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Ceramic Tech Today

Learning from lizards how to improve dry adhesives

By / October 28, 2008

What can a team of highly trained researchers from four different U.S. universities learn from the feet of a gecko lizard? According to the researchers, how to improve carbon nanotube-based material so that, for the first time, it demonstrates “directionally varied (anisotropic) adhesive force” and gripping power nearly three times the level of existing nanotube…

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Chinese academy reports ZnO nanorod FET breakthrough

By / October 25, 2008

The Chinese Academy of Science reports that scientists at its Institute of Microelectronics have successfully formed a zinc oxide nanorod field-effect transistor, the “first of its kind as a nano device.” The ZnO nano materials, such as nanowires, nanorods, nanobands and nanorings, attract intense worldwide attention for their unique optical, semiconducting and piezoelectric properties. At…

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SOFC-powered robot passes proof-of-concept tests

By / October 24, 2008

No, the little bot in the picture above is not a fugitive from a Star Wars movie remake. It’s actually an iRobotPackBot powered by a hybrid solid oxide fuel cell system developed by Adaptive Materials Inc. According to an AMI press release, the Ann Arbor, Mich. firm recently completed tests that proved its hybrid SOFC system…

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IRS sniffing around tech transfers?

By / October 23, 2008

The AAAS’ latest Policy Alert alerted us to the following announcement that the IRS actually made Oct. 1: Approximately four hundred U.S. colleges and universities will begin receiving compliance questionnaires from the Internal Revenue Service in the next few days as part of the agency’s focused effort to study key areas in the tax-exempt community. …

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Video of the week: Cracking up over mugs

By / October 22, 2008

One tradition of The American Ceramic Society’s annual meetings and the coinciding MS&T conferences is the student mug drop competition. The purpose of the Ceramic Mug Drop contest is to promote spirited and collegial competition among students by demonstrating their prowess in manufacturing a ceramic mug possessing high strength, mechanical reliability, and aesthetics. Mugs are…

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Tubular solar – the shape of things to come?

By / October 21, 2008

Business is beginning to take shape at Solyndra, and the shape it’s taking is tubular. The Fremont, Calif.-based solar power manufacturer began selling its novel cylindrical-shaped solar tubes in July ’08 and, according to CEO Chris Gronet, the firm already has racked up $1.2 billion in contracted orders. The differences between Solyndra’s solar tubes and conventional…

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Purdue cuts LED costs with silicon

By / October 17, 2008

Experts at Purdue University say the United States could cut its total energy consumption and related carbon emissions by approximately 10 percent through the broad adoption of light-emitting diode technology. Known to be about four times more efficient than incandescent lights, one LED “negative” has prevented the technology’s widespread domestic use: prohibitive cost. LEDs are “at least 20 times” more…

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Foldable and stretchable circuits: teaching silicon new tricks

By / October 17, 2008

Researchers led by John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have developed a new form of flexible, stretchable silicon integrated circuit. Not only can these new silicon circuits wrap around complex shapes, but they can do so without sacrificing electrical performance while stretching, compressing and folding…

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Video of the week: ICE-T program at Hocking College (Ohio)

By / October 15, 2008

This is a good example of a student-made film about a materials program. This one is about the Industrial Ceramics Engineering Technology program at the college located in southern Ohio. They review slip development, glazing, heat treatment and burners, strength testing and microscopy. According to the students, ICE-T is hot!

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Interview available about Imperial College’s new ceramic center

By / October 14, 2008

Back in April, ACerS’ magazine, the Bulletin, announced that the Imperial College (U.K.) was establishing a Structural Ceramic Center funded at £6 million over a five-year period by an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Science and Innovation Award. The Center is being directed by Bill Lee, a professor at Imperial College and head of…

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