MATERIAL ISSUES: Materials science is the study of stuff -- the substances that make up things you use every day-- from your shoes, dishes, CDs, or your bicycle or skateboard. All are made from different kinds of materials. Materials derive their unique properties from atomic structure so materials scientists can manipulate atoms and molecules to design new kinds of stuff with different properties. Researchers' creations could show up in the nifty gadgets, clothing and kitchenware of tomorrow.
ANOTHER INTERESTING COATING: A team at MIT developed a new polymer coating that draws droplets into nanopores and transforms them into a transparent sheet, improving vision. MIT's new coating is "superhydrophilic": it really loves water. It's made of a three-dimensional matrix of water-loving polymer chains mixed in with glass nanoparticles and tiny air bubbles. The edges of the tiny glass particles come in contact with many droplets of water and the water droplets flatten and join up to form sheets. The glass nanoparticles and air bubbles also can act like the holes in a sponge, sucking the droplets downward to wick away water.
The Materials Research Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.