Physicists have used an old technique to make a new kind of material: a fabric that looks like glass. This material is clear enough to see through, incredibly thin, and snatches dust out of the air—all while seemingly evading the laws of classical physics to let the air flow unimpeded.
A team of scientists just strung a tone of the world's smallest diamonds into superstrong nanothreads. That makes for one impressive (and basically invisible) necklace, but the applications of these nanothreads don't end there. They could someday help string up an elevator to space—just like in science fiction.
There are no shortage of surprises when it comes to nanomaterials, but this new composite is behaving in a whole new way: it wiggles when you turn on the lights.
Holograms are cool enough on their own, but amazing things happen when you make them incredibly small. A team of Army-funded scientists from Purdue did just that with the development of tiny holograms—smaller than the width of a human hair!—made by shining lasers through a metasurface. This could change display…
Scientists have used carbon nanotubes to engineer an astonishingly small electrode, pictured here, that is thin and long enough to record electrical activity within individual neurons.
Scientists have just unveiled the lightest human-made substance on Earth. How light are we talking? Let's put it this way: it's less dense than helium.
A team of researchers from Harvard's Wyss Institute have created self-assembling 3D nanobricks out of DNA — essentially inventing a nanoscale version of Lego — that can be used to build thousands of different objects.
Last November, we told you about a metallic microlattice that was light enough to rest on the seed heads of a dandelion. At the time, it had just supplanted NASA's aerogel as the lightest material on Earth by a mere tenth of a milligram per cubic centimeter (the former has a density of just .9 mg/cm3; the latter an…
In 1901, Thomas Edison developed the recharcheable nickel-iron battery, a technology he hoped to see implemented in electric cars. But a slow rate of energy output and slower charging time saw it superseded by lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries in standard and electric cars alike.
When animals have shiny feathers or fur, it's usually for some sort of visual display or communication. But what about fauna that lives underground?
The artificial leaf is poised to be one of the next big breakthroughs in energy. If we can learn to mimic the biological mechanism by which plants convert solar energy into hydrogen, the sky is the limit. Millions of years of evolution have already proved the worth of photosynthesis, even if it's not all that…
Graphene is incredibly cool stuff: a sheet of interlocking carbon atoms, only one atom thick. It's an extremely interesting material, and a newly pioneered technique has created a way of painting stripes on the graphene sheets to change its functionality.
Yesterday we told you about a new nanomaterial so lightweight that it can rest on the seed heads of a dandelion. Now you can watch this ultra-light metallic microlattice in action.
Ultra-lightweight materials are an incredibly cool area of materials science, bringing us crazy substances like aerogel. And now, for the first time, scientists have produced a metal that's so light it can balance on the fluff of a dandelion. Here's why this material is revolutionary — and how it's made.
There's a long and storied tradition of scientists getting fantastic ideas from nature, as there are few finer testing labs than the requirements of natural selection. The newest breakthrough in materials science based on a plant is Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces — or SLIPS. And it could one day give us…
A newly-discovered nanomaterial could provide a fast and easy way to detect and disarm explosives, and finally get the TSA out of our pants. The material is a compound of molybdenum that reacts with peroxide-based explosives, changing color from a deep blue to a pale yellow. A swatch or sensor of the stuff could be…
By creating a new coating for plastic out of clay, scientists have found a way to keep our food fresh, longer.
Graphene is pretty cool stuff. It's the foundation of a lot of nanomaterials, and when it's only a single atom thick, it can stretch eternally in two dimensions. When it's more than one atom thick it behaves very differently, becoming graphite (which you often find in pencils). We already know a pretty easy way to …
Conventional treatments are often ineffective for treating brain cancer, but scientists have developed a novel new method of destroying cancer cells in the brain: they tag them with metal nanodiscs and shake them to death with magnets.