Ceramic Tech Today

Group thinks its ‘black silicon’ boosts photoconductive gain

By / November 3, 2008

Why settle for one photon when you can get 200-300? That’s the idea behind a new material being developed by SiOnyx, a new Massachusetts company. The company using a method to reshape the surface of silicon to create cones that it says makes the material effectively function as “sponge for light.” is making a new type of silicon…

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Thin film sandwich feeds hunger for superconductors

By / November 1, 2008

Though looking sort of glum at the time, Ivan Bozovic is successfully leading Brookhaven Labs’ thin-film superconductor project. Researchers at DOE’s Brookhaven National Lab have developed a sandwich of thin films that, at the point where the films touch, offers a nanometer-sized area of superconductivity. Moreover, as reported in the Oct. 9 edition of Nature magazine, the superconductivity…

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Market for structural ceramics to reach $3.7 billion by 2012

By / October 31, 2008

A new report from BCC Research pegs the North American market for advanced structural ceramics at $2.7 billion in 2007 and predicts it will grow to $3.7 billion in 2012, for a compound annual growth rate of 6.0 percent. BCC breaks down the market by application into these segments: cutting tools and inserts; wear and corrosion;…

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Helping ‘off-the-grid’ people see the light

By / October 30, 2008

A fascinating story is unfolding in Mbita, Kenya, where OSRAM – one of the world’s two leading lighting firms – is embarking on a program to improve the environment and the lives of more than 175,000 Kenya fishermen who live “off-the-grid,” in a remote area of the world with no access to electricity. These fishermen are…

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Video of the week: The making of Solyndra solar tubes

By / October 29, 2008

We know from watching the blog post traffic that the post last week about the Solyndra’s cylindrical photovoltaic system was popular. Today, we offer a short video from Solyndra that illustrates some of the production (very robotic) and installation techniques. [flashvideo filename=wp-content/video/Solyndra2.flv /]

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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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