The good minds at MIT have used a rubber-like polymer to predict how much light gets transmitted through a material, depending on its thinness and stretchiness. The material could lead to windows that automatically adjust the amount of light that’s let in.
Jet airplanes load up with tens of thousands of gallons of fuel for transcontinental flights, which can lead to massive explosions in a crash or terrorist attack. But adding “molecular velcro” to fuel can dramatically reduce its volatility, or explosiveness.
French scientists have created the first synthetic polymers that can store information as bits of 0s and 1s. You might think of it as a highly simplified version of DNA, another molecule that is very, very good at storing information. These new polymers could one day replace DNA in the burgeoning field of molecular…
Your bones are masterful self-healers, but certain injuries and defects can leave a gap too wide for new bone cells to fill in. Texas A&M's Dr. Melissa Grunlan and team have come up with a solution, a biodegradable polymer sponge that supports new bone cell growth, then disappears as it's replaced by solid bone.
Strong, durable materials are hard to recycle—they're designed to stand up to abuse. But research chemists at an IBM laboratory just published their discovery of a never-before-seen family of polymers that's super strong, self-healing, lightweight, and easy to recycle. And it was discovered completely by accident.
Scientists have long been toiling to create artificial life, managing to produce man-made cell walls and even synthetic DNA. But now, a team of chemists has produced a functioning cell made from polymers.
Employing the same physical forces that power Shrinky Dinks, researchers at North Carolina State University may have just created the future of product packaging—2D polymer sheets that bend into 3D forms when exposed to UV light.
They may not exist outside laboratories, but self-healing polymers are fantastic. When they rip, they're normally held under a UV ray for 30 minutes, and they repair themselves. But new research breakthroughs have cut that time down to a minute.
A new form of "shape memory polymers" have the ability to return to their previous form once damaged, thanks to embedded fiber optics that let them warm themselves back to health with light.
It's about time we had a battery breakthrough, and researchers at Brown University say their plastic battery produces 100 times the power of today's alkaline cells. The technology combines the power surging capabilities of a capacitor with the storage characteristics of conventional batteries. The result is a battery…