Tech Highlights

Check out what’s trending in electrochemical and solid state science and technology! Read some of the most exciting and innovative papers that have been recently published in ECS’s journals.

The articles highlighted below are free! Follow the links to get the full-text version.

Towards Implantable Bio-Supercapacitors: Pseudocapacitance of Ruthenium Oxide Nanoparticles and Nanosheets in Acids, Buffered Solutions, and Bioelectrolyte
Since the early 1990s when ruthenium oxide-based electrode materials were found to have pseudocapacitive properties, they have been extensively investigated as promising supercapacitor electrodes. A best benchmark example is RuO2·nH2O in combination with H2SO4 as the electrolyte, being able to operate with high voltage window, high capacitance and long cycle life. Read the rest.

Influence of the Altered Surface Layer on the Corrosion of AA5083

Aluminum alloys are increasingly replacing heavier materials in transportation, military and other applications, oftentimes in environments demanding of exceptional corrosion performance. In this regard, AA5083 has served as one of the alloys of choice for marine applications. Read the rest.

Advances in 3D Printing of Functional Nanomaterials
The intense and widespread interest in additive manufacturing techniques, including 3D printing, has resulted in an approximately $5 billion industry today with projections for growth to $15-20 billion by 2018. The commercial availability of 3D printing equipment, and the development of flexible additive manufacturing platforms in R&D laboratories, has provided a foundation for researchers to perform fundamental research in the materials science and engineering of polymers, organic materials, ceramics, inks, pastes, and other materials. Read the rest.

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Disingenuous Scientometrics

The following is an article from the latest issue of Interface by co-editor Vijay Ramani.

The precise definition of the “impact” of a research product (e.g. publication) varies significantly among disciplines, and even among individuals within a given discipline. While some may recognize scholarly impact as paramount, others may emphasize the economic impact, the broad societal impact, or some combination therein. Given that the timeframe across which said impact is assessed can also vary substantially, it is safe to say that no formula exists that will yield a standardized and reproducible measure. The difficulties inherent in truly assessing research impact appear to be matched only by the convenience of the numerous flawed metrics that are currently in vogue among those doing the assessing.

Needless to say, many of these metrics are used outside the context for which they were originally developed. In using these measures, we are essentially sacrificing rigor and accuracy in favor of convenience (alas, a tradeoff that far too many in the community are willing to make!).

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Interface Student News Submission Guidelines

interface-latest-coverThe following guidelines were constructed by Petr Vanýsek, the Co-Editor of Interface.

Interface encourages submissions of news from student groups. Therefore, we try to keep the “rules” to a minimum. However, some guidance will help in preparing the material.

Timeliness:  Interface is published every three month, therefore a report on something that happened no more than 6 months makes sense. Waiting more than six months will make it “old news.”

Details: Be specific. If you describe an activity, state Where, When, Who.  Give the names of the speakers and other actors in the story. Double check the spelling of the names, both persons and places. Consider, whether someone may prefer to be referred to (in a publication) by Ms., Dr. of Prof., instead of a first name.

Formatting: Do not format your documents, except for paragraphs and italics, etc., if you need them. The text will be reformatted anyway. If you are submitting your newsletter, it is better to remove the layout. And please, do not embed pictures in the text. Give only the picture caption and send the pictures separately as individual files.

Photographs: They are fairly easy to take with modern electronics and we like contributions with pictures. They tell a better story.

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Tech Highlights

Check out what’s trending in electrochemical and solid state technology! Read some of the most exciting and innovative papers that have been recently published in ECS’s journals.

The articles highlighted below are free! Follow the links to get the full-text version.

Development of Hybrid Electro-Electroless Deposit (HEED) Coatings and Applications
Electrodeposition can be achieved via electroplating, whereby current is applied to the work piece serving as the cathode, or by using an electroless deposition process, wherein the reductant is a co-dissolved species in the plating solution. Researchers in Canada have developed a combined deposition process, termed hybrid electro-electroless deposition (HEED) to deposit two metals. Read the rest.

“Time of Flight” Electrochemistry
Measurement of molecular diffusion coefficients is important in understanding and determining the kinetics of physical and chemical processes. Among the measurement techniques employed are those based on pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, field flow fractionation, and electrochemistry. Read the rest.

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3 Useful Electrochemistry Websites

Websites of NoteThis is the latest Websites of Note, a regular feature in the ECS magazine Interface researched by Zoltan Nagy, a semi-retired electrochemist.

Fuel Cells — Green Power
Although fuel cells have been around since 1839, it took 120 years until NASA demonstrated some of their potential applications in providing power during space flight. As a result of these successes, in the 1960s, industry began to recognize the commercial potential of fuel cells, but encountered technical barriers and high investment costs — fuel cells were not economically competitive with existing energy technologies. Since 1984, the Office of Transportation Technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy has been supporting research and development of fuel cell technology, and as a result, hundreds of companies around the world are now working towards making fuel cell technology pay off. Just as in the commercialization of the electric light bulb nearly one hundred years ago, today’s companies are being driven by technical, economic, and social forces such as high performance characteristics, reliability, durability, low cost, and environmental benefits.

