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For Markets Of The Future, Success Depends On Advanced Materials

a future of material science
San Jose - Mar 19, 2003
Advanced materials look set to revolutionize numerous applications in the 21st century. Scientists and engineers are undertaking extensive research activities in their quest to develop sophisticated new materials that are more durable, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient.

"Advanced materials and chemicals are the enabling building blocks for future devices and systems," says Technical Insights Analyst Aninditta Savitry.

Emerging photonic materials have abundant potential applications in present and future information- and image-processing technologies. Sustained research in porous materials such as zeolites and synthetic zeolites over the past decade has expanded their applications beyond traditional catalysts, separations, and absorbents to include areas as diverse as microelectronics and medical diagnosis.

Scientists are on the verge of achieving a breakthrough with versatile materials such as inorganic nanoparticle/polymer matrix composites, which combine the advantages of different materials to achieve a much-desired multifunctionality.

Critical applications for biopolymers in packaging and food production, combined with the unique properties of these materials, promise new commercial opportunities.

Adds Savitry, "The expanding market for biodegradable polymers - especially in the medical and pharmaceutical industries - is only restrained by relatively high production costs."

Research laboratories are attempting to make these superior materials affordable.

In addition, researchers are currently developing and exploring innovative applications, including the use of biorubber in engineering blood vessels, heart valves, liver, and cartilage. Although not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they are optimistic about its success.

Despite high production costs for advanced materials, the sustained efforts of laboratories and start-up companies, aided by government agencies, is helping them reach commercialization and utilization in real-world applications.

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New NIST device may be the answer One can broadly consider mixing as a process by which individual components in a container are made homogeneous, such as blending whipped cream and chocolate to make cake filling.

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