The Future of Materials
Episode 24 of The Nature of Matter

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Resistance Is Futile: Superconductors
Episode 21 of The Nature of Matter
Under special conditions, some materials lose all resistance to electron flow, becoming superconductors that transmit electricity with 100 percent efficiency. Probe this phenomenon at the atomic level, and learn how scientists are discovering new, more practical superconducting materials.
Resistance Is Useful: Semiconductors
Episode 22 of The Nature of Matter
How does a tiny piece of impure silicon launch an electronics revolution? Follow the development of semiconductors from the invention of the transistor in the 1940s to ever-smaller circuits that are now measured in nanometers. Along the way, discover how today's complex microchips are made.
Out of Many, One: Composites
Episode 23 of The Nature of Matter
When different materials combine to create something very unlike its individual components, you have a composite. Learn what gives composites superior properties. Explore a wide range of examples, including concrete, carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, automobile tires, carbon nanotubes, and aerogel.
Silicon Run I
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run I uses live industrial footage to show the many processes necessary to manufacture microchips, including crystal growth, circuit design, and the wafer fabrication process for CMOS technology. Using close-ups of manufacturing processes and device animation, Silicon Run I provides a clear overview of front-end semiconductor manufacturing. It is…
Silicon Run II
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run II explores manufacturing after the silicon wafers have been fabricated. This film reviews IC fabrication and continues by showing how IC wafers are tested, sorted, and packaged into individual microchips. These devices are then assembled onto the printed circuit boards used in personal computers. They are also seen…
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Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run Lite combines key sequences and images from both Silicon Run I and Silicon Run II to show from the growth of silicon crystals through the assembly of a personal computer. Live industrial footage, microscopic filming, animation, graphics, and special effects give an up-close view of manufacturing. Silicon Run…
Silicon Run Deposition
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run Deposition uses 3D atomic animation and live manufacturing footage to provide a detailed close-up look at the process of thin film deposition in CMOS fabrication. It shows the chemical and physical reactions that create the dielectric and conductive layers of an integrated circuit. Silicon Run Deposition examines the…
Silicon Run Lithography
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run Lithography examines the role of photolithography in imaging and printing the many intricate layers of integrated circuits. Focusing on critical and non-critical mask levels of a CMOS transistor, this video takes a close look at the manufacturing materials, tools, and processes that have made more precise and complex…
Silicon Run Etch
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
This sixth video in the Silicon Run Series takes a close look at the etch process in semiconductor manufacturing, including chemical mechanical polish, or CMP. It shows how thin films of nonconductive, semiconductive, and conductive materials are sculpted into microchips. Following the fabrication process of a CMOS transistor, Silicon Run…
Silicon Run Implantation
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run Implantation takes a close look at the process of ion implantation. This video shows how ions are accelerated to high energies and directed into specific regions of the silicon substrate to change its molecular structure and alter its electrical properties. Silicon Run Implantation explores the various types of…
Making Stuff Wilder
Part of the Series: NOVA - Making More Stuff
What happens when scientists open up nature's toolbox? In Making Stuff Wilder, David Pogue explores bold new innovations inspired by the Earth's greatest inventor, life itself. From robotic "mules" and "cheetahs" for the military, to fabrics born out of fish slime, host David Pogue travels the globe to find the…
Making Stuff Safer
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The world has always been a dangerous place, so how do we increase our odds of survival? In Making Stuff Safer, David Pogue explores the cutting-edge research of scientists and engineers who want to keep us out of harm's way. Some are countering the threat of natural disasters with new…