25 Years of Interface

Interface Prototype

In December of 1992, the premier issue of Interface was published with a cover celebrating Rudolph Marcus’s winning of the Nobel Prize that year. But did you know that prior to that first issue of Interface, ECS published its members magazine prototype named the Quarterly? It was published in January 1992 and its cover showed a porous silicon sample luminescing in the visible when irradiated by an argon ion laser.

In that prototype issue, then ECS president Larry Faulkner said in his Letter from the President, “The periodic self-analysis of the Society’s agenda and structure is an extremely important part of our life. Without it, we will fail to adapt effectively to a changing environment, so the work is essential in the strictest sense.” Still good advice today.

Now, over 90 issues later, we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of Interface. Throughout the issues this year, readers will be treated to special excerpts looking back at some of the top moments in the magazine’s history.

We’re inviting readers to share their thoughts about Interface, in particular how the magazine may have impacted your research or career. Send your thoughts to Interface@electrochem.org.

Successful Proposal Writing Tips

Proposal writing is often a complex yet critical aspect of research and development. Check out how ECS treasurer E. Jennings (EJ) Taylor and ECS patron member Maria Inman are simplifying proposal writing for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) applications at Faraday Technology, Inc.

Learn more about the DOE’s SBIR/STTR application process.

When we think of carbon and the environment, our minds often develop a negative association between the two in light of things such as greenhouse gases and climate change. But what if carbon is the answer to clean energy?

A team of researchers at Griffith University is looking toward carbon to lead the way in the clean energy revolution. Their latest research showed that carbon could be used to produce hydrogen from water. This could offer a potential replacement for the costly platinum materials currently used.

“Hydrogen production through an electrochemical process is at the heart of key renewable energy technologies including water splitting and hydrogen fuel cells,” says Professor Xiangdong Yao, leader of the research group. “We have now developed this carbon-based catalyst, which only contains a very small amount of nickel and can completely replace the platinum for efficient and cost-effective hydrogen production from water.”

(MORE: Learn about the future of electrochemical energy.)

This from Griffith University:

Proponents of a hydrogen economy advocate hydrogen as a potential fuel for motive power including cars and boats and on-board auxiliary power, stationary power generation (e.g., for the energy needs of buildings), and as an energy storage medium (e.g., for interconversion from excess electric power generated off-peak).

Read the full article.

The researchers also believe that these findings could open the door for new development in large-scale water electrolysis.

Wrinkles and crumples, introduced by placing graphene on shrinky polymers, can enhance graphene's properties.Image: Brown University

Wrinkles and crumples, introduced by placing graphene on shrinky polymers, can enhance graphene’s properties.
Image: Brown University

By now we’ve heard about the seemingly endless possibilities for the wonder material graphene. The engineers at Brown University are looking to make those possibilities even more appealing through a process that could make the nanomaterial both water repellant and enhance its electrochemical properties.

The research team is looking to improve upon the already impressive graphene by wrinkling and crumpling sheets of the material by placing it on shrink polymers to enhance its properties, potentially leading to new breakthroughs in batteries and fuel cells.

This from Brown University:

This new research builds on previous work done by Robert Hurt and Ian Wong, from Brown’s School of Engineering. The team had previously showed that by introducing wrinkles into graphene, they could make substrates for culturing cells that were more similar to the complex environments in which cells grow in the body. For this latest work, the researchers led by Po-Yen Chen, a Hibbit postdoctoral fellow, wanted to build more complex architectures incorporating both wrinkles and crumples.

Read the full article.

Crumpling the graphene makes it superhydrophobic, a property that could be used to develop self-cleaning surfaces. Additionally, the enhanced electrochemical properties could be used in next-generation energy storage and production.

“You don’t need a new material to do it,” said Po-Yen Chen, co-author of the study. “You just need to crumple the graphene.”

Andy GroveBusinessman, author, and one of the foremost minds behind the development of the semiconductor, Andy Grove, passed away on Monday at the age of 79.

Technological giant

During his three decades with Intel, Grove helped transform the chip-making colossus into the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors. He grew with the company as it obtained more and more success, acting as Intel’s president in 1979 and becoming CEO in 1987.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” said current Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a news release. “Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”

Many considered Grove as one of the giants in the world of technology, leaving his mark on everything from memory chips to the digital revolution at large. Without Grove’s contributions to the development of the semiconductor, much of modern life would be very different. Items such as handheld electronics, LED displays, and even solar cells would not exist if not for the semiconductor.

(MORE: Learn about how semiconductors shape society.)

Grove’s influence on ECS

Here at ECS, Grove’s contributions to technology have helped shape some of our divisions and topical interest areas. In 2013, the Society established the Bruce Deal & Andy Grove Young Author Award to recognize the best paper published in the ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS) by a young author. The award was named in Deal, another Fairchild employee, and Grove’s honor for a seminal paper that was published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) describing the Deal-Grove model, which is used to analyze thermal oxidation of silicon in semiconductor device fabrication and has had a lasting influence on the semiconductor technology industry.

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Free the Science 5K is Back!

Free the Science 5K

Free the Science 5K at the 227th ECS Meeting in Chicago.

