Many metals can be fashioned into wires. You just have to stretch out a piece of the metal until it’s long and thin. Keep pulling, and the wire will eventually break. But new research reveals that when wires are extremely small, they can be super-stretchy. That’s especially true when they’re made of a single crystal of silver and stretched slowly. These wires can stretch to almost three times their original length before they snap, new data show.
And that’s a big deal for engineers. They could use that sort of stretchiness to design flexible electronics that resist damage.