Materials Science and Engineering Videos
Below are all of the videos produced by our department that we've mentioned throughout this section of the web site, as well as the other great materials videos we've recommended. Please note that not all of our department's videos have sound.
You can also watch these videos on our YouTube channel, materialsatumd. If you attend one of our undegraduate Visit Maryland Days or a Materials Science Open House, you can see and try the demos in person!
You might also like....
- The A. James Clark School of Engineering YouTube Channel »
- The University of Maryland Energy Research Center YouTube Channel »
- The University of Maryland YouTube Channel »
Can't watch Flash video?
Where possible, we've also provided links to our materials science videos in QuickTime (.mov) or Windows Media (.wmv) format below. They will open in a new window. You will need a viewer such as the Apple QuickTime Player or the Windows Media Player (both free) to watch them. We recommend a DSL connection or higher for viewing. If a movie does not play in your browser when you click its link, right-click or control-click to download and save it.
Pearls on a String: Tiny Silicon Beads to Advance Battery Technology
Tiny beads of silicon, grown on a tube a hundred thousand times thinner than a piece of paper, could store up to ten times more lithium than graphite, a component of many commercial batteries. Department of Materials Science and Engineering graduate student Khim Karki, a co-author on a recently published paper about the technology, explains.
MSE@UMD: Solving Society's Great Problems
This video about the Clark School's Department of Materials Science and Engineering premiered at the 2012 Materials Research Society's Fall Meeting & Exhibit. In it, students and faculty discuss their research and how it can make the word a better place, and take us inside their labs and facilities.
Materials Science and Engineering students at the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland take a capstone design course in their senior year, in which they use everything they have learned to design and create a product or process with potential real-world applications. The Spring 2011 Capstone team made this video (in two parts) about their invention, a microfluidic device that would allow healthcare providers to quickly and efficiently administer targeted alpha radiation therapy while lowering hospital and patient costs. In addition to the video, you can also read our story about the project.
Part 1: Team Leader and Research Committee
Part 2: Design, Simulation and Analysis
This video is not currently available in other formats.
Watch an interview with MSE alumnus and current MSE graduate student Marshall Schroeder (B.S. '10), who was named a 2012 John & Maureen Hendricks Energy Research Fellow. Schroeder discusses his winning research project, "Fabrication of a 3-Dimensional, High Aspect Ratio, All Solid-State Lithium-O2 Battery." In the video, he explains the background and pros and cons of lithium-air batteries, how he intends to improve this technology, the nanofabrication techniques he'll be using, and why he became involved in energy research.
You can also read a news story about Schroeder's fellowship.
Video courtesy of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center.
This video is not currently available in other formats.
MSE Professor Ray Phaneuf and his team have joined forces with conservation scientists at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Md. to create nanometer-thick, metal oxide films which, when applied to silver artifacts, are both transparent and optimized to reduce the rate of silver corrosion and tarnish. The National Science Foundation, which funds the project through its Chemistry and Materials Research at the Interface between Science and Art (SCIART) grant program, sent their Science Nation news team on location to cover the story. You can also read our original press release about the project.
Video courtesy of the National Science Foundation.
Heating the bottom of the wire loop using hot water causes the shape memory alloy to contract. After leaving the hot water, the wire cools and expands. The expansion/contraction cycle drives the motor. The contraction on heating can be ~5% in length and is caused by a phase transition between the martensite (low T) and the austenite (high T) crystal structures.
This video is not currently available in other formats.
This animation shows the stretching and relaxing a single biological molecule using optical tweezers. The top bead is "tweezed" by a laser light and the bottom bead is fixed onto a pipette tip. A biological molecule (e.g. DNA) is tethered between the two beads and can be repeatedly pulled and relaxed, providing mechanical properties of the biomacromolecules at the single molecule level. This method can also provide very useful information about dynamic properties of biomolecules, which can shed light on protein folding, self-assembly, and protein-protein interactions. Animation courtesy of postdoctoral research associate Chenyang Tie, a member of Professor Joonil Seog's Molecular Mechanics and Self-Assembly Laboratory at the University of Maryland.
Materials Science and Engineering students at the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland take a capstone design course in their senior year. In recent years, they have worked projects including a shape memory alloy, self-healing polymers, carbon nanotubes for organic solar cells, zinc oxide tetrapods for microelectronic sensors—all with interesting potential real-world applications. The graduating class of Spring 2010 made this video to document the stages of development of their project.
These seniors designed a tiny dynamic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphone for use in products like phones, laptops, and hearing aids that does not require a power source for signal generation. The use of electromagnetic induction to translate sound to an electrical signal has been used in macro-scale devices, but has not been created for commercial use at the micro-scale.
Plasma is widely considered to be the fourth state of matter due to its unique properties. Plasma is a gas in which the atoms are ionized, meaning there are free negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions. This collection of charged particles can be controlled by electromagnetic fields and this allows plasmas to be used as a controllable reactive gas. The electronics industry uses this concept to etch very small patterns into silicon to make our modern day devices smaller and more efficient.
This movie was produced by students Bobby Bruce and Michael Sweatt for the 2008 Vid/Terp competition.
