20 New Materials with Potential in the Future

The materials industry is the basic industry of the national economy, and new materials are the precursors of the development of the materials industry. Graphene, carbon nanotubes, amorphous alloys, foamed metals, ionic liquids … 20 new materials bring unlimited opportunities for the development of the materials industry.

Today, the scientific and technological revolution is developing rapidly, new material products are changing with each passing day, and the pace of industrial upgrading and material replacement is accelerating. New materials technology is integrated with nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. Structural and functional integration and functional materials are becoming more intelligent. The materials’ low-carbon, green, and recyclable environmentally friendly characteristics have attracted much attention.

Based on the research progress of domestic and foreign well-known research institutions and companies, scientific and technological media reviews, and industry hot spot research, this paper has selected 20 new materials. The following is the detailed information of the relevant materials (in no particular order).

1. Graphene

Graphene

Breakthrough:

Extraordinary electrical conductivity, extremely low resistivity, extremely low and extremely fast electron migration speed, tens of times strength and excellent light transmission over the steel.

Development Trend:

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics has made graphene hot in technology and capital markets in recent years. In the next 5 years, the use of graphene will grow explosively in the fields of photoelectric displays, semiconductors, touch screens, electronic devices, energy storage batteries, displays, sensors, semiconductors, aerospace, military, composite materials, and biomedicine.

Main research institutes (companies):

Graphene Technologies, Angstron Materials, Graphene Square, Forsman Technology, etc.

2. Aerogel

Aerogel

Breakthrough:

High porosity, low density, light weight, low thermal conductivity, excellent thermal insulation properties.

Development Trend:

New materials with great potential. They have great potential in the fields of energy conservation and environmental protection, heat insulation in electrical appliances, and construction.

Main research institutes (companies):

Fosman Technology, W.R. Grace, Fuji-Silysia, Japan, etc.

3. Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon Nanotubes

Breakthrough:

High electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity, high elastic modulus, high tensile strength, etc.

Development Trend:

Electrodes for functional devices, catalyst carriers, sensors, etc.

Main research institutes (companies):

Unidym, Inc., Toray Industries, Inc., Bayer Materials Science AG, Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. , Forsman Technology, Suzhou First Element, etc.

4. Fullerene

Fullerene

Breakthrough:

With linear and non-linear optical properties, alkali metal fullerene superconductivity, etc.

Development Trend:

The future has important prospects in the fields of life sciences, medicine, astrophysics, etc., and is expected to be used in photoelectric devices such as optical converters, signal conversions and data storage.

Main research institutes (companies):

Michigan State University, Xiamen Funa New Materials, etc.

5. Amorphous Alloy

Amorphous Alloy

Breakthrough:

High strength and toughness, excellent magnetic permeability and low magnetic loss as well as excellent liquid flow.

Development Trend:

Can be used in high-frequency low-loss transformers, structural parts of mobile terminal equipment, etc.

Main research institutes (companies):

Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, BYD, etc.

6. Metal Foam

Metal Foam

Breakthrough:

Light weight, low density, high porosity and large specific surface area.

Development Trend:

It has conductivity and can replace application fields where inorganic non-metallic materials cannot conduct electricity. It has great potential in the field of sound insulation and noise reduction.

Main research institutes (companies):

Alcan (Aluminum Association,USA), Rio Tinto, Symat, Norsk Hydro, etc.

7. Ionic Liquid

Ionic Liquid

Breakthrough:

With high thermal stability, wide liquid temperature range, adjustable acid and alkali, polarity, coordination ability and etc.

Development Trend:

It has broad application prospects in the field of green chemical industry, as well as biology and catalysis.

Main research institutes (companies):

Solvent Innovation, BASF, Lanzhou Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tongji University, etc.

8. Nanocellulose

Nanocellulose

Breakthrough:

It has good biocompatibility, water holding capacity, and wide range of pH stability. It also has a nano-network structure and high mechanical properties.

Development Trend:

It has great prospects in biomedicine, enhancer, paper industry, purification, conductive and inorganic compound food as well as industrial magnetic compound.

Main research institutes (companies):

Cellu Force (Canada), US Forest Service, Innventia (Sweden), etc.

9. Namometer Perocakite

Namometer Perocakite

Breakthrough:

Namometer perocakite has giant magneto-resistance, high ionic conductivity, and plays a catalytic role in the precipitation and reduction of oxygen.

Development Trend:

It will has huge potential in the fields of catalysis, storage, sensors, and light absorption in the future.

Main research institutes (companies):

Epry, AlfaAesar, etc.

10. 3D Printing Materials

3D Printing Materials

Breakthrough:

Changing the traditional industrial processing methods can quickly achieve the formation of complex structures.

