PerspectiveApplied Physics

The Material Is the Machine

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5706, pp. 53-54
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100892

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Efforts are under way to manufacture electromechanical devices at ever smaller sizes. However, standard semiconductor technology places limits on how small such machines can be. In their Perspective, Bhattacharya and James explain how martensitic materials--which can distort reversibly without any diffusion taking place--may overcome this problem. Theoretical studies and preliminary experiments suggest that such materials can act as machines themselves, without the need for complicated construction of moving parts in the device.