Ceramic Tech Today

New hydrogen economy book available

By / March 30, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has just published a book on one of the most vibrant areas of energy research and development: Materials Innovations in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy (Ceramic Transactions Volume 202), edited by George Wicks and Jack Simon. The book is a collection of new papers presented at the 2008 Materials Innovations in an…

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Ceramics (MEMS) gets fingered

By / March 26, 2009

Apparently ceramics innovations can keep you on your toes – and keep track of your fingers. Florida-based Sonavation Inc. recently announced what they claim to be “the biometrics industry’s thinnest, most durable and highly accurate fingerprint sensor for the wireless and smartcard markets.” The sensor, dubbed the SonicSlide STS3000 (not to be confused with the…

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Video of the week – Electrospinning

By / March 25, 2009

In light of the previous post on the creation of platinum nanowires (as a low-cost fuel cell catalyst) via electrospinning, we stitched together an animation and several demonstrations of electrospinning tiny and nanoscale fibers. The Flash animation comes to us via Patricia Heiden of Michigan Tech University. The videos come from Michael Boyer at Drexel…

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Fuel cells: Will a nanowire net cut catalyst costs?

By / March 25, 2009

One of the big divides the world of proton exchange fuel cell research is between those who are looking for an alternative to platinum (such as the University of Dayton’s Liming Dai) and those who are sticking with a platinum catalyst. The pro-platinum group, populated by realists, are quick to acknowledge that ordinary catalyst systems…

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Birdair to show aerogel membrane roofing systems

By / March 24, 2009

Although there is a tendency to associate aerogel with more exotic applications, one of the frustrations has been finding ways to incorporate the temperamental material into common large-scale manufacturing and applications, such as insulation. Some enterprises, however, are plugging away at the problems and are succeeding in making greater use of aerogel. One example is…

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Solyndra snags big solar loan guarantee offer

By / March 23, 2009

The DOE promised to act fast in distributing its stimulus monies and it is. It’s been announced that one of the first offers is going to Solyndra, a Fremont, Calif., company with a maverick technology I profiled back in October. A $535 million guarantee will allow the company to obtain lower-than-market financing to expand its…

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Family matters: Parenting, not ability, affects women in math-related careers

By / March 22, 2009

The under-representation of women in science careers in the United States has been reported before, but a new Cornell University report provides more – but not necessarily startling – details about why this under representation occurs. The Cornell researchers’ conclusion explains the situation along fairly commonsensical lines: The choice to have and raise children unfortunately…

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Nanotube aerogel sheets – better than real muscle?

By / March 20, 2009

Aerogels are incredibly lightweight (nearly lighter than air) and strong materials, and one of this blog’s most popular posts is a video demonstrating some amazing aerogel properties. Although it’s not a new material, I’ve felt that only recently have R&D techniques been able to mature enough to match aerogel’s capabilities. Indeed, now there is news…

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House thieves: Think twice if that Jimi Hendrix poster looks especially bright

By / March 20, 2009

Via Gizmag, two Fraunhofer Institutes have teamed up to develop a clever and simple way of treating window glass to make it sensitive to motion and, thus, perfect for security purposes. The combination hardware-software system is able to discriminate between expected motion, i.e., a passing car, and suspicious movement that would warrant an alarm. The…

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New MACS fills appetite for fast, accurate spectroscopy

By / March 19, 2009

NIST and Johns Hopkins University researchers have unveiled a new speedy and sensitive probe that may prove to be a godsend for nano scientists and related businesses. The NIST-JHU team calls the equipment a Multi-Axis Crystal Spectrometer. It is built on the technology developed in prior spectrometers at NIST’s Center for Neutron Research, where MACS…

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