Development Trend:

The revolutionary molding method has great prospects in the field of complex structure molding and rapid processing molding.

Main research institutes (companies):

Object, 3DSystems, Stratasys, Huashu Hi-Tech, etc.

11. Flexible Glass

Flexible Glass

Breakthrough:

It changes the rigid and fragile characteristics of traditional glass and realizes the revolutionary innovation of glass flexibility.

Development Trend:

The prospect will be huge in the field of future flexible displays and foldable devices.

Main research institutes (companies):

Corning, Germany SCHOTT, etc.

12. Self-assembling (self-repairing) Materials

Self-assembling (self-repairing) Materials

Breakthrough:

The self-assembly of material molecules will realize the “intelligence” of the material itself. Changing the previous method of material preparation to realize the material to form a certain shape and structure spontaneously.

Development Trend:

Changing traditional materials preparation and materials repair methods has great prospects in the fields of molecular devices, surface engineering and nanotechnology.

Main research institutes (companies):

Harvard University, etc.

13. Biodegradable Plastics

Biodegradable Plastics

Breakthrough:

Plastics can be naturally degraded and the raw materials come from renewable resources which changing the traditional plastics’ dependence on fossil resources such as oil, natural gas and coal, and also reducing environmental pollution.

Development Trend:

It will replace traditional plastics in the future and has great prospects.

Main research institutes (companies):

Natureworks, Basf, Kaneka, etc.

14. Titanium Carbon Composites

Titanium Carbon Composites

Breakthrough:

These kind of materials have high strength, low density, and excellent corrosion resistance. And also have unlimited prospects in aviation and civil fields.

Development Trend:

In the future, the materials will have a wide range of potential applications in light weight, high strength, and corrosion resistance.

Main research institutes (companies):

Harbin Institute of Technology.

15. Metamaterials

Metamaterials

Breakthrough:

It has physical properties that conventional materials do not have, such as negative permeability and negative permittivity.

Development Trend:

It has changed the traditional concept of processing according to the nature of the material. In the future, the characteristics of materials can be designed according to needs, and the potential will be infinite and revolutionary.

Main research institutes (companies):

Boeing, Kymeta, Shenzhen Guangqi Research Institute, etc.

16. Superconducting Material

Superconducting Material

Breakthrough:

In the superconducting state, the material has zero resistance, no current loss, and the material exhibits anti-magnetic properties in a magnetic field.

Development Trend:

If the high-temperature superconducting technology has been broken through in the future, it is expected to solve the problems of power transmission loss, heating of electronic devices, and new green transmission magnetic suspension technology.

Main research institutes (companies):

Sumitomo Japan, Bruker Germany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc.

17. Shape Memory Alloy

Shape Memory Alloy

Breakthrough:

After pre-forming, after being forced to deform by external conditions, it is then processed under certain conditions and restored to its original shape to realize the design and application of the material’s reversible deformation.

Development Trend:

It has great potential in space technology, medical equipment, mechano-electronic equipment and other fields.

Main research institutes (companies):

Youyan New materials, etc.

18. Magnetostrictive Material

Magnetostrictive Material

Breakthrough:

Under the action of magnetic field, it can produce elongation or compression performance, and realize the interaction between material deformation and magnetic field.

Development Trend:

It is widely used in intelligent structural devices, shock absorption devices, energy conversion structures, high-precision motors and other fields, and has better performance than piezoelectric ceramics under some conditions.

Main research institutes (companies):

ETREMA, American, British Rare Earth Products Company, Japan Sumitomo Light Metal Company, etc.

19. Magnetic (Electric) Fluid Materials

Magnetic (Electric) Fluid Materials

Breakthrough:

Liquid state, combining the magnetic properties of solid magnetic materials and the fluidity of liquids. It has characteristics and applications that traditional magnetic bulk materials do not have.

Development Trend:

It is used in the fields of magnetic seal, magnetic refrigeration, magnetic heat pump, etc., and changes the traditional sealed refrigeration and other methods.

Main research institutes (companies):

American ATA Applied Technology Corporation, Japan Panasonic, etc.

20. Intelligent Polymer Gel

Intelligent Polymer Gel

Breakthrough:

It can sense and respond to changes in the surrounding environment, and has similar biological response characteristics.

Development Trend:

The expansion-contraction cycle of smart polymer gel can be used for chemical valves, adsorption separation, sensors and memory materials. The power provided by the cycle is used to design the “chemical engine”. The controllability of the mesh is suitable for intelligent drug release systems and etc.

Main research institutes (companies):

American and Japanese universities.

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