Unraveling silks’ structural secrets
A new analysis of the structure of silks explains the paradox at the heart of their super-strength, and may lead to even stronger synthetic materials. Silks are among the toughest materials known, stronger and less brittle, pound for pound, than steel. Now scientists led by CEE’s Professor Markus Buehler have unraveled some of silks’ deepest secrets in research that could lead the way to the creation of synthetic materials that duplicate, or even exceed, the extraordinary properties of natural silk. Buehler, doctoral student Sinan Keten, postdoctoral associate Zhiping Xu and 1C junior Britni Ihle describe their research in a paper published March 14 in Nature Materials. Read news story at MIT News.