Using New Concepts in Nanoscience to Develop New Materials

Xiang Zhang
2020 Modern Concepts in Material Science  
Opinion The foundation of material science has always been largely rooted in chemistry and the elements of periodic table, many of which have not yet been completely studied and whose full potential has still not been determined. In fact, it is possible to view material science not as "a" science in and of itself, but rather a combination of multiple scientific disciplines, including chemistry, physics and mechanics. The science of materials chemistry is closely associated with chemical
more » ... es which vary in scale, with small scale atomic, nanometer and micrometer structures typically having greater importance. When studying the characteristics of a new structure including its associated chemical, physical, mechanical properties etc. understanding these properties at multiple scales from atomic, up to micrometer is very important in determining the material's range of functionalities. Completing this research and examining the outcomes greatly improves the ease and successfulness of new material applications and this remains true whether you are working with inorganic materials, organic materials or hybrids of the two. In my opinion, future developments in material science should aim to cross the border of inorganic and organic science, focusing instead on the study of the properties of atomic-micro scale material structures rather than following well established standards, such as ISOs for materials, all at macroscales. Where should we be looking to in 2020 and beyond? In order to move materials science into new territory material scientists should be thinking about materials in a new way: Size matters and study of material structures begin at the atomic level [1]. Accurately establishing the relationship between material nanostructures (starting at the atomic level) and their properties should be of utmost importance. While the term "Nanotechnology" has become extremely prevalent in the past few decades and is associated with its own branch of technological development, "Nanoscience" in general has seen far less use. Material structures and properties from the atomic to micro scales are generally still poorly investigated and understood, which has become a bottleneck for not only material science, but also technological development and engineering in general. For the remainder of this piece I will aim to provide examples where understanding of nanostructures has contributed to the development of new materials with novel applications. In the area of metals and alloy materials, controlled study of lower end nanostructures with the aid of computational modelling and engineered realization of controlled nanostructures could create entirely new classes of metallic materials. For example, highentropy nanostructure alloys consisting of five or more elements have considerable development prospects in the next decade [2]. This class of materials offers a range of possibilities for overcoming problems associated with traditional alloys. In the area of composites, my personal area of expertise, future developments will likely involve innovations in both the design and development of nanostructured composites. For example, we are currently developing a high load-bearing polymer-based hybrid that contains both inorganic and organic constituents. The new nanocomposites will have the potential to become a new generation of implantable medical devices, usable in humans as permanent hip and knees implants. These new nanohybrids have improved biochemical, physiological and, most importantly, mechanical compatibility in comparison to many materials currently being used for knee and hip implants, such as metal,
doi:10.33552/mcms.2020.02.000547 fatcat:yxkbp2utfzdgnfodeyzq5eytge