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Global New Materials 2020 Development Summary & 2021 Trends

Industry News
2021/03/25 10:49

Global new materials 2020 Summary

Developed countries have launched a new round of deployment in the field of new materials. The National Science Foundation of the United States successively invested a total of approximately US$260 million in the "Materials Research Science and Engineering Center" and the "Chemical Innovation Center" to formulate new research plans in the fields of materials and chemistry, aiming to develop new research plans through interdisciplinary and multi-institutional teams. Cooperation to meet challenges in related fields and promote the development of new technologies. The Ministry of Industry and Economics of Japan released the 2020 Japan Industrial Technology Outlook Report, proposing the direction of important technology research and development before 2050, and pointing out that certain resources should be concentrated on material technologies that are the basis for all fields. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom officially launched the "Sustainable Composite Materials Plan", focusing on the full life cycle of composite materials to ensure that they meet the future development needs of aircraft, automobiles and wind turbines.

The United States, Europe and South Korea are highly concerned about the safety of the raw material supply chain. The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will provide 18 million US dollars in basic research funding to promote the research and development of the supply chain of key minerals and rare earth elements to protect U.S. energy and national security. The European Commission revised the list of key raw materials, including rare earths and other 30 raw materials with significant economic and strategic value. At the same time, it announced an action plan to expand its supplier network and reduce dependence on third countries. The South Korean government released the 2.0 strategy for materials, components and equipment, greatly expanding the supply chain management list of strategic products, and promoting "manufacturing backflow", with the intention of building a powerful country in the parts industry and a world factory for cutting-edge industries.

New high-power electronic devices promote the rapid development of the information industry. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne has developed a high-power terahertz device composed of bimetallic sheets with a pitch of 20 nanometers. This device can generate high-intensity terahertz electromagnetic waves within picoseconds, and is expected to be widely used in security, medical and communications fields in the future. Russia has developed the world's most compact green semiconductor laser, which has a positive effect on the construction of optical chips, micro-sensors and other devices that use light as a medium for information transmission and processing. The US Naval Research Laboratory has developed a new type of gallium nitride-based resonant tunneling diode (RTD) for 5G technology. This electronic device breaks the current output and switching rate records of traditional devices, enabling applications to obtain electromagnetic waves in the millimeter wave range and terahertz frequencies.

New energy materials promote the innovation and development of the battery industry. Washington State University in the United States has developed a sodium-ion battery comparable to lithium batteries, which can retain more than 80% of the power after 1,000 cycles of charging. This research makes it possible to develop a viable battery technology using abundant and cheap materials. The University of Queensland in Australia has developed a new type of quantum dot solar cell with an energy conversion efficiency of 16.6%, which is nearly 25% higher than the previous world record, which will help to further develop flexible and transparent solar cells. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology has developed a new type of silicon anode material that can increase battery capacity by 4 times and supports fast charging, which is expected to double the range of electric vehicles.

Disruptive new material technologies continue to emerge, bringing new changes in the high-tech industry. In terms of two-dimensional materials, the ultra-thin heterostructure prepared by Stanford University using two-dimensional materials exhibits excellent thermal insulation properties and is expected to be used in ultra-light heat shields for electronic devices. A new device based on two-dimensional semiconductor materials designed by the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, can be used to build energy-saving electronic systems similar to brain neurons, and is expected to be used in the field of wearable devices and artificial intelligence chips in the future. In terms of smart materials, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has developed an artificial discoloration skin that changes color when exposed to light or heating. Tianjin University in China has successfully developed "all-weather self-healing materials". The material can quickly self-heal under extreme conditions such as severe cold, deep sea, strong acid and alkali, and is expected to become a "super electronic skin" for robots, deep-sea probes and various high-tech equipment under extreme conditions. In terms of metamaterials, the University of Southern California, inspired by shark skin, developed a new intelligent acoustic metamaterial that can control the propagation of sound waves. The University of Bielken in Turkey and the University of Manchester in the UK have designed a modular metamaterial that can be used for data encryption and reversible decryption.

Global new materials 2021 Trends

Machine learning technology promotes new changes in the research and development of new materials. The traditional research and development process of new materials mainly relies on scientific intuition and experimental judgment, coupled with a large number of repetitive experiments to complete the verification. With the help of machine learning technology, the development and application cycle of new materials is expected to be shortened by more than half. For example, the US Department of Energy uses machine learning technology to accelerate the process from new material discovery to large-scale deployment, eliminating bottlenecks such as testing and evaluating the performance of candidate materials; Japan uses machine learning technology to develop new materials such as aluminum alloys; the United Kingdom uses machine learning technology to predict lithium-ion batteries Security situation. In 2021, the United States, Japan, Europe and other countries and regions will further promote the application of machine learning technology in the research and development of new materials to compete for the commanding heights of future technological competition.

The rapid development of emerging industries has prompted the continuous updating of new material products. In recent years, emerging industries such as high-end equipment, electronic information, new energy, biomedicine, 3D printing, energy conservation and environmental protection have maintained a rapid development momentum, which poses new challenges and demands for key basic materials. The United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea and other developed countries have introduced a series of related science and technology policies, such as the US "National Nanotechnology Plan", Japan's "Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan", and South Korea's "Fourth Science and Technology Basic Plan", aiming to boost new Material technology and product development to better meet the development needs of emerging industries. In 2021, new material products such as advanced information materials, new energy materials, biomedical materials, energy-saving and environmentally friendly materials, and 3D printing materials will emerge in large numbers, providing support for the development of emerging industries.

New materials continue to transform and upgrade to green, lightweight, and intelligent directions. In recent years, the problems of environmental pollution and energy shortage have become increasingly prominent, and energy conservation, environmental protection, and lightweight have gradually become one of the main trends in the development of new materials. In 2021, technologies such as high-strength light alloys, special alloys, carbon fiber and new environmentally friendly materials will accelerate breakthroughs, leading the in-depth transformation of aerospace, power electronics, new energy and other industries. At the same time, with the rapid development of intelligent manufacturing, new material technology is accelerating its development towards intelligence. In 2021, smart material technologies such as self-healing materials, adaptive materials, new sensor materials, and 4D printing materials will emerge in large numbers to provide support for the development of biomedical, national defense and military, aerospace and other fields.