Materials & Coatings

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on materials and coatings, from engineering experts at NASA and government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs: Motion Control
Nanosized Foldable Robots
The machines fold themselves within 100 milliseconds and can flatten and refold thousands of times.
Complete integrated circuits with more than 1,000 organic electrochemical transistors can be screen-printed.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
AI System Discovers New Material
The algorithm identified a new compound potentially useful for photonic devices and biologically inspired computers.
The transistors enable power converters to perform at substantially improved efficiencies, especially in high-power applications.
The new material could help put more power in smaller microchips.
Thanks to its flexibility and adhesion, the biodegradable display can be worn directly on the hand.
The device uses load frames to test bonded structures in aerospace, automotive, defense, and energy storage applications.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Smartphone-Based Medical Tests
A smartphone, combined with nanoscale porous silicon, enables inexpensive, simple, home diagnostics.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Using Neural Networks for Faster X-Ray Imaging
Artificial intelligence is used to decode X-ray images faster, which could aid innovations in medicine, materials, and energy.

Due to the chemical stability and durability of industrial polymers, plastic waste does not easily degrade in landfills and is often burned, which produces carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases. In...

Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Fully Recyclable Printed Electronics
Nearly 100% of all-carbon-based transistors are reclaimed while retaining future functionality of the materials.
Briefs: Photonics/Optics
High-Capacity Optical Data Storage Disk
Using gold nanomaterials, this disk can hold data securely for more than 600 years.
Northwestern researchers have developed a new microscopy method that allows scientists to see the building blocks of “smart” materials being formed at the nanoscale.
This additively manufactured alloy is tailored for high-temperature applications.
The thruster provides a low-cost, extremely efficient propulsion source for miniature satellites.
Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
Carbon-Based Air Quality Sensor
This affordable, scalable sensor could be a vital tool in the fight against air pollution and its associated health risks.
The paper-like material could be useful in soft robots, sensors, artificial muscles, and electric generators.
Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Catalyst Makes Styrene Manufacturing Cheaper and Greener
This could reduce the environmental impact of styrene manufacturing.
Briefs: Materials
Turning Diamond into Metal
Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain.
This method increases burn rate of solid propellants.
This invention achieves sustainable freshwater production in a variety of climates at minimal energy cost.
Flea-sized, hollow blocks can be filled with materials that improve healing.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
3D Printing of Gels and Soft Materials
A new method could jump-start the creation of tiny medical devices for the body.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Cord Tension Measurement Device
Potential applications include parachutes, hot air balloons, weather balloons, blimps, sails, and parasails.
Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Rapid 3D Printing of Biomedical Parts
The structures’ small size and porosity make them well-suited for building components such as replacement joints.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
2D Materials Capable of Forming Complex 3D Shapes
Synthetic materials can mimic how living organisms expand and contract soft tissues, achieving complex 3D movements and functions.
Bioinspired cellulose nanofibrils can be controlled by electricity.
This technology provides highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at a fifth of the cost of current storage technologies.
Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Nanostructured Alloy for Battery Anodes
The alloy could influence the way energy storage devices are designed and manufactured.