Materials & Coatings

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

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Briefs: Imaging
The design may enable miniature zoom lenses for drones, cellphones, or night-vision goggles.
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Briefs: Photonics/Optics
Scientists have developed a new characterization tool that allowed them to gain unique insight into a possible alternative material for solar cells.
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Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The sensor can be stretched up to 50 percent with almost the same sensing performance.
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Briefs: Energy
A new kind of solar panel has achieved 9 percent efficiency in converting water into hydrogen and oxygen — mimicking a crucial step in natural photosynthesis.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers report that automated high-resolution electron imaging can capture the nanoscale deformation events that lead to metal failure and breakage.
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Briefs: Materials
The tool straightens thin, malleable 4-mm metal tubes like those used for fuel, pneumatic, or hydraulic pressurized lines.
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Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The device is 100 percent electrically controllable regarding the colors of light it absorbs, which gives it massive potential for widespread usability.
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Briefs: Materials
The invention consists of several NTAC layers arranged in a radially concentric series separated by a vacuum gap space.
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Briefs: Energy
The work could lead to improvements in the energy density of lithium batteries that power electric vehicles.
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Briefs: Data Acquisition
A new area of artificial intelligence called analog deep learning promises faster computation with a fraction of the energy usage.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Ultra-efficient catalysts were developed that are cost-effective to make and simple to scale.
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Briefs: Imaging
Researchers at University of Central Florida have developed an artificial intelligence device that mimics the retina of the eye.
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Briefs: Materials
Instead of adding soft materials to a rigid robot body, researchers have taken a soft body and added rigid features to key components.
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Briefs: Design
NASA has developed a new metal matrix composite (MMC) that can repair itself from large fatigue cracks that occur during the service life of a structure.
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Briefs: Design
Manufacturing on Mars with 3D Printing
High-Martian content materials would be useful in making coatings to protect equipment from rust or radiation damage.
Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers have developed a shape-shifting material that can take and hold any possible shape.
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Briefs: Motion Control
Researchers produced a soft, mechanical metamaterial that can “think” about how forces are applied to it and respond via programmed reactions.
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Briefs: Design
Computer-Implemented Energy Depletion Radiation Shielding
Radiation shielding for space as well as some terrestrial applications is challenging due to the wide variety and energy ranges of radiation particles.
Briefs: Connectivity
This device could pave the way to higher-bandwidth wireless communications.
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Briefs: Wearables
The fibers measure subtle and complex fabric deformations.
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Briefs: Medical
The flexible, stretchable sensor biodegrades into materials that are absorbed by the body.
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Briefs: Materials
This new approach is useful for building radiation shields via the Z-grading method, the process of layering metal materials with different atomic numbers to provide radiation protection for protons, electrons, and x-rays.
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Briefs: Medical
Since it is a chemical sensor instead of being enzyme-based, the new technology is robust, has a long shelf-life and can be tuned to detect lower glucose concentrations than current systems.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
The soft and stretchable device converts movement into electricity and can work in wet environments.
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Briefs: Materials
"The potential of harnessing the combined benefits of additive manufacturing and HEAs for achieving novel properties remains largely unexplored."
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
MIT researchers have developed a way of making even the most unlikely pairings of materials take on a desired level of wettability.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
The researchers created these sensing structures using just one material and a single run on a 3D printer.
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Briefs: Materials
The coating is customizable to individuals and requires less than 10 minutes to prepare and use.
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Briefs: Robotics, Automation & Control
Made from 3D graphene foam, the sensors use a piezoresistive approach, meaning when the material is put under pressure it dynamically changes its electric resistance, easily detecting and adapting to the range of pressure required, from light to heavy.
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