.
AI_133px.jpg
ai
Artificial Intelligence
.
biotech
biotech
Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology
.
cryptography
crypto
Cryptography
.
neuroscience
neuroscience
Neuroscience
.
nuclear
nuclear
Nuclear Technologies
.
robotics
robotics
Robotics
.
semiconductor
semiconductors
Semiconductors
.
space
space
Space
.
Sustainable-Energy-Technologies_133px.jpg
energy
Sustainable Energy Technologies

KEY TAKEAWAYS

•  Materials science is a foundational technology that underlies advances in many fields, including robotics, space, energy, and synthetic biology. 

•  Materials science will exploit AI as another promising tool to predict new materials with tailored properties and identify novel uses for known materials.

•  The structure of funding in materials science does not effectively enable transition from innovation to implementation. Materials-based technology that has been thoroughly tested at the bench scale may be too mature to qualify for basic research funding (because the high-level fundamental science is understood) but not mature enough to be directly commercialized by companies.

Icons_card_Nano.png

Overview

Broadly speaking, materials science and engineering research focuses on four major areas. The first is characterizing the properties of materials to derive a material structure-property relationship. The second is modeling materials, which involves predicting material properties based on atomistic principles. The third is establishing synthesis methods of materials to attain specific properties as predicted. The fourth area is manufacturing and processing materials with well-characterized properties in sufficient quantities for practical applications.

An aspiration, which remains a long way off, is to be able to create materials on demand by specification—put in a request for a material with properties X, Y and Z, and a 3-D printer produces it for you.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS
 
  • Biomedical applications include wearable electronic devices, or “e-skin,” that can sense stimuli and encode these stimuli into processable electrical signals. 
  • Novel, recyclable plastics are easier to break down.
  • More efficient, powerful, and long-lasting batteries are crucial for solar and wind energy storage and for transportation. 
  • Additive manufacturing, continued scale-up of 3-D printing, including with novel applications such as printing with multiple materials at once, and smaller feature sizes are on tap.
  • Nanotechnology studies how properties of nanoscale materials—including their electronic, optical, magnetic, thermal, and mechanical properties—differ from the same materials in bulk form.
  • Quantum dots are spherical nanocrystals that emit light and are newly used in television displays. They are a model example of variable material properties due to scale as their optoelectronic properties differ from those of the same bulk material. They can be used in medical imaging, solar cells, chemical and biological detection sensors, and anticounterfeiting measures.
  • Drug delivery via injection can be precisely controlled over the course of months by embedding the drug within a nanoengineered material. The efficacy of insulin, for example, can be improved through this research.
  • Vaccine stabilization by lipid nanoparticle vectors, notably of mRNA vaccines, can protect payloads from degradation. 
  • 2-D semiconductors, including graphene, carbon nanotubes, and single-layer chalcogenides, could be embedded within high-tech electronic devices to increase energy efficiency.

 

Over the Horizon

  • Low-carbon steel and cement production needs further research to make it economically competitive with traditional methods of production, which are extremely carbon-intensive, contributing to 8 percent of CO2 emissions.
  • Toxicity and environmental issues may stem from the small size of nanoparticles. Because engineered nanoparticles are, by definition, new to the natural environment, they pose unknown dangers to humans and the environment. Policy will be particularly important in shaping responsible end-of-life solutions for products incorporating nanomaterials.
  • Support for an advanced workforce should address the significant portion of academic researchers who are PhD students and professors who have immigrated to the United States to seek better educational and research opportunities. It is crucial to establish a better pathway to permanent residence upon graduation for doctoral students on student visas so that the United States does not lose highly trained workers. The United States and universities invest heavily in the education of STEM graduate students, and it would be wise to find a path to allow these scientists and engineers to work and live in the country permanently.
  • Regarding foreign collaboration and competition, policy ambiguity can inadvertently hinder innovation by creating obstacles for non-US researchers wishing to contribute to work in the United States and by deterring international collaborations. Clarification of these policies is urgently needed, particularly distinguishing between fundamental research and export-controlled research. 

 

Report Preview: Materials Science

Faculty Council Advisor

zhenan-bao_profilephoto.jpg
Zhenan Bao
Author
Zhenan Bao

Zhenan Bao is the K. K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of chemistry and materials science and engineering at Stanford University. She has close to seven hundred referred publications and more than eighty US patents. Her current research focuses on organic electronics, including skin-inspired materials, dynamic energy storage, and recyclable, re-processable materials. She received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

View Bio
zhenan-bao_profilephoto.jpg
Zhenan Bao

Zhenan Bao is the K. K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of chemistry and materials science and engineering at Stanford University. She has close to seven hundred referred publications and more than eighty US patents. Her current research focuses on organic electronics, including skin-inspired materials, dynamic energy storage, and recyclable, re-processable materials. She received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

Access the Complete Report

Read the complete report.