Start jogging now, because this May the Free the Science 5K returns to the ECS biannual meeting. Join us in San Diego on Tuesday, May 31st at 0700h for a refreshing morning run in support of ECS’s Free the Science initiative.

Free the Science reflects ECS’s bold commitment to advancing and openly sharing scientific research. In light of the importance of our fields to global progress and sustainability, we want to publish the best research in electrochemistry and solid state science at no charge to authors, and make it freely available to all readers.

You can help us reach this goal by running to Free the Science. All profits from the 5K will go toward making the Free the Science vision a reality. To join the race, simply add a ticket to your meeting registration or visit the customer service counter at the meeting. Early-bird registration for the race is $30; onsite is $35. And don’t forget to invite your local friends—the race is open to the public!

Rather sleep in on Tuesday? You can still support Free the Science in many ways, including donating or choosing to publish open access. Learn more about Free the Science.

Come out and join us on Tuesday morning—get charged up with a run through the beautiful San Diego waterfront and show your support for open science.

 

An article by Shelley D. Minteer and Henry White as part of the JES Focus Issue Honoring Allen J. Bard.

Allen J. Bard AwardThe Electrochemical Society founded the Allen J. Bard Award in 2013 to honor Prof. Allen J. Bard’s extensive contributions in the field of electrochemistry, and the first award was given in May 2015 at the ECS meeting in Chicago. In recognition of the establishment of this endowed award, we are delighted to dedicate this special issue of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society to Professor Bard.

Allen was born in New York City in 1933 and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at City College of New York 1955. He continued his studies at Harvard University under the supervision of James J. Lingane, a renowned electroanalytical chemist, and received a Master’s degree in 1956 and a PhD in 1958. He then accepted an instructor position at the University of Texas and quickly moved up the ranks to Professor in 1967.

In the 58 years since arriving in Austin, Allen has mentored over 75 PhD students and 150 post-doctoral fellows. Their combined contributions to the field of electrochemistry are legendary, including electroanalytical techniques for evaluating electrode reaction mechanisms, simultaneous electrochemistry electron spin resonance (SEESR) techniques, nonaqueous solvents for investigating energetic species, electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL), polymer modified electrodes, semiconductor photoelectrochemistry, photocatalysis, scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM), and single-particle collision electrochemistry.

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Empowering Girls in STEM

In an effort to encourage young girls in STEM, Marvel and the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange are working to creating scientific superheroes through the “Girls Reforming the Future Change” challenge.

In conjunction with the upcoming release of Captain America: Civil War, the two organizations have created a program for girls ages 15 to 18 to submit projects they believe could change the world. Through short videos, each contestant is encouraged to explain a STEM related project that could have a far-reaching impact globally.

The project will select five finalists to receive a $500 savings account. Additionally, one lucky contestant will receive the grand prize of an internship at Marvel Studios.

“I’m really excited to meet these exceptional young women who have STEM backgrounds and who maybe also want to be part of more of a creative- and science-based world,” says Elizabeth Olson, actor in the film. “And Marvel’s a perfect place for that.”

Learn more about the project at captainamericachallenge.com.

University of Iowa Student ChapterECS senior vice president and professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, Krishnan Rajeshwar, recently visited the University of Iowa’s ECS Student Chapter to discuss research, meet with faculty, and deliver a lecture on solid state materials.

Rajeshwar’s research touches areas ranging from the first demonstrated use of ionic liquid electrolytes for electrode stabilization in photoelectrochemical (PEC) devices to novel approaches to the electrosynthesis of binary and ternary semiconductor thin films.

Recently, his studies have addressed the use of solid state chemistry principles to the design of electrodes for energy conversion and solar fuel generation. Rajeshwar applied some of these concepts to his lecture, “In a Solid State Materials Chemistry Wonderland: A 40-Year Odyssey,” which he delivered to the ECS Student Chapter at the University of Iowa.

(MORE: Check out additional research by Rajeshwar.)

Throughout his visit, Rajeshwar met with the faculty from the university’s departments of chemistry and engineering, discussed science and current events with student members, and was hosted to dinner by ECS 2nd vice president Johna Leddy.

Learn more about ECS Student Chapters.

ECS Publishes New Article Type

Communication article highlights scientific breakthroughs

JES/JSSIn an effort to more quickly disseminate breakthrough research and bolster the scientific discovery process, ECS has established Communication articles for researchers to quickly get the word out to a large scientific community on impressive preliminary research results.

ECS has been publishing Communication articles since October 2015. These articles define a special category of short reports for publication in either the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) or ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology (JSS).

“Although the research is preliminary,” says Dennis Hess, editor of JSS, “the content of these articles has the potential to change the direction of a field or supply the solution to a critical problem, thereby benefiting greatly science, technology, and society.”

With little time between acceptance and publication and concise reports of 2,000 words or less, Communication articles have the potential to open the door to the faster development of practical applications and overall advancement of the science.

All Communication articles undergo the same rigorous peer-review process associated with ECS publications. Each report is designed to demonstrate the high-impact of the research to the scientific community at large, providing a preliminary step for authors to highlight significant breakthroughs prior to publishing a full study/paper.

Learn more about Communication articles.

PS: Check out the Communication articles that have already been published in JES and JSS.