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Top ten advances in materials science selected by Materials Today


What are the defining discoveries and great developments that are shaping the way we use materials and technologies today? Elsevier’s External link Materials Today magazine has compiled a list of the top ten most significant advances in materials science over the last 50 years.

The top ten includes advances that have altered all our daily lives. Some have completely changed the research arena, and others have opened up new possibilities and capabilities. They are:

1. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors
2. Scanning probe microscopes
3. Giant magnetoresistive effect
4. Semiconductor lasers and light-emitting diodes
5. National Nanotechnology Initiative
6. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics
7. Materials for Li ion batteries
8. Carbon nanotubes
9. Soft lithography
10. Metamaterials

Surprisingly, top of the list is not a research discovery, but a way of organizing research priorities and planning R&D. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) drives the incredible progress of the microelectronics industry by setting out goals for innovation and technology needs. A mixture of science, technology, and economics, it is hard to see how the ITRS could do better in driving forward advances in this area.

“I believe it is an appropriate first choice in our list,” says Jonathan Wood, editor of Materials Today. “Not only is electronics critical to our modern world, progress in semiconductor processing and advances in materials science have gone hand-in-hand for the last 50 years.”

Materials science studies what makes up our world – the metals, semiconductors, plastics we use to make all our devices, products, and technologies. It can be how to make smaller, faster transistors to give more powerful computers; understanding the electrical properties of polymers to produce cheap displays for cell phones; or analyzing how tissues in the body bond to medical implants.

“I want this list to be a celebration of the achievements of materials science,” says Wood. “Too often, this diverse, dynamic field gets squeezed out by the big boys of chemistry and physics. Yet it is crucial to so much of today’s world.”

About Materials Today
External link Materials Today is an international review magazine for researchers with an interest in materials science and technology. It reaches 20 000 researchers each month with coverage of fast-moving and emerging topics in advanced materials.

About Elsevier Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier’s 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as External link ScienceDirect, External link MD Consult, External link Scopus, bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

External link Elsevier is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of External link Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier’s ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media Contact:
Cordelia Sealy
Managing Editor, Materials Today
+44 1865 843139


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