Hi I’m eleanor.
By the way I work at the imperial college in london let me share screen and I hope you all enjoy my background and what do I do there there I am a teaching fellow in materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research which means that I teach undergraduate students and I’m also head of outreach within my department so today I would really like to tell you why material science is awesome and why I think about that all the time.
What is so special about material science?
I think it’s a fantastic beautiful discipline that I have started to love from since I got to know that it even existed because not many people know that it’s even a discipline so let’s get cracking onto it so who am I am a person like anyone really I was a kid I love cream as you can see from my pictures from before and after whipped cream with sugar I love singing and I don’t love dancing I’m really bad at it and I used to be in a choir with a group of my fantastic friends who became my best friends nowadays I love drawings as well so I was not born a scientist and do not think that I used to be a scientist when I was a kid I am just a really normal human being how do they get to do material science and why there is toothpaste over there uh well that’s the question that my mom would ask me 24 7 pretty much when I was a kid I used to be one of those kids that would put together all of the different materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research from the house so you would have toothpaste plus oil plus flour plus hair wash and I would just wonder what was that gonna become and what was that gonna be the answer was always nothing particular and the answer mostly was just my mom getting really angry at me for messing up the house but I guess this is a really normal and common thing to do for kids which didn’t have an iphone at that time so yeah this is what I used to do and then growing up I slowly started learning a bit more about material science not knowing that it was a discipline still so I saw some fantastic materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research one of this was this beautiful material which is called a ferrofluid which is a suspension of iron particles within a an oil an oily suspension and that means that it gets attracted by magnetic fields and it creates these fabulous shapes uh which move around it’s glorious and that was the first one of the first things that I bought with my with my own money and I was just really happy to be playing with it what did I do after that I started to study it I did an undergraduate degree in material science and then I went for a master’s at imperial college where I graduated and then I did a phd as well in pure college I seem to never want to leave imperial college apparently but it’s a really fun place to study and work and now I’m there now I’m just teaching there 24 7 pretty much that’s never a break but let’s get on to what material science is actually and why we’re all here to discuss about it so first things first material science is what I imagine you all have heard of materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are all around us material science means the science of stuff it’s literally everything that is around us from your phone to your water bottle to your mouse mat I’m literally just naming stuff that is around me everything is made of materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research and if you think about it everything has been made and developed by material scientists in a way or another whether they were engineers or product developers they were all doing material science in particular there will be loads of applications that you might have seen what do we do we work in aerospace we work in automotive in nuclear in biomedical we do materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research for sports so that they become light strong resistant we develop musical instruments to increase the acoustic for example of guitars and we choose the precise materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that would work on that we work in the biomedical field where we create prosthesis that can go into your body without being rejected by your body and we work to make lighter and stronger aircrafts these are only some of the things that we do and today I would like to just give you a few examples of what we actually play with most of the times or that’s what I play with most of times so that you can get a bit of a better idea of what material scientists actually do so a few examples one of the first examples that I find always so much fun is a friend of mine actually was working at the synchrotron which is a particle accelerator that is based in dipcot not far from oxford and in this environment he was paid loads of money to study chocolate you would not believe that I didn’t believe that until I heard that so he did this whole studies for four years of his phd on chocolate and he was just studying the structure at the atomic level and at the nanostructure level to understand how chocolate melts so he was being paid by mars uh the mars company not the mars planet the chocolate company and he was studying at a high degree how the crystals so you can see this formation of these white and black kind of formations around this picture this is a high magnification high resolution of chocolate and you can see that there’s these weird alignments these are all chocolate crystals made of either fat or chocolate itself and the amount so the size of these chocolate crystals the dispersion of the the length of them is what actually gives chocolate a particular flavor so they found out by the end of it that if you can manipulate how these crystals can form within each other can melt together and the type of shape that they take actually means that the chocolate could melt more easily within your mouth or you could have a better or worse flavor and that’s what they were trying to study they tried four years studying chocolate that was incredible another amazing thing that they’ve done in etsy imperial again so this was a friend of mine again he’s now a senior lecturer at a university in london who’s working and was working studying dinosaurs so he worked in collaboration with the natural history museum that provided him with some heart cells from dinosaurs and they were literally looking at how in high resolution in optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy which is a technique that allows you to see things that are very very very small he was studying how these cells the heart cells within the dinosaurs were actually disposed and he published so many papers on dinosaurs again another incredible thing that you wouldn’t think material scientists would end up