New journal Multifunctional Materials publishes its inaugural issue

29 Aug 2018 Simon Davies

Multifunctional Materials, a journal serving an emerging field at the convergence of materials science, physics, chemistry, bioscience, and engineering, publishes its first issue this week.

The design and manufacture of materials capable of multiple functions – so called “multifunctional” materials – has emerged as a rapidly growing area in materials science.

It is characterised by multidisciplinary research, and the potential for wide-ranging innovation covering areas such as energy, environmental sustainability, healthcare, aerospace, nanoelectronics, soft robotics and semiconductors.

In the first issue of Multifunctional Materials, Trevor Buckner and Dr Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio from Yale University, USA, review how functional fibres could be used in soft robotics.

They examine the possibilities of robotic wearable fabrics, object manipulation, and self-reconfiguration. They predict a future where rolls of commercially available robotic fabrics could be bought by the yard, and easily programmed to meet the demands of variable tasks and environments.

They also suggest the possibility of self-reconfigurable “origami”-inspired machinery, which can be crumpled and stowed for compact storage, and consumer clothing that actively adjusts itself and assists the wearer beyond being a simple covering.

Elsewhere in the issue:

  • a team from ESPCI Paris and the Paul Pascal Research Centre look at how electrostrictive materials can be used to harvest vibrational energy;
  • a multi-institutional team report on the graphitic microstructure and performance of carbon fibre Li-ion structural battery electrodes;
  • authors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Peking University, and the Beijing Institute of Technology propose using a 3D grayscale printing method to create  reversible  self-folding  structures;
  • Professor Salvatore Torquato and Dr Duyu Chen from Princeton University, New Jersey, explain how they identified ordered and disordered hyperuniform low-weight cellular networks with multifunctional transport, mechanical and electromagnetic properties.

 

Multifunctional Materials is led by two editors-in-chief: Andreas Lendlein, Director of the Institute of Biomaterial Science at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research and Professor for Materials in Life Sciences at Potsdam University, and Richard Trask, Chair in Advanced Materials at the Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) and a Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Professor Trask and Professor Lendlein said: “The design and realisation of next-generation materials with multifunctional capability is of great scientific and technological interest. It is an endeavour that now unites a truly multidisciplinary research community extending across both academia and industry.

“Multifunctional Materials is being shaped as a strictly high impact journal that will bring together all aspects of the field, and in doing so bridge the materials and systems communities involved with multifunctional design.

Dr Tim Smith, Associate Director at IOP Publishing, said: “ “We are very excited about the launch of what represents another major addition to IOP’s materials science portfolio, and one that will further extend our publishing profile to an exciting and rapidly emerging new area.

“Our ambitions for Multifunctional Materials are high, and a priority will be to develop the journal’s content, delivery and services in close consultation with the community to ensure it meets the evolving needs of all aspects of the field.”

The journal aims to cover:

  • The design and manufacture of programmed materials for multifunctionality, morphing and adaptivity;
  • “Meta-materials” designed and created through current chemistry or synthetic biology;
  • Multifunctional materials designed with capabilities of intelligent systems, such as sensing and self-diagnosis;
  • Characterisation methods for functions, multiscale modelling and computational materials engineering;
  • Novel applications of functional multi-materials.

Multifunctional Materials is free to read for individual users, universities, and academic research institutes throughout 2018.