one - depending on the direction of their motion. Understanding the origins of high-temperature superconductivity, the ability of some materials to conduct electricity without any resistance and therefore without loss of energy, is one of the most important quests of modern physics.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 08.08.2013
Fuel cells could become economically more attractive
Fuel cells could become economically more attractive
Fuel cells that convert hydrogen into power and only produce pure water as a by-product have the potential to lead individual mobility into an environmentally friendly future.

Physics - Materials Science - 05.05.2013
Tiny Magnets as a Model System
Tiny Magnets as a Model System
In the microscopic world, everything is in motion: atoms and molecules vibrate, proteins fold, even glass is a slow flowing liquid. And during each movement there are interactions between the smallest elements - for example, the atoms - and their neighbours. To make these movements visible, scientists have developed a special model system.

Physics - Materials Science - 11.11.2012
Using rust and water to store solar energy as hydrogen
Using rust and water to store solar energy as hydrogen
Scientists are producing hydrogen from sunlight, water and rust. They're paving the way for an economic and ecological solution for storing renewable energy. How can solar energy be stored so that it can be available any time, day or night, when the sun shining or not? EPFL scientists are developing a technology that can transform light energy into a clean fuel that has a neutral carbon footprint: hydrogen.

Materials Science - 13.06.2012
Composite Materials Will Lead to Greener Cars
Composite Materials Will Lead to Greener Cars
The use of composite materials is rapidly entering into the automotive industry thanks to a technique developed by a spin-off. This technique promises lighter cars that burn less fuel and, consequently, emit less CO2. In 2013, we may see car bumpers, doors, and frames made from composite materials, which are engineered or naturally occurring materials such as fiberglass made from two or more constituents with different physical or chemical properties.

Materials Science - Architecture - 08.06.2012
A solar sandwich to power future buildings
A solar sandwich to power future buildings
All in one: A new electricity generating building component is being developed.

Civil Engineering - Materials Science - 18.04.2012
Bridges get a quick check-up
Bridges get a quick check-up
Engineers have developed a new imaging technique that lets them see the insides of massive concrete bridges. Much like a sonogram, this technique provides quick, easy-to-interpret images, so that the health of these expensive structures can be assessed and monitored. The patient weighs several tons and is hundreds of meters long.

Materials Science - Physics - 03.02.2012
How to turn leaves into solar panels
How to turn leaves into solar panels
Photovoltaic panels made from plant material could become a cheap, easy alternative to traditional solar cells. An entirely novel approach to photovoltaics has been developed. By taking the very protein in plants that allows for photosythesis and engineering it to produce electrical current, researcher Andreas Mershin has opened the door for potentially cheap and easy to reproduce solar energy.

Health - Materials Science - 30.01.2012
Protective covering for implants
Protective covering for implants
A new technology could prevent most breast implant rejections. So far, more than a quarter of all breast implants must be removed within four years, because neighboring tissues develop a rigid envelope of fibrous tissue to protect themselves from the foreign body. A company has developed a protective covering made up of a nanostructured surface and a layer of collagen that will prevent the body from rejecting the implant.
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