studying but yeah another fun example that I always love talking about is smart fabrics now smart fabrics are a thing that has been developed much more recently and it’s something that falls into the category of smart materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research which we’ll talk about for a bit because I that’s my discipline that’s what I love doing anything that is smart materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research really fascinates me and I just enjoy the the fun of all of these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that I will show you today so smart fabrics can be fabrics that can adapt to your own body they can for example change shape or change with your heat and therefore being able to regulate how hot or how cold you are and some fabrics at the moment they’re being interfaced with particular tissues and with particular electronics so that for example deaf people could be able to hear music for the first time by just releasing some waves within your body in particular places that allow you to be in a concert hall and actually be able to feel the music on yourself rather than needing to hear it so this is one of the greatest advances of material science you can help so many people with the research that you can do in these fields the other thing is butterflies and seashells you will be like why would we even need to study butterfly and seashells because they’re pretty actually yes the reason why they are so pretty and so colorful it’s due to a very particular microstructure that they have so the they might look so shiny and pretty and this is only because of a very very fine structure that these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research have so if you look at the structure in this slide you can see that all of these two different materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are formed in this kind of very very small channels which will be micro channels they interact with light in a very precise way this will give it an iridescent color which will be what changes when you’re putting it into the light or outside of the light so one of the things that I wanted to show you to prove that this is actually the case I might just stop sharing so that you can see me better what I wanted to show is I have got here two butterfly wings so this doesn’t actually happen with every butterfly ever so we’ve got these two butterfly wings I hope you can all see them properly this will be of two different colors the blue one and the orange one the effect that I wanted to discuss with you happens exclusively in blue butterflies and why is that the case so the blue butterflies are actually the only ones that have this particular microstructure and we can demonstrate that by showing that their color is exclusively due to their structure.
How do we do that so I have got here some alcohol which I’m gonna take a tiny drop off I’m hoping I’m not gonna drop alcohol everywhere on my desk so I’m just gonna grab a couple of drops of alcohol if I do manage to now we come and what I want to show you is that if we drop a drop of alcohol on there the color will disappear and it will not disappear if I put it on the orange butterfly so you can see that the moment I drop some alcohol here the butterfly will become black and why is that this is happening because the alcohol is capable of infiltrating through the those very very small tiny channels that the butterfly has and therefore completely hiding and masking its color the good thing is that once this is gonna get dried and the alcohol evaporates this is going to get back to its original color because I haven’t actually affected the pigment it doesn’t the butterfly doesn’t have a pigment on itself it has only these micro small channels that will change color because of the structure of it so how can we as material scientists can take advantage of it what do we do with it basically well we have been using it for particular light diffraction techniques one of the ones that we can do is we can then take inspiration from nature and create a material that would do similar things for example I have this piece of plastic which hopefully you’ll be able to see how beautifully bifringent it is so how it can just show incredible colors and this is all created by having a very small micro pattern onto it even though you cannot feel it you cannot see it at the naked eye you can see that it creates these beautiful colors and this is all due to a very fine microstructure that scientists have been able to create which very very closely mimics I’m going to share the screen again which very closely mimics the shape of butterflies there we go so this is exactly the shape that we’re recreating with that particular material and that’s incredible it’s just such a nice thing to be able to go into a natural material and then transform it and take it and use it for your own applications after that another fun example is which you’ve probably heard of because it’s been used so much is super light materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research like aerogels now air gels are extraordinarily expensive even though they are literally the lightest materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research on earth on this part of the slide you can see this is an aerodyne which is made by silica so it’s kind of a glass however the way that it works is that by creating the highest amount of porosity ever so you’re creating loads of mini bubbles and holes within this whole structure you’re making it extraordinarily light and you’re also making it extremely good thermal insulation so you can see that this guy crazy enough has got his end on top of this slice of aerodyl and it’s got a flamethrower under it which is probably not a flamethrower but he’s got an active flame under it which is gonna be hot and you can leave your hand on top of this material for as long as you want you’re not going to get burnt and this is due to the very very fine structure that you have in these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research and you can make them of different materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research for example the one on the right hand side is a graphene foam and this graphene foam is again extra light and it’s incredibly good at conductive conducting electricity and it has been used for sensing skin for example or it’s been used in aerospace applications as well these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are all things that we can develop and study within material science by tailoring and fine-tuning the microstructure that we can get from a simple material like glass or from a more complicated material like graphene so another example.
