Strong and tough synthetic yarn

While the humble spider has no trouble spinning silk that’s both strong and tough, makers of synthetic fibers have found there’s usually a trade-off between these two properties. If a material is strong—that is, it resists deformation—usually it lacks toughness,...

Creating switchable plasmons in plastics

Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed optical nanoantennas made from a conducting polymer. The antennas can be switched on and off, and will make possible a completely new type of controllable nano-optical components. Plasmons arise when...