Explore

Date Range
CONTENT TYPE

Select Content Type

  • News
  • Article
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Events
AUTHORS

Select Author

  • Condoleezza Rice
  • John Taylor
  • Jennifer Widom
  • Amy Zegart
  • Herbert Lin
  • Hon. Jerry McNerney
  • Hon. Robert Gates
  • Hon. Steven Chu
  • Hon. Susan M. Gordon
  • John Hennessy
  • Lloyd B. Minor
  • Mary Meeker
  • Peter Scher
  • Thomas M. Siebel
  • Zhenan Bao
  • Dan Boneh
  • Yi Cui
  • Simone D’Amico
  • Drew Endy
  • Siegfried Glenzer
  • Mark A. Horowitz
  • Fei-Fei Li
  • Allison Okamura
  • Kang Shen
  • Eric Schmidt
FOCUS AREAS

Materials Science

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biotechnology Synthetic Biology
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies
  • Cryptography
  • Materials Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Nuclear Technologies
  • Robotics
  • Semiconductors
  • Space
  • Technology Test Page
Date (field_date)
Read More
Space
Article
Books
A Deeper Dive into Space

Stanford University experts survey the aeronautics and astronautics research landscape on campus, covering topics including multisatellite autonomy; in-space logistics, servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM); space sustainability; spacecraft systems and…

June 17, 2024 by Herbert Lin, Simone D’Amico
Read More
Semiconductor Day at the Hoover Institution
News
Books
Experts, Diplomats, and Industry Representatives Discuss US Semiconductor Future after Passage of CHIPS Act

As dollars from the CHIPS and Science Act flow to strengthen the US semiconductor industry, senior leaders from the US government, industry, academia, and international partners met at the Hoover Institution to discuss current challenges and the field’s next…

June 13, 2024
Read More
SETR_CongressionalFellowship
News
Books
Stanford Emerging Technology Review Congressional Fellowship Program

The Hoover Institution and Stanford School of Engineering appreciate the important role of Congressional staff as they advise Members on the critically important policy issues that routinely come before Congress.

March 21, 2024
Read More
Space Innovation Roundtable
News
Books
Senior Leaders in Government, Industry, and Academia Convene for Discussions on Space Innovation and Commercial Integration
March 08, 2024
Read More
Artificial Intelligence
News
Books
US Wants Cloud Firms to Report Foreign Users Building AI

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her department is exploring how to force cloud companies to disclose when a foreigner taps their computing power to fuel artificial intelligence applications, signaling the next phase of the tech war between Washington…

January 26, 2024
Read More
artificial intelligence
News
Books
Raimondo considers cloud reporting rules for foreign AI developers

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Friday that she is considering requiring cloud server providers to report details on whether foreign users are developing artificial intelligence models, an extension of the Biden administration’s efforts to institute AI…

January 29, 2024
Read More
artificial intelligence
News
Books
OpenAI and Other Tech Giants Will Have to Warn the US Government When They Start New AI Projects

The Biden administration is using the Defense Production Act to require companies to inform the Commerce Department when they start training high-powered AI algorithms.

January 26, 2024 by Condoleezza Rice, Fei-Fei Li
Read More
technologyiStock-1328282379
Videos
Books
Commerce Secretary and Others on AI and Innovation

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Stanford University computer scientist Fei-Fei Li discussed artificial intelligence and technological innovation at an event hosted by the Hoover Institution in Washington, DC.…

January 26, 2024 by Condoleezza Rice, Fei-Fei Li
Read More
SETR
News
Books
Stanford Emerging Technology Review Launches in Washington DC

Contributor scholars, Stanford engineers all, of the Stanford Emerging Technology Review brought their insights to the nation’s capital last week, launching the initiative with events in the nation’s capital.

January 29, 2024
Read More
technologyiStock-1328282379
Events
Books
A Conversation On The State Of Scientific And Technological Innovation

The U.S. Department of Commerce, together with the Hoover Institution and Stanford School of Engineering, invite you to a conversation on the state of scientific and technological innovation and the launch of Stanford Emerging Technology Review at JP Morgan…

January 26, 2024

You May Also Like

.
Artificial Intelligence
Stanford aims to help policy makers prepare for AI, robotics and more
.
Artificial Intelligence
Stanford launches emerging-tech project co-led by Hoover Institution’s Condoleezza Rice
.
Hoover research fellow Herbert Lin, the director and editor-in-chief of the Stanford Emerging Technology Review explains that advancements in a single field of emerging technology leads to advancements in others.
Hoover Institution and School of Engineering launch emerging technology review
.
Drone
Technology Applications By Policy Area
.
Globe
Cross-Cutting Themes
.
Stanford
Executive Summary
.
Binary
Foreword
overlay image