Volume 3 Issue 12, December 2004

Volume 3 Issue 12

Water pools that smoothen surface roughness are the reason for friction loss on wet roads.

Cover design by Karen Moore



Research News

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Supramolecular engineering using self-assembly aims to develop complex functional materials and devices. The fabrication of acentric organic films by physical vapour deposition for electro-optic applications illustrates the potential of such bio-inspired approaches.

    • Bernard Kippelen
  • News & Views |

    The spreading of metallic liquid drops on flat solid metal or ceramic substrates ranges from milliseconds — comparable to room-temperature spreading of water on glass — to hours. This varying timescale can be understood by what happens — or doesn't happen — at the foot of the drop where the liquid surface contacts the substrate.

    • Dominique Chatain
    •  & W. Craig Carter
  • News & Views |

    Magnetic random-access memory (MRAM) has been touted as a universal memory with a wide range of potential applications in portable computers, consumer electronics and wireless devices. The use of certain combinations of materials that can now be deposited as thin-film layers with excellent crystalline order provides a significantly larger signal in the devices, and is expected to help advance the commercialization of MRAM.

    • William H. Butler
    •  & Arunava Gupta
  • News & Views |

    Iron oxide-doped photonic crystals are a simple means to wrap fluid droplets and control their movement. But they are also clever because they can be 'bar-coded' and have in-built sensing capabilities, which makes them exceptional candidates for microfluidic devices.

    • Jillian M. Buriak
  • News & Views |

    Materials that exhibit both ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity could be useful, but they are unfortunately very rare. Could a new proposal for combining the two properties point the way forward?

    • Claude Ederer
    •  & Nicola A. Spaldin