Just like the manufacturing revolution spawned by steel and plastic, the discovery of new super materials with amazing characteristics and wide-ranging applications promises to reshape the future. Let’s take a look at their properties and possible uses.
It’s 100 times lighter than water, and can handle 20,000 times its own weight.
Super insulator – it can stop and isolate cold, heat and sound.
Uses: large scale construction, spaceships, spacesuits, rocket technology.
2. METALLIC MICROLATTICE
Open cellular polymer structure consisting of 99.9 % air.
World’s lightest metal – it’s stronger than carbon fiber but weighs a tenth less.
Uses: aircraft structures (wings, control surfaces), aeronautics, automotive.
3. THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS
Used in generators that turn waste heat (about two-thirds of all energy used) back into useful electricity.
Materials include tetrahedrite and skutterudite, which are cheap and naturally occurring.
Uses: energy-conversion energy in spacecraft, and for power-consuming machines like cars and refrigerators.
Nanostructures designed to scatter light.
Can also scatter microwaves radiowaves, or little-known T-rays.
Used: as a clocking material, new T-ray scanners in medicine or security, or as phased array optics that can render perfect holograms.
5. CARBON NANOTUBES
Long chain of carbon bonded by SP2 the strongest bond in chemistry.
Properties: ballistic electron transport (ideal for electronics) 300 times stronger than Steel.
It’s the only material that could be used to build a space elevator.
“Transition-metal dechalco-genides”- molybdenum or tungsten sandwiched between elements like sulfur and selenium.
Properties: transparent, flexible, extremely flat, superb semiconductor.
Uses: flexible electronics (foldable screens) digital circuits, quantum communication, energy harvesting / storage.
7. TRANSPARENT ALUMINIUM
Developed from aluminium oxynitride, aka “AION”- a ceramic composed of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen.
3 times harder than Steel, 4 times harder than fused silica glass, 85% as hard as sapphire.
Uses: transparent armor (bulletproof glass), infrared bomes (spaceships space station),skyscrapers vehicle cockpits.
A crystalline form of carbon in which atoms are arranged in a regular hexagon pattern.
Strong, light and excellent electricity conductor – the holy trinity and material properties.
Uses: everything from consumer tech bioengineering to energy storage (super efficient batteries).
Made of a single layer of atoms like graphene-but with tin in place of carbon.
Properties: conducts electricity at 100% efficiency; topological insulator (edges are conductors, interior acts as insulator).
Could revolutionize microchips inside all devices, increasing their power since no heat is generated to limit performance.