Materials & Innovations

Video: Braille smartwatch makes accessing information easier for people with vision impairment

By Lisa McDonald / June 16, 2021

Despite being on the market for decades, braille displays remain very costly, typically in the range of several thousand dollars. Dot Incorporation, a company cofounded by South Korean entrepreneur Eric Ju-Yoon Kim, created a smartwatch featuring a braille touchpad that only costs a few hundred dollars—and the technology can be applied to other devices as well.

Read More

A decade of discovery: A review of MXenes, the family of 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides

By Lisa McDonald / June 15, 2021

MXenes, the family of 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides, was first discovered in 2011. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this discovery, researchers led by Drexel University professor and ACerS Fellow Yury Gogotsi published a forward-looking review article in Science that explores the impact and promise of this material family.

Read More

Video: Glass-ceramic covers newest generation of iPhones

By Lisa McDonald / June 2, 2021

Gorilla Glass is the go-to cover screen material for many big phone brands. The recently released iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, however, use a new glass-ceramic material called Ceramic Shield developed by Apple and Corning.

Read More

New bifunctional composite bioceramic hydrogel shows promise for treating skin cancer

By Lisa McDonald / June 1, 2021

Treatment of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, often involves removing the affected tissue or organ, which leaves wounds that are difficult to heal. Researchers in China, Turkey, and Australia developed a new bifunctional composite bioceramic hydrogel for treating melanoma via a minimally invasive technique called photothermal treatment.

Read More

Rechargeable cement-based batteries could reform the built environment

By Lisa McDonald / May 21, 2021

As renewable energy technologies become more widely deployed, we need a way to store all of the generated energy. Two researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden explored creating a cement capable of storing energy, an ability that would allow future buildings to essentially serve as giant batteries.

Read More

Toward a flexible future: A review on droplet-based techniques for fabricating printed electronics

By Lisa McDonald / May 4, 2021

Printed electronics is an emerging branch of electronics manufacturing that offers a way to economically and conveniently produce electronic circuits and devices on flexible substrates. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark reviewed processing techniques, ink materials, substrates, and sintering methods for printed electronics in their recent paper.

Read More

Video: Startups move solid-state batteries toward commercialization

By Lisa McDonald / April 21, 2021

Solid-state batteries show great promise to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries in terms of energy density, weight, cost, and recharge times. In recent months, several startup companies announced noteworthy progress in developing solid-state batteries for next-generation electric vehicles. Today’s CTT highlights the work being done by QuantumScape, a California-based battery research company.

Read More

Joining of dissimilar materials, plus more inside May 2021 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / April 15, 2021

The May 2021 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring articles on joining of dissimilar materials—is now available online. Plus—FMEA for spark plug design.

Read More

Can you build a better mask? US agencies open $500,000 challenge to improve face masks

By April Gocha / April 13, 2021

Despite being well over a year-deep into the COVID-19 pandemic, there still is plenty of room for improvement in terms of everyday consumer face masks. With that in mind, U.S. government agencies have partnered to host an open innovation challenge to build a better face mask—and they are backing winning ideas with $500,000 in prize money.

Read More

Mantis shrimp inspire tough composites and sophisticated optical sensors

By April Gocha / April 2, 2021

Artists and scientists alike find inspiration in nature. But two recent scientific studies found inspiration in the same creature: the mantis shrimp. The creature’s incredibly tough materials and complex eyes inspired innovations that could lead to fracture-resistant biocomposites and highly advanced optical sensors.

Read More