The materials of the future

Recently, The Guardian newspaper published a reflection on this subject in which, with the help of Mark Miodownik, materials scientist at University College London, in which they specify the five materials that will have a greater importance in the coming years .

Graphene: It is one of the materials that sounds the strongest as protagonists of the next decade. It was discovered by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom in 2004, a finding that led them to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. According to the researchers it is one of the finest, flexible, transparent materials, strong and with greater conductivity than they exist. Tomás Palacios, Telecommunications Engineer from UPM and director of the MIT Graphene and Two-dimensional Materials Center explains that “in a couple of years I think there will be quite advanced prototypes of mobile phones and flexible televisions made of graphene. There will also be a new generation of batteries that allow you to store a lot more energy and will be charged sooner. ”

Metamaterials: Based on the theory of invisible layers that speaks of the possibility of curving light around an object so that it seems invisible, researchers work on the creation of nanostructures that could have different applications, mainly in the field of defending.

The shrilk: This is a new material synthesized by researchers at Harvard University. Among its main advantages is the fact that it has a hardness equivalent to that of aluminum and the resistance of the cuticle of insects, two properties that together offer many possibilities for different industries. Its biodegradable and biocompatible character means that, so far, they explain in The Guardian, it has focused on medicine and the replacement of plastics in consumer products.

The spider web: It is another of the materials that monopolize a greater number of investigations, among them, those of some UPM research groups. The strength and elasticity of this material have led to its study in fields as different as the textile industry or medicine. Gustavo Guinea, Professor of Materials Science at the Center for Biomedical Technology at UPM, investigates with his team the possible applications of spider silk in the treatment of neuronal diseases. “We are demonstrating that silk can serve as a structural support for tissues obtained by in vitro cell culture and that it can help the regeneration of axons (the ‘wires’ that communicate neurons),” Guinea said.

The stanene: Although its existence has only been proven on the theoretical level, this material is already mentioned as one of the ones that will have more applications and importance in the future. Its characteristics, among which are its insulating capacity and superconductivity, make it a very well positioned element in the search for faster and smaller computers.

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