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Modeling Corrosion, Atom by Atom

corrosion_atom_by_atomAn article by Christopher D. Taylor in the latest issue of Interface.

In the late 20th century, computer programs emerged that could solve the fundamental quantum mechanical equations that control the interactions of atoms that give rise to bonding. These tools, first applied to molecules and bulk solid materials, then began to be applied to surfaces and, in the early 21st century, to electrochemical environments. Commercial and open-source programs are now readily available and can be used on both desktop and high-performance computing platforms to solve for the electronic structure of a given configuration of atomic centers (nuclei) and, in so doing, provide the basis for determining a whole host of properties, including electronic and vibrational spectra, electrical moments such as the system dipole, and, most importantly, the energy and forces on the atoms. Other derived properties include the extent to which each atom is charged and bond-orders, although to compute these latter properties one of a variety of methods for dividing up and quantifying the electron density associated with each atom must be selected.

The physics behind these codes is complex, and, challengingly, has no rigorous analytical solution that can be obtained within a finite allotment of time. Thus, the computer programs themselves take advantage of approximations that allow for a feasible solution but, at the same time, constrain the accuracy of the result. Nonetheless, solutions can usually be reliably obtained for model systems representing materials, interfaces, or molecules that do not exceed thousands, and, more realistically, hundreds of atoms. Given that system sizes of hundreds or thousands of atoms amount to no more than the smallest nanoparticle of a substance, the question arises: What can atomistic simulations teach us about corrosion?

Read the rest.

Everybody Writes, Nobody Reads

May it be then a reward to all the Interface authors to know that there is a crowd of people who read their work.

May it be then a reward to all the Interface authors to know that there is a crowd of people who read their work.

An article by Interface Co-Editor Petr Vanysek in the latest issue of the publication.

I am happy to report that people read Interface magazine. Just the other day I received a long letter commenting on the usefulness of the topical articles, this one specifically detailing the issue dealing with ionic liquids. The message of the letter was that the reviews in Interface are just as useful as the summary articles in peer-reviewed publications. Another reader, reacting to the side remark I made in my recent editorial about opening a dog kennel, wanted to unload his German shepherds on me. Yet another letter mentioned the Classics column and how nice it was to read recollections about scientists, written by other scientists and colleagues.

Interface does not have an officially gauged impact factor and we do not have a good measure of how well and thoroughly this magazine is read. Still, we like to hear that it is a useful medium for the members, the advertisers, and anybody else who may follow what shows up in our quarterly.

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interface_blogIf your organization is conducting research and development in photovoltaics, consider sharing your products and services with ECS scientists and engineers. Interface, the quarterly magazine of ECS, is currently accepting advertisements and classified ads for the spring 2015 issue.

The deadline for all advertisements is February 1st.

Interested organizations should contact Becca Jensen Compton, Development Manager at becca.compton@electrochem.org.

corrosion_blog_interfaceAn article by Kenji Amaya, Naoki Yoneya, and Yuki Onishi published in the latest issue of Interface.

Protecting structures from corrosion is one of the most important challenges in engineering. Cathodic protection using sacrificial anodes or impressing current from electrodes is applied to many marine structures. Prediction of the corrosion rates of structures and the design of cathodic protection systems have been traditionally based on past experience with a limited number of empirical formulae.

Recently, application of numerical methods such as the boundary element method (BEM) or finite element method (FEM) to corrosion problems has been studied intensively, and these methods have become powerful tools in the study of corrosion problems.

With the progress in numerical simulations, “Inverse Problems” have received a great deal of attention. The “Inverse Problem” is a research methodology pertaining to identifying unknown information from external or indirect observation utilizing a model of the system.

Read the rest.

computer_simulation2An article by N.J. Laycock, D.P. Krouse, S.C. Hendy, and D.E. Williams published in the latest issue of Interface.

Stainless steels and other corrosion resistant alloys are generally protected from the environment by ultra-thin layers of surface oxides, also called passive films. Unfortunately, these films are not perfect and their Achilles’ heel is a propensity to catastrophic local breakdown, which leads to rapid corrosion of the metallic substructure. Aside from the safety and environmental hazards associated with these events, the economic impact is enormous.

In the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, it is of course usually possible to select from experience a corrosion-resistant alloy that will perform acceptably in a given service environment. This knowledge is to a large extent captured in industry or company-specific standards, such as Norsok M1.

However, these selections are typically very conservative because the limits tend to be driven by particular incidents or test results, rather than by fundamental understanding. Decision-making can be very challenging, especially in today’s mega-facilities, where the cost of production downtime is often staggeringly large. Thus significant practical benefits could be gained from reliable quantitative models for pitting corrosion of stainless steels. There have been several attempts to develop purely stochastic models of pitting corrosion.

Read the rest.

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