Ah this is one of the examples that I love the most I’ve done my most of my works on this these are self-healing materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research I you probably some of you will have heard of them.
These materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are incredible they are capable of literally reforming once you’ve broken them so you can take a material you can cut them apart you just join them back together and they will reform immediately well immediately they might take a bit of time but that time would be like one to two hours and to give you an example of these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research for example we’ve got silly party which some of you might have heard of also called ooh black maybe I think you call it oobleck so silly but itself you you know it because it’s fun because it bounces because it’s just this squishy and it’s extraordinarily like malleable material however if you cut it in half and then you put it together even just for a second it will it will be able to reform really really quickly and this is due to the bonds to the chemical bonds that are inside this material and you can see that it’s reforming this very very fine bonds and this is literally due to a particular bond formation at the molecular level these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research so you didn’t know but a lot of materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that you’ve been playing with are self-feeling clearly these are very this is a very light material it’s not very strong but what you can do is can make materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that are way way stronger than that like the one in that particular slide or another one that I have here which is similar to the material on that side and is where it’s at is this material here for example so this is a similar thing it’s still a selfie material this has been cut once if you can see it at that in that small part it’s been joined again and now you can’t really separate it anymore so you can make materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research which are very strong but self-feeling again so imagine the fabulous potential that these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research will have once you use them for fabrics once you use them for armor once you use them for materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research where you don’t need to go there and fix everything so this is extremely useful for a circular economy for example where you can reuse your materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research rather than just throw them in the bin and these are a fabulous example of that another thing and another smart material that I’ve been working on a lot are shape-changing materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research so this is probably some of you will see in this again this is a particular metal which is called nitinol and in this case from the video you can see that this metal has been shaped into a spring however if you can place it in hot water really really quickly it will go back to its initial shape and let me show this to you again and it’s incredible that a metal that is quite strong would be able to change its shape so quickly and what we can do now with these types of metals is that we can have more than one shape change so you will have springs that are capable to extend and contract and re-extend and contract based simply whether they’re exposed to heat or cool so if you’re putting them in hot water they will extend and if you’re putting them in cold water they will then contract they are fabulous and nasa is using these springs as well to create for example tires that could go into space and be modified by just nasa applying heat on them remotely so this is one of the videos that I wanted to show you it’s really really amazing what they can do with this technology it’s about one minute so stay with me this particular tire unlike a conventional spring tire made of spring steel is different because the material that it’s made from is an alloy based on stoichiometric nickel titanium and that particular this particular material doesn’t deform like conventional materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research where in those materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research when we put stress on them we basically are stretching the bonds between the atomic structures this material has a unique characteristic that allows it to do an atomic rearrangement to accommodate deformation and that lets us do about 30 times the deformation we could do in a conventional material without having permanent deformation happen we could actually deform this all the way down to the axle and have it turn the shape which we could never even contemplate in a conventional metal system yeah so pretty cool if you ask me how do I get out of this there we go another type of materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are scentsy materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research in this case again another material that you might have seen but you might just look at them as gimmicky materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research but these can actually allow you to as material scientists they can allow you to find the potential to use them in real life applications so much and so much in depth so these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research for example are liquid crystals which you might have seen before so this is what they do this is a sheet of a material which is basically in between a liquid and a solid and its behavior allows its molecules to rotate in a particular way so that they reflect light in different directions I’ve got of course I’ve got a sheet of that here so you’ll be able to see it from this my hands are a bit cold but you should be able to see that this actually works hopefully yeah there it is so with heat all of the molecules will tend to arrange in a particular