Like a feather? No, much, much lighter!Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 by Roberto Saracco
The magic of nanotechnology has managed to create a material that is 100 times lighter than styrofoam. Just look at the photo on the left: A piece of this material is resting comfortably on top of a dandelion fluff without crushing it!
The feat was achieved by a group of researchers at he HRL Labs and at the California Institute of Technology.
The new material is a web of nano wires, a micro lattice that consist for 99.99% of air! That’s why it is so light. The infrastructure is made of nickel phosphorous. Although most of it is “air” the material presents some interesting properties, like being able to absorb amazing amount of compression energy and then bouncing back at the original shape. This is thanks to the nanowire, each one 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, that create a 3dimensional web as shown in the picture below:
Tags: smart material