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How new materials are transforming industry

3 episodes
  • 1
    4D printing: intelligent materials of the future?
  • 2
    New photovoltaic materials: going beyond silicon
  • 3
    Composites for aeroplanes: light as a feather?
Épisode 1/3
Giancarlo Rizza, Researcher at CEA specialised in 4D additive manufacturing
On February 16th, 2022
4 mins reading time
Giancarlo rizza
Giancarlo Rizza
Researcher at CEA specialised in 4D additive manufacturing

Key takeaways

  • 4D printing is the functional form of 3D printing, capable of creating dynamic objects that respond to external stimuli.
  • The term "4D printing" to produce programmable objects was proposed by Skylab Tibias during a TedX Talk.
  • One use is to push the limits of design by allowing “self-assembly” of smart materials.
  • Other applications of 4D printing include for prosthetics in medicine, or in energy to maximise photovoltaic structures.
  • It could be said that 4D printing is already contributing to a profound transformation in design and production of industrial objects, initiated by additive manufacturing.
Épisode 2/3
Isabelle Dumé, Science journalist
On February 16th, 2022
4 mins reading time
Nathanaelle Schneider
Nathanaëlle Schneider
CNRS Researcher at Institut Photovoltaïque d'Ile-de-France (IPVF)

Key takeaways

  • The production capacity of photovoltaic (PV) panels is on the rise. In 2008, it was about 10 GW worldwide, while it is now over 600 GW – enough to power a country like Brazil.
  • This rapid growth in recent years is all the more surprising because it has occurred without any real fundamental change in PV technology.
  • Advances have been made using silicon. In the 1950s, solar cells converted only 5% of solar radiation into energy. Whereas, today, this is closer to 25%.
  • But the technology is so powerful and so inexpensive that its room for improvement is now limited.
  • Researchers are therefore studying new molecules such as perovskites or new production methods such as “atomic layer deposition” to continue to improve PV technology.
Épisode 3/3
Cécile Michaut, Science journalist
On February 2nd, 2021
3 mins reading time
Patricia Krawczak
Patricia Krawczak
Professor in polymers and composites at Ecole nationale supérieure  Mines-Télécom Lille Douai

Key takeaways

  • The aerospace industry is prepared to pay €100-500 for every kilogram saved.
  • Most recent aircraft are made of approximately 50% composites.
  • Development of these materials has reached a plateau, and innovation is needed to reduce weight.
  • Patricia Krawczak, professor at ENS Mines-Télécom Lille-Douai, explains why researchers are exploring new processes, such as 3D printing.

Contributors

Giancarlo rizza

Giancarlo Rizza

Researcher at CEA specialised in 4D additive manufacturing

Giancarlo Rizza is a specialist in 4D additive manufacturing, electron microscopy and nanostructuring. For ten years, he created and directed the interdisciplinary microscopy centre at École Polytechnique (CimeX). In this framework, he coordinated the Nan'eau project (labelled strategic by the Université Paris-Saclay) for the development of a multi-correlative microscopy platform (optical, electronic and X-ray). Giancarlo Rizza has also collaborated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He is a member of the steering committee of the international conference "Radiation Effects in Insulators" (REI), of the Groupement National de Recherche (GdR) NACRE (Nanocrystals in dielectrics for electronics and optics) and of the "Chaire Arts&Sciences" of the Ecole Polytechnique-ENSAD-Fondation Carasso. In this context, he develops the use of intelligent materials in research-creation practices and is interested in their dissemination in scientific conferences as a means of communication with society.

Isabelle Dumé

Isabelle Dumé

Science journalist

Isabelle Dumé holds a PhD in physics. She collaborates with various scientific magazines and media, public and private institutions, and actors in higher education and research in France and worldwide.

Cécile Michaut

Cécile Michaut

Science journalist

Cécile Michaut holds a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Paris-XI Orsay. She was a lecturer for two years before branching off into science journalism in 1999. Her collaborations include Le Monde, La Recherche, Pour la Science, Science et vie, Sciences et Avenir, Environnement Magazine... She also teaches science communication and media training for several research organisations and universities. She founded the company Science et partage (www.scienceetpartage.fr), and published the book "Vulgarisation scientifique, mode d'emploi" (EDP Sciences) in 2014.