Prof. Sundaram has received degrees from the University of Kerala, Indian Institute of Science, and the Indian Institute of Technology.

Prof. Sundaram has received degrees from the University of Kerala, Indian Institute of Science, and the Indian Institute of Technology.

Kalpathy B. Sundaram of the University of Central Florida will be awarded the 2015 Dielectric Science and Technology Division Thomas D. Callinan Award at the ECS 227th Meeting in Chicago this May.

This prestigious award was established by ECS in 1967 to encourage excellence in dielectrics and insulation investigations, as well as recognize outstanding research contributions in the field.

Prof. Sundaram will receive this award for showing excellence in his field through his research in thin film technology for low dielectric constant and high-k dielectric materials. Both academic and industrial researchers and engineers cite Prof. Sundaram’s contributions in solving fundamental problems with high-k materials.


Google Celebrates Electrochemistry

In honor of Alessandro Volta’s 270th birthday, Google is celebrating the man best known for inventing the first battery with today’s Google Doodle.

While Volta was a trained physicist, many consider him to be the first great electrochemist. By inventing the first battery, which he called the electric “pile”, he established the starting point of electrochemical science and technology with the first notable electrochemical storage device.

The turning point for Volta’s development of the battery came in 1780, when his collaborator Luigi Galvani discovered that the contact of two different metals with the muscle of a frog leg resulted in the generation of electric current.

Volta respectfully disagreed with Luigi’s theory that animal tissue was essential in the creation of electricity, arguing that the frog legs served only as an electroscope and further suggested that the true source of stimulation was the contact between dissimilar metals. With this theory, he began experimenting with metals alone in 1794.


227th ECS Meeting Early-Bird Registration Open

Chiacgo-Early-Bird-CoverEarly-bird registration is now open!

Register by April 24, 2015 to take advantage of significant early-bird discounts.

Register online now!

The 227th ECS Meeting will be held downtown at the historic Hilton, Chicago and will include over 50 topical symposia consisting of over 2,000 technical presentations, full-day short courses, professional development workshops, career opportunities, poster sessions, a dynamic technical exhibit and the 3rd annual Free the Science 5K Run. The 227th ECS Meeting is expected to attract over 2,000 scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academic institutions.

Scientists, engineers, and industry leaders come from around the world to attend the technical symposia, poster sessions, panel discussions, professional development workshops, special summits, and networking and social events offered throughout the course of each meeting.


Why Go to Glasgow?

Dan Fatton, Director of Development and Membership Services and Christie Knef, ECS Director of Meetings outside Kelvingrove Museum.

Dan Fatton, Director of Development and Membership Services and Christie Knef, ECS Director of Meetings outside Kelvingrove Museum.

Last weekend, I had the great opportunity to visit Glasgow, Scotland in the United Kingdom. Christie Knef, ECS Director of Meetings, and I were scoping out the location for our upcoming conference, the ECS Conference on Electrochemical Energy Conversion & Storage with SOFC-XIV.

The city is really beautiful, but also very compact and walkable. I’m excited that the conference location is extremely accessible, adjacent to the Exhibition Centre station. Even more exciting to me, there is a city bike system and in July, our delegates will be able to bike to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre easily; there is a nice bike path along the River Clyde leading directly to the venue from a multitude of hotels, many of which will be offering discounted room rates for delegates. There are several other noteworthy attractions, including the Glasgow Science Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, University of Strathclyde and University of Glasgow, as well as the exciting Center City of Glasgow. Here’s a less than 90 second video tour of the sites and people that make Glasgow.

Not only is Glasgow easy to get around, but it’s very simple to travel to Edinburgh by train. Of note, the 2015 British Open will be held the week before our conference, and the United Kingdom’s largest art festival will begin July 30. Even if attendees cannot extend their stay, it’s less than 45 minutes on ScotRail to visit another great city for one evening; be sure to check out the historic fortress, Edinburgh Castle, and Scotland’s first university, University of St. Andrews.

The deadline for abstracts is quickly approaching later this week – Friday, February 20! I encourage anyone considering attending the conference to submit your abstract now.

And don’t forget, there are still exhibit spaces left with plenty of opportunities for sponsorship.

ECS Talk – Richard Alkire

Long-time ECS member and past President of the Society (1985-1986), Dr. Alkire has been tremendously influential in the field of chemical engineering throughout his career.

His research activities include experimental investigations and mathematical modeling of localized corrosions, metal etching, high speed electrodeposition processes, porous electrodes, electro-organic synthesis, and plasma reactor design. Alkire received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering under ECS’s own Charles Tobias at the University of California Berkeley.

Take a moment to get to know him in this episode of ECS Talk.

Join Alkire and other top scientists in electrochemical and solid state science by joining the Society and attending our meetings!

And don’t forget to head over to the Digital Library to check out some of his published papers, including “Gravitational Effects on the Initial Stage of Cu Electrodeposition.”

