Advanced materials that seem like they come from Star Trek are becoming reality today.
Bio-inspiration takes cues from natural structures that do certain things very effectively. One example: the strong but flexible fibers that sea sponges use to anchor themselves to the ocean floor.
Research on molecular machines won last year's Nobel Prize in chemistry. Now scientists have figured out a way to get these tiny molecules to join forces and collaborate on real work on a macro scale.
Coating paper with an inexpensive thin film can allow users to print and erase a physical page as many as 80 times. That reduces both the cost and the environmental effects of paper use.
How do a frog's tongue and saliva work together to be sticky enough to lift 1.4 times the animal's body weight? Painstaking lab work found their spit switches between two distinct phases to nab prey.
Plan to develop long-lasting supercapacitors would provide a faster, safer alternative to lithium batteries.
Tragedies involving building collapses prompt structural engineers to figure out what happened, and how to prevent it from recurring.
Modifying chemicals' molecular properties can make 'splitting' hydrogen from water more efficient.
Molybdenum disulphide, hexagonal boron nitride and other materials yet to be discovered will be used to build the electronics of the future.
One of the great technological challenges of this century is to design novel items and then make them – and have the results match the intent.
As we reach the limits of what can be done with silicon, the search for new and improved superconductors is on.
Our civilisation is built on chemistry, and the science has a bright future, with the launch of a new Decadal Plan that will steer the science into the future.