Plasma: The 4th State of Matter: Windows Media Video Version (.wmv, 50MB) »
Can also be played in Real, QuickTime installed with the Flip4Mac component, and other players.
Thermoelectric devices can produce cooling by using the electrons in semiconductors to carry heat away from an area, not much differently than the way electrons carry a charge along copper wires and in electrochemical cells. Refrigerators using this technology could be made very small, light and portable, and have a fast response time and good temperature stability. They would have no moving parts that degrade with time. Our movie demonstrates the operation of a 1-inch device made with the semiconductor Bi2Te3 that cools a copper plate to more than 20° below room temperature.
Polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs) can be applied as a coating to windows and simple displays. PDLCs are made from a mixture of a liquid crystal and a polymer. The polymer is isotropic, meaning its optical properties are always the same—in this particular case, transparent. But the liquid crystal in the coating is anisotropic, meaning its optical properties can change. Initially, the glass appears to be frosted. When an electrical field is applied to the coating, the liquid crystal reacts by realigning its molecular structure to match that of the transparent polymer's, and almost instantly the window becomes clear! (In this movie, the liquid crystals appear to darken as they realign and we see through them, the clear polymer and the glass to the dark background.) PDLCs have been used for privacy, in exhibits, for safety visors used by pilots, and in heads-up displays.
Superabsorbent polymers are a special class of polymers called polyelectrolytes that have a charge on the polymer chain that increases the solubility in water. They are generally used in the form of small particles that are crosslinked so they will form gel rather than completely dissolving. The polymer gel absorbs water and the charges along the chain repel each other, stretching out the chain and enhancing the swelling of the gel. Super absorbent polymers can readily absorb 100 times their volume in water!
Super absorbant polymers are used in products like disposable diapers, for cleaning up water based environmental spills, and for preventing rain water runoff in agricultural areas.
Shape memory materials display an unusual property of "remembering" the shape they were formed into at high temperature. They experience a solid state phase change, in which atoms are rearranged, but the material remains a solid. If a piece of shape memory metal alloy wire is deformed, for example, it will return to its original state when exposed to the heat of a hair dryer—the heat triggers the "memory" of where the atoms were at the time of its production under similar heat.
Nd2Fe14B magnets are incredibly strong, easily holding 100-300 times their weight. They allow for the production of smaller, stronger electric motors and higher capacity disk drives. The field of Materials Science and Engineering is constantly trying to improve the properties of advanced materials such as Nd2Fe14B magnets.
An amorphous metal is an alloy combining elements of differing atomic diameters. The dark grey disk (right) is an amorphous metal formed by combining 5 different atoms together: zirconium, titanium, copper, nickel, and beryllium (Zr41.2Be22.5Ti13.8Cu12.5Ni10.0). The differing atomic diameters and unusual composition prevents the atoms from arranging in a regular crystalline structure. The atoms have no easy way to slip by each other under deformation, resulting in a very hard material. When a steel ball bearing is dropped on the amorphous metal, it does not permanently deform and the ball bounces many times before coming to rest.
These two balls look, but do not behave, in the same way. When dropped, the "happy" ball will bounce while the "sad" one will not. This is because the "happy" ball is made of neoprene, an elastic polymer, and the "sad" ball is made of polynorborene, a polymer material designed to absorb energy. The polynorborene ball absorbs the impact when it hits a surface, causing it to "drop like a stone." Materials like polynorborene could be used in athletic shoes to absorb energy during running or jumping, preventing shock to the foot or leg.
A superconductor is a material that has no electrical resistance to current flow. A "high" temperature superconductor exhibits this property at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-321°F /-196°C). An important property of superconducting materials is the ability to repel magnetic fields. Placing a magnet above a superconductor will cause the magnet to levitate. Maglev trains make use of this phenomenon, as they are lifted and propelled forward by a magnetic field, free of friction. We can see this effect by placing a magnet atop a superconductor resting in liquid nitrogen.
Polymers are long chain molecules. Our "polymer-in-a-can" demonstration shows relative size of a polymer chain scaled up to macroscopic dimensions. If an equivalent molecular weight is calculated for the "chain" shown in the movie (assuming a polyethylene molecule), the value is about 80,000 g/mole. This is a relatively low molecular weight polymer and many applications for polyethylene would require a significantly higher molecular weight to attain good mechanical properties.
Weird, Weird Science
John Sizemore offers movies on a variety of topics on his Dailymotion site. His "Zoom Into..." series of videos about materials includes Zoom Into Steel, Zoom Into Brass, Zoom Into Concrete, Zoom Into Aluminium, Zoom Into Plastic, and Zoom Into A Carbon Fiber.
When Things Get Small
"What could a stadium-sized bowl of peanuts, a shrinking elephant, and a crazed hockey player have to do with nanoscience?" Adam Smith and Ivan Schuller from the University of California San Deigo (UCSD) will tell you in this Emmy Award-winning short film.
Making Memory for Your Memories
Have you ever wondered how the SD card in your camera is made? Check out this behind-the-scenes look at Lexar® memory chip production in this video by Micron Technology, Inc.