7. Metal Foam
As the name suggests, metal foam is metal with a lot of holes it in: it's a metallic structure containing huge numbers of gas-filled pores. It's very strong, but as more than three quarters of it is empty space it's also exceptionally light.
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That makes it particularly well suited for applications including prosthetic bones and joints, construction, soundproofing and heat insulation. It's particularly interesting to car manufacturers: it's a very effective shock absorber that adds strength without also adding weight.
Bioplastics have been around for a while - NEC was banging on about them six years ago - but they haven't become mainstream yet.
That's because despite their green credentials - while normal plastics generally come from fossil fuels and don't biodegreate, bioplastics are made from natural sources such as vegetable oils and cellulose and/or don't clog up landfills forever - they've been pricey to produce.
That's slowly changing, and according to trade organisation European Bioplastics the market for bioplastics is growing more than 20% per year.
9. Nanodots and perovskite
One of the big problems with solar power is that solar panels are horribly inefficient: today, 20% efficiency is considered pretty good. Researchers at Stanford University believe that gold "nanodots" could lead to much thinner, much more efficient solar panels.
In the meantime, dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) offer similar efficiencies to current solar panels but at much lower costs, driving down the per-watt cost of solar electricity. DSSCs use perovskite, an abundant mineral that you'll also find in piezoelectric components and fuel cells.
Engineers at UC Berkeley have created what they call e-skin, a plastic film containing a transistor, organic LED and pressure sensor in each pixel.
It's flexible and can be laminated onto almost anything, with possible applications including touch-sensitive controls in cars, wallpapers that work as touch screens or robots with a very delicate sense of touch.
According to study co-lead author Chuan Wang, "I could also imagine an e-skin bandage applied to an arm as a health monitor that continuously checks blood pressure and pulse rates."