Two Russian scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for discovery of a one-atom thick material called graphene that has significant potential for electronic applications, including semiconductors. In what appeared to be just a wacky experiment at the time, they applied Scotch tape to a sheet of graphite and extracted the extremely thin, totally transparent material with excellent strength and electrical properties.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov will split the prize of about $1.4 million.
Hundreds of researchers are now exploring potential for the material as ultracapacitors, sensors, touchscreens, liquid crystal displays, organic photovoltaic cells, and organic light-emitting diodes.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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