ECS Classics: Pillars of Modern Electrochemistry

pillars_of_electrochemAn article by A. K. Shukla and T. Prem Kumar in the Fall 2008 issue of Interface.

Although there is some archaeological evidence which suggests that some form of a primitive battery (sometimes called a Baghdad battery) was used for electroplating in Mesopotamia ca. 200 BC, electrochemistry as we know it today had its genesis in the pile of crowns of Alessandro Volta in 1800. The inspiration for his studies might have come from the famous frog leg experiments of Galvani, who, however, was content to conclude that the phenomenon was of biological origin. A metamorphosis took place with seminal contributions from John Daniell and Michael Faraday. From such humble beginnings, electrochemistry today has matured into a multidisciplinary branch of study. Built on the precision of physics and depth of materials science, it encompasses chemistry, physics, biology, and chemical engineering.

The uniqueness of electrochemistry lies in the fact that the application of a potential or electric field can help overcome kinetic limitations at low temperatures. Moreover, electrochemical processes can be tuned to obtain chemically and sometimes stereochemically specific products. Electrochemical reactions are also sensitive to electrode-surface characteristics and electrolyte composition, which opens up several analytical and characterization avenues. Like many forward thinkers who have strived to make life easier for us to live, history pages are littered with the names, some of them long forgotten, of those who have made electrochemistry what it is today. This article is an attempt to provide a glimpse of these pillars of electrochemistry through their contributions.

Read the rest.

Controlling Car Pollution at the Quantum Level

Toyota Central R&D Labs in Japan have reviewed research that might be leading the way towards a new generation of automotive catalytic converters.Image: Bertel Schmitt/CC

Toyota Central R&D Labs in Japan have reviewed research that might be leading the way towards a new generation of automotive catalytic converters.
Image: Bertel Schmitt/CC

Soon we may be able to better control pollution created by cars at the quantum level.

Researchers from the Toyota Central R&D Labs are conducting research that may lead toward a new generation of automotive catalytic converters.

The new catalytic converters differ from the typical toxic fuel filtering systems due to the new catalyst’s focus on metal clusters, which allows it to be controlled at the quantum-level.

“We can expect an extreme reduction of precious metal using in automotive exhaust catalysts and/or fuel cells,” says Dr. Yoshihide Wantanabe, chief researcher at the Toyota Central R&D Labs in Japan.


The nanotubes can be tumor-targeted and have a central 'hollow' core that can be loaded with a therapeutic payload.Image: Jing Claussen (iThera Medical, Germany)

The nanotubes can be tumor-targeted and have a central ‘hollow’ core that can be loaded with a therapeutic payload.
Image: Jing Claussen (iThera Medical, Germany)

Gold nanotubes have multiple applications in fighting cancer, including internal nanoprobes for high-resolution imaging and drug delivery vehicles. With new research from the University of Leeds, we’re discovering that these gold nanotubes may also be able to give doctors the chance to treat cancer as soon as they spot it.

“Gold nanotubes – that is, gold nanoparticles with tubular structures that resemble tiny drinking straws – have the potential to enhance the efficacy of these conventional treatments by integrating diagnosis and therapy in one single system,” said Professor at the University of Leeds Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Science Sunjie Ye in a release.

The new study shows the first successful demonstration of biomedical use of gold nanotubes in a mouse model of human cancer. The researchers hope that these results will aid in the treatment of cancer and address the issue of high recurrence rates of tumors after surgical removal.


The Image at the Center of the Climate Debate

hockeystickFor the past several years, there has been one image that has been central to the climate change debate: the infamous “hockey stick” graph.

Since the graph appeared in the paper “Northern hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: Inferences, uncertainties, and limitation,” Michael Mann has been hard at work defending his research.

“The hockey stick graph became a central icon in the climate wars,” Mann said at the Feb. 11 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “The graph took on a life of its own.”

The graph gained notoriety when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published the image and starting using it to drive home the message of climate change. The graph still remains an ever-present part of the climate debates.


The Science of Love

Best-selling American author Julia Quinn once said, “Love works in mysterious ways.” Well, it turns out love isn’t quite as mysterious as we once thought.

With countries across the world celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14th, we figured we’d take a look at the science behind romantic love.

However, the answer to the age old question, “What is love?” really comes down to what aspect of science you’re looking at. Here at ECS, we’re going to delve into the chemical reactions that occur to make a person feel sensations associated with love.

While the heart is the most common image associated with the idea of love, it’s really the brain that’s doing all the work. When we make a connection that falls along the path of romantic love, our brain releases a plethora of chemicals that cause us to experience excitement, euphoria, and bonding.

Chemicals such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine are released in the early stages of love. Along with being able to see these chemicals at work on a brain scan, electrochemistry also offers us the option to track them and pick up patterns via sensors.