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In many cases, national laboratories and research centres do great research. But with no common measure of performance and a lack of public awareness, do we fully recognise their value?
Focusing a laser on the dirt covering a precious work of art may seem like a dangerous thing to do, but this unexpected technique has found a variety of cleaning applications. Analogies from other fields of materials science can provide guidance for its use, and model experiments ensure it...
The Helmholtz Association is Germany's largest research institution and a major player in international science. Nature Materials talked to its president, Jürgen Mlynek, to learn more about the strategy and aims of the association.
Wall paint gives the best result if the surface is primed with an undercoat. The same concept, applied to biomaterials, yields successful fixation of implant and tissue integration.
The integration of electronics and clothing promises a variety of new technologies, but constructing electronic circuits on fabrics is complex. Coating fibres to create electrodes and forming transistors at their crossing points offers an elegant solution.
The thermoelectric properties of molecular junctions can now be investigated with scanning tunnelling microscopy. Such experiments provide insights into charge transport in single molecules, which is inaccessible to more standard transport techniques.
Carbon nanostructures in zero, one and two dimensions offer great potential in a broad range of applications. The most recent developments in the study of fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene were highlighted at a conference held in the Austrian Alps.
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