A diagram of the chemical structure of a newly discovered material that expands under pressure. The material could be used to design things like artificial muscles and highly sensitive touchscreen monitors. (Source: University of Oxford)
It always does my heart good to see these projects that work on materials or properties of materials that do not have a specific outcome or application in mind. Necessity is not always the mother of invention.
Fascinating article. I am especially impressed by the innovation and vision that this team has in order to understand the arrangement and behavior of this material on a nanometer scale. Great scientific work.
Fascinating indeed. Materials engineering has always caught my eye and this zinc-based material has a unique property of its own. This will open doors to new avenues and bring out more possibilities. Thanks for sharing.
Definitely a great innovation in the materials world, and it has a great scope in the areas where pressure variations are used as inputs. But I agree, gold is a game spoiler. It will make the products price sky rocket. I hope there exists another material that can replace gold, to form a similar structure and geometry having a similar reaction to pressure.
I agree, there have been many cases where the inventions were just made on basis of accidents. Some times it was keen observation (like Newton observing an apple). And sometimes its just the passion and interest for the field that leads people to discover and invent marvelous things.
Yes, Rob, I agree, sometimes research for research's sake just to invent something new and innovative is refreshing. It seems sometimes that a lot of research happens just to solve a problem, and that is good, of course, because there are good technologies that are developed this way. But I agree that freestyling it and seeing what happens is also a good way forward.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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