• Cheaper materials for solar cells

    Materials World magazine
    One of the UK's largest photovoltaic solar energy research projects, PV-21, is investigating a replacement for the rare and expensive indium used in the conductors and semiconductors of solar cells.
  • A single bundle of electrospun submicron polycaprolactone fibres. The team at The University of Manchester believes the material could aid regeneration in tendons.

    Electrospinning biomaterials for tendon repair

    Materials World magazine
    Scientists at The University of Manchester, UK, are investigating the use of electrospun polycaprolactone nanofibres to regenerate damaged tendons. Because the bundle of fibres replicates the morphology of tendon tissue, researchers envisage that the synthetic structure will perform the mechanical function of the tendon while it repairs itself, as well as act as a temporary scaffold to promote cell migration and new tissue formation.
  • Plart display

    Exploring non-destructive techniques to conserve plastic artefacts

    Materials World magazine
    Plart – a museum dedicated to researching non-destructive testing for the restoration and conservation of plastic artefacts – opened on 25 January 2008 in Naples, Italy. The aim is to set up a characterisation and conservation protocol specific thermosetting plastics and thermoplastics. Polyurethane, PVC and cellulose acetate and nitrate materials are recognised as the most difficult materials to conserve from degradation.
  • water droplets on wood surface

    Making wood fibres water-resistant and conductive

    Materials World magazine
    An environmentally friendly method for introducing hydrophobic propeties and electrical conductivity to wood fibres has been developed by researchers in Finland. This could find use in packaging, composite and paper applications.
  • Self-cleaning comes to clothing

    Materials Science & Technology Division
    Titanium oxide has been used on surfaces such as glass for a number of years to use sunlight to degrade particles and give a self cleaning effect. The same technology has now been applied to wool by Australian and Chinese researchers, meaning that hanging up clothes on a sunny day may be enough to clean dirty garments.
  • Energy efficient curing for concrete masonry and clay aggregates blocks

    Clay Technology magazine
    A UK manufacturer of concrete masonry and clay lightweight aggregate blocks has achieved a 44.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions through the use of more energy efficient curing chambers and alternative aggregates.
  • Light passing through metamaterial

    3D metamaterials from semiconductors

    Materials World magazine
    Scientists at Princeton University, USA, claim to have produced the first 3D metamaterial constructed entirely from semiconductors. They believe the new design could offer a cost effective way of creating negative refractive lenses for high-speed communications, medical diagnostics and detecting terrorist threats.
  • refuelling with nanofuels

    Exploring nanofuels

    Materials World magazine
    Nanofuels are the subject of a new feasibility study at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. They could provide a more environmentally sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, say researchers. The concept is to inject wet and dry fuels made from silicon, aluminium or iron nanoparticles (separately, as single fuels) into internal combustion engines.
  • Cleaner coating metal food can

    Cleaner coatings for food cans

    Materials World magazine
    Exploring cleaner coatings for metal cans to inhibit chemical migration into food.
  • Hydrogen molecules (red) surround an ethylene molecule (green) that is attached to two titanium atoms (blue)

    Hydrogen storage at room temperature for fuel cells

    Materials World magazine
    Scientists at the University of Virginia, based in Charlottesville, USA, claim to have discovered a material, made from titanium atoms complexed with ethylene, that can store large quantities of hydrogen at room temperature. This could help in the search for a more efficient and affordable hydrogen-powered fuel cell.