9 SUPER MATERIALS that’ll Change the World Tomorrow

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.

1. AIRLOY

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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

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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

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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.


4. METAMATERIALS

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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

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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.


6. TMDCs

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“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

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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.


8. GRAPHENE

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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).


9. STANENE

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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.