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Nature

 •  October 4

As the Ineos Intrepid cruised slowly through the sapphire waters of Norway's Frierfjord, chaperone tugboats sprayed jets into the sky to herald her arrival. In giant refrigerated tanks below decks, the ship carried 27,500 cubic metres of liquid ethane — enough to fill 11 Olympic swimming pools. Intrepid also brought a message, painted in giant...

Nature

 •  August 26, 2016

Top Introduction Flexible or stretchable electronics are among the most attractive next-generation electronics in the foreseeable future owing to their various unprecedented possible applications,1, 2 such as in displays,3, 4 energy devices,5 wearable electronics,6, 7 augmented or virtual reality devices,8 smart living9 and automotive electronics...

Nature

 •  August 17, 2016

Hermann Staudinger was a pacifist, but this was one fight he was determined to win. In 1920, the German chemist proposed that polymers — a broad class of compounds that included rubber and cellulose — were made of long chains of identical small molecules linked by strong chemical bonds1. Most of his colleagues thought this was arrant nonsense, and...

Nature

 •  August 17, 2016

For many, plastic is a dirty word — a pollutant that can't degrade soon enough. But for polymer scientist Brenda Keneghan, it's a precious material that looms large in design history. A conservator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, Keneghan spends her days saving plastic items from furniture to toys from the ravages of time. Here...

Nature

 •  February 6, 2014

Physicists have produced nanoribbons of graphene — the single-atom-thick carbon — that conduct electrons better than theory predicted even for the most idealized form of the material. The finding could help graphene realize its promise in high-end electronics, where researchers have long hoped it could outperform traditional materials such as ...

Nature

 •  September 5, 2012

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you — you just watched a metal ball bounce off a sliver of jelly. But you wouldn’t put this jelly in a sherry trifle: it is a sophisticated hydrogel developed by Zhigang Suo, a materials engineer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues1.
A hydrogel is a network of polymers that soaks up lots ...

Nature

 •  June 14, 2012

An elite chemical club has a new member, after a team in Germany found a way to link two boron atoms together with a stable triple bond. Boron joins carbon and nitrogen as one of the few elements in the periodic table known to form stable compounds featuring triple bonds1.
Theory had predicted that such boron structures should be possible, says ...

Nature

 •  June 8, 2012

The pressurized, cylindrical chamber fits in the palm of Margaret Murnane’s hand. Yet out of one end of the device comes an X-ray beam that packs almost as much punch as the light generated by massive particle accelerators.
Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, both physicists at JILA in Boulder, Colorado, a joint institute of the University of Colorado and ...