Articles on Materials

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Strange new materials that propel the fictional Star Trek universe are being developed by scientists in reality today. Above, the USS Discovery accelerates to warp speed in an artist’s rendition for the TV series Star Trek Discovery. (Handout)

How quantum materials may soon make Star Trek technology reality

Advanced materials that seem like they come from Star Trek are becoming reality today.
Make up your mind, glass. jurra8

Is glass a solid or a liquid?

Before Pilkingtons invented plate glass in the mid-19th century, flat panes could not be made. Old windows are uneven. Some once thought this was because glass is a liquid that flows down slowly over the…
“Give me some skin! No, really.” saikofish

Explainer: what is electronic skin?

Once a topic explored exclusively in science fiction, the notion of restoring sensory feelings to humans and to machines is now approaching reality. Scientists around the world are developing artificial…
Carbon fibre: it’s super light and super strong (even more so than dreadlocks). Lucas Grumet/Flickr

Black to the future: carbon fibre research seeds new innovation

A unique cutting-edge carbon fibre research facility Carbon Nexus officially opened at Deakin University in Geelong last week. It houses laboratories, a pilot scale carbon fibre line and a smaller single-tow…
The humble fishing line. Flickr/derfian

Fishing for artificial muscles nets a very simple solution

Sometimes in research the answer is right under your nose. In our case, we spent nearly two decades developing exotic materials as artificial muscles – to now show in a paper published in Science today…
Graphene is an exciting and lucrative new industry – so why isn’t the Australian government funding local commercial development? Hinkle Group

Graphene can pave the way for Australian manufacturing

Australian industries have reached a turning point. With old industries on the way out, the Australian manufacturing sector’s biggest challenge is to move from a low-cost mass production model to one that…

Nanotube-coated spider silk: the new material in electronics?

Spider silk coated in nano-tubing could become a new material used in everyday electronics. Known as the the toughest material…

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