Cadmium Sulfate; Cadmium Selenide; Platinum; Iridium Oxide; Ruthenium; Perfect Efficiency for Solar Fuel Production Step.

A major goal in renewable energy research is to harvest the energy of the sun to convert water into hydrogen gas, a storable fuel. Now, with a nanoparticle-based system, researchers have set a record for part of the process, reporting 100% efficiency for the half-reaction that evolves hydrogen.

To make such water-splitting systems, researchers must find the right materials to absorb light and catalyze the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The two half-reactions in this process—the reduction of protons to hydrogen, and the oxidation of water to oxygen—must be isolated from each other so their products don’t react and explode. Find more information here.


Tin Monoxide is the first stable P-type material allowing the movement of positive electrons as well to facilitate the development of an electronic device.

The new material could be used in transistors, which serves as the lifeblood of all electronic devices such as computer processors, graphics processors in desktop computers and mobile devices. It can successfully lead to the manufacturing of transistors that are smaller and faster than those in use today.

The more transistors packed into a single chip, the more powerful the processor can become, almost 100 times faster than regular devices predict the researchers. Owing to movement of electrons in one layer, there will be less friction, meaning the processors will not get as hot as normal computer chips. They also will require much less power to run, a boon for mobile electronics that have to run on battery power. Read more here.

Zirconium Oxide: Yttrium Oxide: Carbon Nanotubes: High-temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry and thermodynamics of ceramics composites.

The continuing development of ceramic materials, along with an increasing number of industrial applications, is posing new challenges for the materials science industry. Modern technologies require novel and improved methods to synthesize, characterize, and investigate the properties of ceramics and composites.
Understanding the materials’ structure-properties relationship results in the production of advanced complex ceramics that extend beyond the traditional oxides that have been used for centuries. The standard techniques usually applied to alloys are currently finding their way into ceramics manufacturing as a result of improvements in physical properties; advanced ceramics often exhibit properties superior to those of metal-based systems.
Read the full text on Ceramic Industry.



Molybdenum: Silicon Dioxide:Titanium Dioxide: New Generation Memristors.

Memristors are a new class of electrical circuits—and they could end the silicon era and change electronics forever. Since HP first developed a working prototype with a titanium dioxide film in 2008, engineers have sought to perfect the model.
Now, researchers at Michigan Technological University have made an ideal memristor based on molybdenum disulfide nanosheets. Yun Hang Hu, the Charles and Carroll McArthur Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, led the research, which was published in Nano Letters this January. Read more here.

Palladium: Silver: Platinum: Nickle: CeriumOxide: Nanomaterials optimize Nanocatalysts

Combining experimental investigations and theoretical simulations, researchers have explained why platinum nanoclusters of a specific size range facilitate the hydrogenation reaction used to produce ethane from ethylene. The research offers new insights into the role of cluster shapes in catalyzing reactions at the nanoscale, and could help materials scientists optimize nanocatalysts for a broad class of other reactions. Read more here.

Tellurium Dioxide: Silver nanopowders: Aluminum nanopowders: Titanium nanopowders: Metallization Pastes for Solar Cell Applications.

Currently, silver-based pastes dominate the PV cell market because they do not oxidize and can be processed at high temperatures. These pastes contain a large fraction of silver which is a costly precious metal. Attempts to synthesize and fabricate low-cost thin films of composite metal particles made from abundant elements that can be used as a replacement for Ag-pastes are ongoing. In order to achieve success, the films must be sufficiently conductive and strongly adhere to the silicon solar cell while not reducing the overall power conversion efficiency.
The broader impact and commercial potential will be a significant reduction in the overall cost of PV cell processing. The global silver paste market in the PV industry is estimated to be over $1.7 billion per year. Switching to non-silver alternatives may provide significant cost reductions. Module cost reductions have primarily driven the significant growth in solar cell installation in the past five years. While PV is now cost competitive in several regions, further solar module reductions with commensurate reductions in installation costs, would make solar power cost competitive without subsidies. Finally, metallization pastes development may have applications in a wide range of products including displays and integrated circuits.

2016 photovoltaics Expo

Alumina Powder: Hydrophobic: Nanomaterials for Surface Coatings.

A “green” replacement for costly, hazardous fluorocarbons which are used in coatings for super-hydrophobic applications. Read more here. A material made by scientists at Rice University, the University of Swansea, the University of Bristol and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis is inexpensive, nontoxic and can be applied to a variety of surfaces via spray- or spin-coating.

Tungsten Carbide (WC), Zinc Oxide, (ZnO) Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Nanomaterials Make Better Construction Materials.

Tungsten Carbide, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide and Aluminum Oxide nano materials are greatly improving construction materials.

Energy conservation is at the forefront of global concerns. As nanomaterials such as Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Aluminum Oxide and Tungsten Carbide along with Carbon Nano tubes and Nano fibers are incorporated into basic construction materials, our planet (the only one we’ve got at this time) is realizing vibrant cities with commercial buildings which have reduced environmental footprint and CO2 emissions. The right nano material matched with the right application is key.

Read more here from our friends at Nanowerk.

Food Processing Plants to begin using Nanotechnology

Scientists have successfully used nanotechnology to create a contaminant-resistant surface for stainless steel, which they claim can increase production efficiency and productivity and safeguard food safety.

The article found here discusses that scientists have discovered by the use of nano materials coated on stainless steel during milk processing cuts down on product fouling, contamination, and even plant efficiency. Essentially, a safer, cleaner, better product. There is no reason this kind of technology breakthrough can’t be used in other food preparation areas. I’m sure the meat processing industries and vegetables processing are already investigating these ideas.

This is a short blog today but it’s interesting as it deals with our everyday lives and how behind the scenes things are improving to make our products fresher, and more importantly, safer for us and our families.

Marbles…not just for kids anymore

Dr. Vijay Sivan of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering discovered a way to essentially wrap up metal with a type of insulation and create metal liquid marbles. OK, this isn’t meant to “improve upon” the age old game of marbles for kids but instead holds many different applications. Applications include extended antennas, stretchable, and reconfigurable wires. Imagine a wire being split…now you just attach it and it’s good as new. Electronics are the big industry this type of application/invention will probably hit a home run with but until then it’s quite fascinating what new applications this will be used for.

The entire article can be found here.

Everyday I read new and facsicnating articles and probably what’s even more incredible is that these technologies are usually hidden away where nobody really notices them. Sure, the engineers and the developers do, but not the typical person using the applications. When LED, LCD, (fill in the blank with the appropriate acronymn) come to market they talk about what it looks like and such but never what it really is. I have one of the first generations of HD TVs and the thing is huge. But I can’t tell you what technology it is using.  So the unsung heros developing these technologies probably know that they’ll never become a household name but it’s kind of a shame because these improvements/inventions really make a difference in peoples’ lives.