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: Energy
An international research collaboration led by UCLA has developed a way to use perovskite in solar cells while protecting it from the conditions that cause it to deteriorate.
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Briefs: Energy
New Lithium-Ion Battery Cathode Offers Higher Stability
In a new study, a research team led by the University of California, Irvine, created and analyzed a material for a Li-ion cathode that uses no cobalt and is instead rich in nickel.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
Researchers have fabricated a novel device that could dramatically boost the conversion of heat into electricity. If perfected, the technology could help recoup some of the recoverable heat energy that is wasted in the U.S. at a rate of about $100 billion each year.
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Briefs: Energy
An Electric Vehicle Battery for All Seasons
Many EV owners worry about how effective their battery will be in very cold weather. To address that problem, a team of scientists developed a fluorine-containing electrolyte that performs well even in sub-zero temperatures.
Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Researchers in the Lyding Group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have discovered an efficient, sustainable method for 3D-printing single-walled carbon nanotube films, a versatile, durable material that can transform how we explore space, engineer aircraft, and wear electronic technology.
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Briefs: Materials
A Penn State-led team of researchers have created a new process to fabricate large perovskite devices that is more cost- and time-effective than previously possible — and may accelerate future materials discovery.
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Briefs: Packaging & Sterilization
Next-generation sutures can deliver drugs, prevent infections, and monitor wounds.
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Briefs: AR/AI
A new smart material is activated by both heat and electricity, making it the first ever to respond to two different stimuli. The work paves the way for a wide variety of potential applications, including clothing that warms up while you walk.
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Briefs: Photonics/Optics

A wavelength of visible light is about 1,000 times larger than an electron, so the way the two affect each other is limited by that disparity. Now, researchers have come up with a way to...

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Briefs: Materials
Bending 2D Nanomaterial Could Benefit Future Technologies
Rice University’s Boris Yakobson and collaborators uncovered a property of ferroelectric 2D materials that could be exploited as a feature in future devices.
Briefs: Semiconductors & ICs
There’s still more to explore with REFLEX, but this process could open new possibilities for new materials and microstructures across fields from electronics to optics to biomedical engineering.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
An international team of scientists is developing an inkable nanomaterial that they say could one day become a spray-on electronic component for ultra-thin, lightweight, and bendable displays and devices.
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Briefs: Nanotechnology
Researchers have demonstrated a caterpillar-like soft robot that can move forward, backward, and even dip under narrow spaces. Its movement is driven by a novel pattern of silver nanowires.
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Briefs: Communications
3D nanometer-scale metamaterial structures hold promise for advanced optical isolators.
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Briefs: Materials
The tiny motors mimic how rock climbers navigate inclines.
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Briefs: Materials
A research team at Hokkaido University has developed the first solid-state electrochemical thermal transistor. It's more stable than, and just as effective as, current liquid-state thermal transistors.
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Briefs: Power
Researchers have employed a novel technique to investigate and modulate electric double layer dynamics at the solid/solid electrolyte interface.
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Briefs: Energy
Researchers at Texas A&M University have discovered a 1,000 percent difference in the storage capacity of metal-free, water-based battery electrodes.
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Briefs: Power
TU Wien has developed an oxygen-ion battery that has some important advantages. Although it does not allow for quite as high energy densities as the Li-ion battery, its storage capacity does not decrease irrevocably over time.
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Briefs: Materials
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a conductive polymer coating – called HOS-PFM – that could enable longer lasting, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
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Briefs: Test & Measurement
NASA Ames Research Center has developed a novel technology that provides an autonomous, miniaturized fluidic system for lipid analysis.
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Briefs: Materials
The cellulose nanofiber coating counters bending damage and retains electrode function under water.
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Briefs: Electronics & Computers
Magnets generate invisible fields that attract certain materials. Far more important to our everyday lives, magnets also can store data in computers. Exploiting the direction of the magnetic field, microscopic bar magnets each can store one bit of memory as a zero or a one — the language of computers.
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Briefs: Internet of Things
Researchers from Japan and Singapore have developed a new 3D-printing process for the fabrication of 3D metal–plastic composite structures with complex shapes.
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Briefs: Manufacturing & Prototyping
Skoltech engineers have used a 3D printer to fabricate — and investigate the mechanical characteristics of — samples of bronze-steel alloys previously unknown to materials science.
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Briefs: Materials
Idaho National Laboratory has developed world-class capabilities to help industry design efficient SPS manufacturing processes. The lab’s newest addition makes it possible to manufacture new materials at industrially relevant scales.
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Briefs: Materials
The skin could help rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality by instantaneously adapting to a wearer's movements.
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Briefs: Manned Systems
A new thermal control coating material, developed for use as a coating or rigid tiles, reflects essentially all solar radiation in the space environment.
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Briefs: Energy
Researchers have been exploring how to turbocharge a passive cooling technique — known as radiative or sky cooling — with sun-blocking nanomaterials that emit heat away from building rooftops.
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