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lives in the past, and there is every reason to expect that new advances will have comparably great impact in the years to come. For this to happen, sustained research will be needed over many years. This research will need to have a balance between fundamental investigations into the physical mechanisms at play and research and engineering aimed at investigating the numerous questions that must be answered before a material can enter the technological mainstream: What can the material be used for? Is there a potential market of sufficient size to pay for the needed research and development? Is the advance so revolutionary, with improvements in customer capability so great, that it can found a new industry? If the improvement is in an area already occupied by an existing technology with significant infrastructure, can the material be integrated with the existing technology? And if so, is the improvement worth the development cost?

Just as revolutionary advances in new materials and processes enabled the transistor, the optical fiber, the solid-state laser, and many other technologies that have improved our lives and strengthened the economy, new developments in materials and structures hold out the promise of revolutionary breakthroughs in the twenty-first century.

Outstanding Scientific Questions

• Can we complement empiricism with predictability in our search for new materials and structures with desired properties? Can we predict the composition and structure of a new material, its properties, and how to synthesize it?

• Can we develop a full understanding of the initial stages of growth?

• Can we develop a full understanding of the relationship between the detailed structure of a material and its properties? Can we truly control defects?

Research Priorities

• Tailor materials at the molecular level.

• Use more complex combinations of materials: polymers, organic molecules, biological molecules, etc.

• Develop new tools to synthesize, visualize, characterize, and manipulate new materials and structures.

• Make increasingly complex materials and combinations with as much control as is currently possible in the making of semiconductors.

• Increase our understanding of and the ability to use self-assembly and biomimetic techniques to produce and process materials.

• Merge molecular chemistry and condensed-matter and materials physics to understand and control fabrication and processing on multiple length-scales.

• Integrate processing of new materials and structures with existing technologies.



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