New 'extralibral' composite 'stiffer than diamond'

Researchers have created a new ‘extralibral' composite made from molten tin and the barium titanate mineral that may replace diamond as the world's stiffest material.

Networking for young engineers on i-spark

A new website,, has been launched to enable UK scientists, technologists and engineers to network with each other, exchange advice and information and provide mentoring to younger people interested in the professions, it is designed to reduce the number of engineers leaving the profession.

Non-reflective coating for optical devices

A material that has almost the same refractive index of air has been created, by positioning low-reflective silica nanorods onto a thin film of aluminium nitrate. The result is an innovative coating that reflects virtually no light allowing researchers to potentially reduce the negative effect on the performance of optical components and devices.

The first ever liquid transistor

The first ever liquid transistor has been created, according to a team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati, USA. The new device can directly convert charge-related information from the liquid state into conventional electronic signals, for advances in biotechnology and flat panel displays.

Nanosight microscope indentifies nanoscale cracks

NanoSight Ltd, UK, has developed a method for accurately visualising individual nanoparticles for nanoscale cracks and deformities. The NanoSight LM20 uses a conventional optical microscope fitted with a specialised camera and dedicated analytical software that makes use of a technique called nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA).