2014 ECS Summer Fellowship Reports

ECS logoEach year ECS awards up to five Summer Fellowships to assist students in continuing their graduate work during the summer months in a field of interest to the Society. Congratulations to the five Summer Fellowship recipients for 2014. The Society thanks the Summer Fellowship Committee for their work in reviewing the applications and selecting five excellent recipients. Applications for the 2015 Summer Fellowships are due January 15, 2015.

Get more information here.


4 Useful Electrochemistry Websites

Websites of Note

Websites of Note are gathered by Zoltan Nagy.

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

Corrosion Electrochemistry and Kinetics – P.R. Roberge, McGraw-Hill Professional
Two very detailed introductory websites of corrosion and its connection and measurements by electrochemistry. Find the second site here.

Cathodic Protection – Deepwater Corrosion Services
A series of a large number of papers dealing with all aspects of cathodic protection, theory, and applications.

Kinetics of Aqueous Corrosion – Dept. of Materials Science and Metallurgy, (U. of Cambridge)
A very good series of teaching material about corrosion and its connection to electrochemistry with practical applications.

Anodic Protection: Its Operation and Applications – J.I. Munro and W.W. Shim, Corrosion Services Co. Ltd
Detailed theory and applications of anodic protection, which somehow nowadays does not seem very practical, though it made big news about fifty years ago.

Dr. Nagy welcomes suggestions for entries; send them to nagyz@email.unc.edu.

P.S. If you haven’t checked out Dr. Nagy’s Electrochemistry Knowledge Base, make sure to head over to the site to see the huge wealth of electrochemical resources that he has curated.

Member Spotlight – Jiaxing Huang

ECS member Jiaxing Huang used freshman-level chemistry to solve the solubility mystery of graphene oxide films.Image: Northwestern University

ECS member Jiaxing Huang used freshman-level chemistry to solve the solubility mystery of graphene oxide films.
Image: Northwestern University

Sometimes science can be extremely complex and commanded by technical expertise. But there are moments when one has to go back to his roots to find a more simple answer for a complex issue. That is what ECS member Jiaxing Huang – along with a team of Northwestern University researchers – has done in order to solve the mystery that surrounds the solubility of graphene oxide films.

For years, one question has puzzled the materials science community – why are graphene oxide (GO) films highly stable in water?

When submerged, GO sheets become negatively charged and repel, which should cause membrane to disintegrate. Though much to the confusion of the scientific community, when GO sheets are submerged they stabilize.


Toyota is looking to propel the future of the fuel cell vehicle with the recent announcement that they will be granting royalty-free use to thousands of their patents.

“I’m happy and extremely proud to announce to you today that Toyota will grant royalty-free use of all 5,680 of our fuel cell patents, including pending patents,” said Senior Vice President of Toyota’s Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The patents are to be used by companies manufacturing and selling fuel cell vehicles. Carter stated that these patents – which are critical to the development and production of fuel cells vehicles – will be available through 2020.


2014: Science in Review

As the year comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of the greatest innovations and discoveries that have happened in science. While we reflect on these amazing developments, we only have one question: what’s next?

Scientific American’s Stop 10 Science Stories of 2014
The team at Scientific American is reflecting on some of the greatest breakthroughs and scientific developments that will have long-lasting implications. They’re covering everything from synthetic chromosomes to gravitational waves.

Top 10 Patents for 2014
We’re closing out the year by looking back on the greatest innovations from all over the world. From alternative energies to drones and robots, these patents may just be the best inventions from 2014.

The Most Amazing Science and Technology Images of the Year
We’ve been talking about the intersection of art and science recently, and 2014 had a lot to show for that topic. Thankfully, Popular Science has rounded up some of the most mind-blowing images for us. Thanks guys.


First Hybrid-Electric Airplane (Video)


An aircraft with a parallel hybrid engine – the first ever to be able to recharge its batteries in flight – has been successfully tested in the UK, an important early step towards cleaner, low-carbon air travel.
Credit: University of Cambridge

The United Kingdom is taking an important step towards cleaner, low-carbon air travel with the first successfully tested airplane with a parallel hybrid-electric engine. The novel aircraft is the first of its kind due to the ability to recharge its batteries while in flight.

This development comes out of the University of Cambridge in conjunction with Boeing, where they have worked to successfully develop a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system for an aircraft that will use up to 30 percent less fuel than a comparable plane with a petrol-only engine.

To create the plane, the researches used the same basic principals as in a hybrid car. The aircraft uses a 4-stroke piston engine and an electric motor/generator. When maximum power is required – i.e. during takeoff – the engine and electric motor work together to power the plane. Once cruise height is reached, the motor switches to generator mode to recharge its batteries.


Sticky Sensors for Internal Organs


This gel-based adhesive for sticking sensors on the body can measure strain and electrical activity.
Image: Nature Communications

Sensors can go almost anywhere and do almost anything – and soon, sensors may be making their way to your internal organs.

Researchers have developed an electronic sensor, of which they will attach to a newly designed sticky sheet in order to attach to the body’s organs.

This from Popular Science:

A team of researchers based at several Japanese universities made prototype sticky sensors that they’ve now tested on the still-beating hearts of living rats. The sensors measured strain and electrical activity, both of which are created when a heart beats. In a test, the sensors maintained good contact with the rats’ heart for three hours.


Turning Footsteps into Electricity


Collecting this energy is enough to power lights and other small devices for minutes at a time from a mere one hundred or so footfalls.
Credit: Pavegen

When we look at the kinetic energy that people produce from things such as footfalls or climbing steps, it just makes sense that we begin to move toward harnessing energy from human activity.

That is the mantra of the company Pavegen – the developer of power-generating systems for pavements, football fields, and even school corridors.

The technology for innovations such as this already exists, with the piezoelectric effect dating back more that 130 years.

Now, we have the ability to place these piezoelectric devices in unlikely places. When Pavegen applied this technology to a football field, they were able to produce up to 7 watts of energy with each step.


As Larry Faulkner said, “Norman Hackerman has been one of those rare and valued great citizens who helps a large and complex society move from past to future."

As Larry Faulkner said, “Norman Hackerman has been one of those rare and valued great citizens who helps a large and complex society move from past to future.”

An article by Robert P. Frankenthal in the Summer 2008 issue of Interface.

Norman Hackerman, who died last year at the age of 95, was a giant among giants: a world renowned scientist, an outstanding educator, a highly successful administrator, and a champion for basic research. He was member of ECS for more than 60 years. His research focused on the electrochemistry of corrosion, its mechanism and the processes to prevent or inhibit corrosion. During the more than 50 years he served as an administrator, he continued as a research scientist and an educator, maintaining an active research group and teaching freshman classes. At the same time he served the government, ECS, and other technical societies in numerous capacities.

Marye Anne Fox, chancellor and distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, summed up his contributions to the nation, as reported in Chemical & Engineering News, “More than any other American, Norman Hackerman’s strong support for investment in basic research was the dominant factor in American science policy over the past 50 years, including the years he served as chairman of the National Science Board.” She further states that as a leader, “his voice was a strong one for the highest ethical principles, imbued with rationality, even when this involved great personal cost.”

Read the rest.

Nanosensor to Detect Extraterrestrial Life

The EPFL scientists successfully tested their novel system with isolated bacteria, yeast, mouse and human cells.Credit:

The EPFL scientists successfully tested their novel system with isolated bacteria, yeast, mouse and human cells.
Credit: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Could nanotechnology be the key to discovering extraterrestrial life? The scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) believe so.

A team at EPFL made up of Giovanni Dietler, Sandor Kasa and Giovanni Longo has developed an extremely sensitive nanosensor that can detect organisms as small as bacteria, yeast, and even cancer cells.

The scientits believe that this is a novel innovation that can be applied to the search for extraterrestrial life. Prior to this development, finding life on other plants has been dependent on chemical detection. The researchers have veered away from this idea and have decided to depend on detecting motion, seeing as it is a trait of life.

The nanosensor uses a nano-sized cantilever to detect motion. A cantilever – or simply a beam that is anchored only at one end, with the other end bearing a load – is typically used in the design of bridges and buildings, but this application takes the very same idea and implements it on a micrometer scale.