Developing super-strong nanomaterials

 Julia Greer 2020 visionaries

Julia Greer wants to change the way we think about everyday materials.

Think un-tearable paper, ultrathin thermal jackets and lightweight wind turbines.

The 40-year-old has been working on nano-architected materials at CalTech for the past few years.

Watch: Nanotechnology could revolutionize how things are built

"The materials that we are making ... have an extra level of organization at the micron/sub-micron scale compared to the conventional materials," she said. "This allows us to have full control over its properties while maintaining a very low density."

While there are still obstacles her team is working to overcome, the research will have an impact on a number of products, changing everything from military gear to biomedical devices.

First published March 16, 2016: 12:45 PM ET

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