direction and then once the sheet cools down they will return back to their original direction how are they done and how do they work so you can see that these molecules are they’ve all got this kind of rice shape and when you’re applying heat through them you’ll be able to align them all in a particular direction which means that you’ll be able to give them a particular weight length to interact with and that will respond with a particular color so that’s why you will be able to see different colors within these materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research again stunning not only stunning but clearly these can be used for colors for they can be used to determine temperature with a color change and so they can be used as thermometers as you might have seen in many like products for children or baths and the other thing that these liquid crystals are used in which again you might have heard of are liquid crystal displays so lcds lcds is exactly using a similar material to this so they’re still liquid crystals and these liquid crystals this time within liquid crystal display they actually rotate depending on an electric field.
So that’s why I put the spark here rather than a thermal stimuli so what happens is that these will rotate depending on an electric field and they will allow light to pass through or not pass through and that’s how you see black or you see color within an lcd screen there will be more on this if you want there will be a link a video linked at the end of this talk where you can go and see how liquid crystals work in a bit more depth to it but this was just a general outline of it so we don’t just play with cool materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research even though I’ve shown you that some materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research are really useful and even nasa is using them we also saved lights lives by doing material science how do we do that we have another study for example that was done at imperial this was from dr tamara chapman who’s now working at royce basically what happened here we had tamara and royce that came to tamara and they told her okay we have a problem it’s called the blue dot problem and we have a problem that our metal is getting corroded by when passing through air that contains salt so when they were passing through ocean flights the the particular metals of the blades the turbine blades were getting corroded by salt and they needed to find a way to solve this problem because this was stopping planes from flying in the same way or stopping planes from coming back completely failure so the problem of these corrosion would have meant that the planes could have had small cracks that could have done propagated afterwards and what tamara did managed to with really high techniques and resolutions microscopy she managed to understand how this project this problem can be resolved and this can be resolved by putting a coating that would then resist the formation of this of these cracks within your materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research so this was a fantastic thing that we managed to resolve within like three years work just because rolls royce came to us and put a problem in front of us and this is what we do daily another amazing thing that we do and we create is biomaterials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research which they are on the news constantly so you will have heard of them we’ve got fabulous materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research here for example where you can create a scaffold which is basically a 3d model of somewhere where cells can grow on top of it you might think it’s super easy but you need to find the way that your scaffold allows the cells to grow in and the cells feel feel comfortable within the scuffle so it needs to be a very particular environment for the cells to fit in and therefore we need to work a lot on how to determine what material is best to use what fine properties it has to have and what type of microstructure this material will need to have as well we can also make fake artificial skin which could use to replace skin that we currently have lost or it can be used as robotic skin and also another fabulous thing is bioglass bioglass has been invented it was the end of the 90s I think it was quite a long time ago and not many people know of its existence but it’s this fantastic material that is capable of stimulating bone growth so what happens when you have a your bone has been broken you in a small area you can put a piece of big glass within and it’s called biogloss because it’s actually made of glass as well it’s made of silica particles you can put this material inside your body and it will be able to let the bone grow in it and at the same time the bone will eat this material to reform and so by the end of it you will be left with your whole intact bone even though you had a broken part of your bone initially it’s fabulous and one of the places that you can find this in is for example in the toothpaste called sensodyne I am not being paid by sensodyne so do not worry about that sensodyne actually contains I think it’s called gnomamine so we’ve got very very small particles of biogas and it’s really good to strengthen your enamel and that’s why it’s used so much after I’ve told you all of this and after I’ve told you how fantastically awesome material science is you definitely want to get into a material science degree right I wanted to give you some information of how to join us in case you were planning to do that so if you’re still in school you would need to look at a level requirements that universities will have typically you need to have an a level in maths and then depending on the university you go to you have at least one of physics chemistry design technology or biology and the universities in our network so our network pretty much encompasses and comprises all of the universities that do a material science degree they are all over england all over wales and we’ve got some where in scotland.
