Characterization

Industry headlines

By / July 15, 2009

Solar cell surface inspection with 3D metrology Nanovea’s White Light 3D Non-Contact Profilometers can precisely measure glass surfaces, light absorbing materials and wafer bowing with superior accuracy and speed. Offered as a stand alone instrument or an integrated inline inspection system ideal for inspection at all stages during solar cell production. Allied Mineral Product expands…

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New solar power system displayed at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility

By / July 10, 2009

Four newly designed solar power collection dishes called SunCatchers were unveiled at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility. The new dishes are the next-generation model of the original SunCatcher system. Engineers say they are designed for high-volume production, ease of maintenance and cost reductions, and could be in commercial service by 2010. The modular solar-thermal…

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Video of the week – S.K. Sundaram on the use of non-contact methods, such as FTIR, to measure materials properties

By / July 8, 2009

S.K. Sundaram is chief materials scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. In this short video, he discusses several non-contact methods of taking materials measurements. In particular, Sundaram describes the lab’s use of fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy as a rapid screen tool for nanomaterials, such as that being done by PNNL to measure the effect…

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Bismuth-telluride discovery brings spintronics devices closer

By / July 7, 2009

Researchers at the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University think they have a nifty new material that could unleash a new generation of spintronics applications, providing quicker and more efficient computer chips. According to the SLAC and SU researchers, the material – a bismuth–telluride compound, Bi2Te3 – works as a topological insulator. The…

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Strides made in nanotube-based mass measurements

By / July 4, 2009

According to the ICT Results website, researchers at a European Union-sponsored project say their method to use carbon nanotubes to measure masses at the atomic level is improving. European researchers claim their device, one that uses carbon nanotubes and already shown to be adept at measuring the mass of some larger atoms, is getting better…

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Unique science-art meeting next week in Arlington, VA

By / June 29, 2009

A few weeks ago, Ceramic Tech Weekly carried a story about new techniques for dating ceramic artifacts. Along these same lines, there is a fascinating-sounding meeting, “Chemistry and Materials Research at the Interface between Science and Art,” scheduled for July 6 – July 7 at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington, Va. Sponsored by the NSF…

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SNL, Pitt discover salt’s ability to “stretch” at nano level

By / June 29, 2009

Conventional thinking says that a block of salt can’t stretch, but researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Pittsburgh are saying they aren’t so sure anymore. In an article published in Nanoletters, members of the group describe how they were poking around a small piece of salt with an interfacial force microscope when…

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Miscellaneous industry headlines

By / June 24, 2009

SCI Engineered Materials receives $1 million thin film solar order Thresher Industries selects the Cal Poly’s materials engineering program to set up testing protocol Bekaert introduces one-piece rotatable AZO target at Intersolar North America 2009 Natural History Museum of London acquires an Asylum MFP-3D Stand Alone AFM

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Aerogel has potential as tunable waveplate

By / June 22, 2009

A multinational team has published a paper that suggests aerogels could be used as tunable waveplates “in a broad spectral range.” Pradeep Bhupathi, Rodica M. Martin, Lukas Jaworski, David B. Tanner and Yoonseok Lee from the University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.), Jungseek Hwang from the Pusan National University (Busan, Republic of Korea), Jackson Blankstein from…

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Video of the week – SLAC’s X-ray laser achieves “first light”

By / June 17, 2009

Materials research got a great new tool in late April when the Linac Coherent Light Source high-energy laser came to life at the SLAC National Accelerator Lab in Menlo Park, Calif. The LCLS provides the world’s brightest, shortest pulses of “hard” X-rays that will be used for studying and understanding the arrangement of atoms in…

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