The path to future robotics is paved with materials

There has been a notable trend in storytelling toward the redemption of beings that were once considered purely evil. In fantasy, for example, dragons have evolved from simple, violent animals into noble beasts, often of near- or above-human intellect, who act as helpers of humanity or as heroes in their own right. In science fiction, we’ve seen a similar shift in the purpose and personality of robotic characters. In her article in the April 2019 issue of MRS Bulletin, Hortense Le Ferrand, recipient of the 2018 MRS Bulletin Postdoctoral Publication Prize, connects the emergence of benevolent robots to “the use of soft materials, characterized by conformability, colors, and constant adaptation to the environment.”

Energy storage in the Midwest and beyond: A timely analysis

As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an update to last year’s order on energy storage, MRS Energy & Sustainability publishes a timely collection of papers that unpack the issue of energy storage in the Midwest and beyond. Last February, FERC unanimously approved a landmark order in the fast-developing field of energy storage. FERC Order 841 directed grid operators across the US to develop market rules for energy storage to participate in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets by treating storage as a generation resource.

Dr Tom Crawford speaks to past winners of the Batchelor Prize

With the nomination period for the 2020 Batchelor Prize coming to a close at the end of the month (31st May 2019), Dr Tom Crawford spoke to the previous winners to find out more about the legacy of the award.

2018 JMR Paper of the Year: 3D-printed micro-trusses point the way toward stronger high-temperature ceramics

Congratulations to Huachen Cui, Ryan Hensleigh, Hongshun Chen and Xiaoyu Zheng of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for their article, Additive Manufacturing and size-dependent mechanical properties of three-dimensional microarchitected, high-temperature ceramic metamaterials (published February 14, 2018 in Volume 33, Issue 3 (Focus Issue on Architected Materials).

Frontiers of plasma-enabled materials processing and devices

Plasma-based synthesis and processing is an important technique for fabricating and functionalizing novel and technologically-useful materials at different length scales. Plasmas enable reactions and interactions that are otherwise impossible to achieve with conventional methods (e.g.…

Journal of Materials Research looks to the future of materials science research

The Journal of Materials Research just celebrated a third of a century of publication, presenting the best of materials research since 1986. Since the beginning of the journal, the materials field has seen major developments, including the discovery of graphene, high Tc superconductors, nanoscience, high entropy alloys, and much more. Perusal of the most cited papers demonstrates that JMR authors have contributed to major materials revolutions, including nanoindentation, sol gel science, diamond synthesis, polymer particle nanocomposites, biomaterials, and advanced characterization tools.

MRS Advances Editor’s Choice for Free Access

MRS Advances is community driven, basing our special issue topics on feedback from the community that participates in the Materials Research Society meetings. We look to Society members to propose topics that matter to their materials field and apply a spotlight on a particular aspect of materials research that is tied to a community of scholars who publish, present, and share their results with one another.

Call for Papers: Early Career Scholars in Materials Science 2020

Journal of Materials Research (JMR) publishes an Annual Issue that is devoted to early career scholars in Materials Science. The Issue invites full length research and review articles by materials researchers, who have completed their Ph.D but not yet achieved full professorship, or senior scientist, at the time of submission.  It also provides a unique opportunity to be highlighted and promoted early in one’s research career and in order to increase attention to these papers, the issue is fully open access.

Laser-fabricated crystals in glass are ferroelectric, could power next-generation communication systems

A team of researchers from Lehigh University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lebanon Valley College and Corning Inc. has demonstrated, for the first time, that crystals manufactured by lasers within a glass matrix maintain full ferroelectric functionality.

Meet the editors! A Q&A with the series editors of Cambridge Elements in Flexible and Large-Area Electronics: Professor Luigi Occhipinti and Professor Ravinder Dahiya.

1. What do you think is distinctive about Cambridge Elements in Flexible and Large-Area Electronics? A distinctive feature of our Cambridge Elements series is that it allows both experts, as well as newcomers in the field to have access to exhaustive, self-contained and up-to-date information about topics that are highly relevant to the growing field of flexible and large-area electronics. Each Element is written by highly-reputed authors and world-leading scientists.…

Large-scale battery storage: Challenges and opportunities for technology and policy

Could a large-enough battery cushion the swings in wind and solar power? And can renewable energy be trusted, or are we just seeing technical challenges to implementation? In a recent review article published in MRS Energy & Sustainability, energy experts weigh in on these questions and consider the challenges and opportunities for technology and policy in relation to large-scale battery storage. The article also addresses a fascinating case study from South Australia, which currently houses the world's biggest battery.

Gold nanoparticle—liquid crystal thin film shows off photonic and plasmonic flipping

We are pleased to announce the 2019 MRS Communications Lecture award for excellence in the field of materials research through work published in MRS Communications.