IEEE Sensors 2010

27 10 2010

Simon’s gone. To the conference, via a few days holiday on the way. Hopefully we’ll get some feedback on the recent developments in the field of sensors. I’m particularly looking forward to hearing about the results shown in the ‘Graphene Sensors‘ session, as I think there’s plenty of scope for this wonder material as a sensor, not just as a replacement for silicon in high speed transistors. Work by Prof Geim’s team in Manchester (who won this years Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in graphene) have indicated that it should be sensitive to a single molecule on the surface, however the challenge is to engineer this into a practical solution.
For people who are interested, Simon’s IEEE-Sensors-2010-Paper and IEEE-Sensors-2010-Poster on the operation of piezoelectric energy harvesters in challenging environments are available.

Results !

25 10 2010

Always a proud day. Like a proud father, Rupert has brought his JFETS out of the clean room and has spent the afternoon carefully assessing their performance on the characterisation system.

silicon carbide JFET testing

Rupert tests his latest creation

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This house believes …

25 10 2010

A change to Journal Club for this week. Instead of us sitting round discussing the latest results from the literature, we went for a more direct discussion and moved to a full on scientific debate. To this end, we held ‘This house believes … that Graphene is a Superconductor’ with presentations from Kartheek (for) and Amit (against).

Graphene Superconductor Debate

Kartheek presents the case for

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Entrepreneur back to the day job

18 10 2010

Simon’s blog on the life and times of an entrepreneurial PhD student is going from strength to strength. This week he’s moved away from talking about the challenges of being director of a small startup, Slotzz and is back talking about life in the scientific fast lane. On the other hand, it’s his last post for the people at EE Times, before he spends a couple of weeks out in Hawaii, pretending to present his work at the upcoming IEEE Sensors Conference. Wonder if he will be racking up quite as many airmiles for next years, as it is being held somewhere a bit closer to home

Why Silicon Carbide ?

15 10 2010

One of the first electronic materials, silicon carbide (SiC) is actually best known as an abrasive and the the majority of the worlds production is used as the black sandpaper you can buy in B&Q (or Home Depot for people in the states). Originally discovered in Sweden in 1824 by Berzelius (who was trying to make diamonds), it was Acheson who found the first production method for the manufacture of carborundum abrasives in 1893. Around this time Henri Moissan found grains of silicon carbide in the Diablo Canyon meteorite and hence the geological name for SiC is still Moissanite.

Moissanite Grain Silicon Carbide

Scanning Electron Micrograph of Moissanite (

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