I’m sure that chris will be able to mention that as well and these are but this is where you can find us this is the discover materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research network that we have and to enter you’d be able to do you need to have an interview a good application and then english language that’s pretty much it shouldn’t be too hard right and what why would you enter into a materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research degree aside from the fact that it’s so fabulously amazing and fun to study it’s also because it gives you amazing job opportunities so what can you do with it these are only a few of the different companies that our graduates go to work with you’ve got gsk rush rolls-royce bmw nivea airbus siemens you can work in so many different fields and if you don’t want to work in a company you can work within centers of research you can work within university you can work in so many different places which are all incredible and to do so we’ve also sponsored a campaign to show how recent graduates and where they have been and what they are working and now so this is helen she was a fantastic student a couple of years ago at imperial and she’s now working at the defense science and technology lab and she is just showing how fabulous her job is and how she’s enjoying uh applying everything that she studied material science and engineering until now so that’s pretty much all for me I think I’ve bored you enough hopefully not with this talk about material science and how amazing it can be and hopefully I’ve given you some some hints of how this how good this can be by the way my butterfly has gone back to its original color in the meantime because the alcohol has evaporated from it no I haven’t used a different butterfly so if you’re interested and would like to know more please just get in touch with us we’re always happy to have as many questions as possible because we know that material science is not as known and it’s such an incredible subject that everyone should know it hope you enjoyed it thank you very much that was absolutely fascinating I can’t see any questions in the chat but one quick question what is your favorite material I am italian by the way yes as you if you couldn’t have understood that from my accent but yeah sorry the question was oh yeah just before we head to the break what is your favorite material oh god sorry to put you on the spot don’t do this to me oh my god I literally don’t know like I love pretty much all of the materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that I’ve mentioned I love I think that silly party is probably one of my favorite ones because I used silly patty as an idea for my phd so I literally one of the first materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research that I managed to synthesize in a lab was silly which might sound crazy but I then used it to make a composite material that was extremely strong the head layers in between this kind of brick and mortar structure of small layers of this polymer clay party and it was fantastic at reforming itself so you would break it he had the strong bricks in between you would put it back together and it would be as strong as the beginning so yeah I think it will have to be slippery awesome thank you very much there’s one quick questions come in do you know if there’s any jobs in fashion for materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research so I know that there are basically I throughout my years I have worked with many students one of them for example has gone into archaeology now because he loved the subject so much and he was capable of using all of its materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research properties and its materials research journal, journal of materials research and technology, journal of materials research knowledge to then go into archaeology which is nothing that we teach within material science but since it’s such a versatile subject which teaches you so many different techniques you can go do literally pretty much whatever you want there definitely would be material scientists in the production of fabrics because we are constantly looking for innovation within this field so you would be able to look into how a new material or a new fabric or a new more sustainable material with a woven plastic or a material that could self-heal again we have been working on shape memory uh and shape-changing fabrics as well during my phd so there were definitely material scientists involved in that and that was one of the cool things to follow as a project awesome you.
Where to find great papers on material science?
Various great research journals such as Global Research Letters are a great option and way to help you look up impactful research papers on material science. Here, you will find a number of various research papers that are provided and made available to you in the journal, which will tell you how wonderful material science is.
You can very easily find papers on a variety of topics on material science at Global Research Letters, which will help you with your own research work and understanding of writing and publishing research papers properly. With access to so many amazing research papers, you can practice and learn the process of writing research papers and their importance, and understand how impactful and popular material science is.