The were first predicted in 2005 and first synthesized in the lab in 2008. Now physicists have discovered a naturally occurring topological insulator that can be mined from the earth's crust.
In the same way that metamaterials steer light around objects to hide them, they might also steer electrons through crystal lattices with zero resistance, say physicists.
A simple way to print circuits on a wide range of flexible substrates using an inkjet printer has eluded materials scientists. Until now.
"Capillary charges", which act like magnetic poles on the surface of liquids, can pull millimetre-sized building blocks together, a technique that promises a new era of mesoscopic-scale manufacturing.
Cheap, simple water filters made of plant xylem could dramatically reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases in places without access to clean drinking water, say engineers.
If you thought a blob of oil is a good-for-nothing, useless, errr, blob, here's a video that will make you think again.
Magnetic hard discs can store data for little more than a decade. But nanotechnologists have now designed and built a disk that can store data for a million years or more.
The world's fastest thermal transistor could lead to thermal logic gates for controlling microscopic machines, say physicists
German researchers have designed, built, and tested the first metamaterial made out of superconducting quantum resonators.
Theorists have discovered a new optical force that is analogous to the thrust that keeps aircraft aloft and causes tennis balls to swerve.