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: Materials
An open-access study in Advanced Science outlines the process by which Preston and lead author Faye Yap harnessed a spider’s physiology in a first step toward a novel area of research they call “necrobotics.”
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Briefs: Materials
Cubic boron arsenide provides high mobility to both electrons and holes, and it has excellent thermal conductivity. It is, according to the researchers, the best semiconductor material ever found.
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Briefs: Materials
The technology allows for higher surface conductivity, improved impedance control, expanded design and application potential, and greater choice of materials for optimized performance.
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Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The innovation opens the door for faster and more affordable at-home medical testing.
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Briefs: Materials
Adding a flexible backing to this kind of brain-computer interface allows the device to more evenly conform to the brain’s complex curved surface and to more uniformly distribute the microneedles that pierce the cortex.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
One common limitation of AM has been that produced articles cannot be recycled without substantial energy costs.
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Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
By incorporating a special type of plastic yarn and using heat to slightly melt it — a process called thermoforming — the researchers were able to greatly improve the precision of pressure sensors woven into multilayered knit textiles, which they call 3DKnITS.
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Briefs: Materials
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: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers formulated and synthesized the bio-inks, with the goal of creating create an ultra-soft, thin, and stretchable material for biosensors that is capable of seamlessly interfacing with the surface of organs.
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Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Energy Storage Materials Make Batteries More Efficient and Heat-Resistant
In redox flow batteries, the energy-storing components are dissolved in a solvent and can be stored at a decentralized location.
Briefs: Materials
This invention is a method of removing or adsorbing a target substance or material.
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Briefs: AR/AI
The system makes it possible to integrate data from prior experiments, and information based on personal observations by experienced workers, into the machine learning process.
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Briefs: Materials
Researchers have developed an inexpensive and eco-friendly steam generator to desalinate and purify water using sunlight.
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Briefs: Design
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the preferred technology for powering electric vehicles, but they’re too expensive for long-duration grid-scale energy storage systems.
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Briefs: Energy
In batteries, electrolyte is the circulating “blood” that keeps the energy flowing. The electrolyte forms by dissolving salts in solvents, resulting in charged ions that flow between the positive and negative electrodes.
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Briefs: Green Design & Manufacturing
Over the course of their research, the team discovered that these anthraquinones decompose slowly over time, regardless of how many times the battery has been used.
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Briefs: Materials
An experimental plant-based jet fuel could increase engine performance and efficiency, while dispensing with aromatics, the pollution-causing compounds found in conventional fuels.
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Briefs: Materials
Tests showed the metalens they made could focus its 197-nanometer output onto a spot measuring 1.7 microns in diameter, increasing the power density of the light output by 21 times.
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Briefs: Lighting
Plasmonics is a technology that essentially traps the energy of light in groups of electrons oscillating together on a metal surface.
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Briefs: Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Applications include a smart fabric for exoskeletons, an adaptive cast that adjusts its stiffness as an injury heals, or a deployable bridge that could be unrolled and stiffened.
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Briefs: Energy
A simple change to the surface of perovskite removes a barrier to its functionality.
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Briefs: Medical
Additional applications include defogging/defrosting, wearable devices, industrial heat systems, sensors, thermochromic displays, and microfluidic chips.
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Briefs: Energy
The material remains effective as an energy harvester or sensor at temperatures to well above 572°F.
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Briefs: Sensors/Data Acquisition
The process predicts when and where microscopic cracks will occur before they become catastrophic.
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Briefs: Energy
Hydrogen has emerged as an important carrier to store energy generated by renewable resources, as a substitute for fossil fuels used for transportation, in the production of ammonia, and for other industrial applications.
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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Researchers have discovered a single-molecule switch that can act like a transistor and store binary information such as the 1s and 0s used in classical computing. The molecule is around five...

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Briefs: Medical

Georgia Tech researchers have shown that robots about the size of a particle of dust are capable of precise bidirectional control. By harnessing the power of a magnetic field generated...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Computer processors have shrunk to nanometer scales over the years, with billions of transistors sitting on a single computer chip. While the increased number of transistors helps make...

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Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Engineers have added a new capability to electronic microchips: flight. About the size of a grain of sand, the new flying microchip (microflier) does not have a motor or engine. Instead, it...

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