Simulation beats Experiment …

17 12 2010

The motion was not carried at This House Believes earlier today. Jon makes a very tough adversary and he certainly had the crowd enthralled during his presentation. Both talks had something for all the family, from Feynman to Lord Kelvin and Harry Hill to the Simpsons, via the Schroedinger equation and the Large Hadron Collider. After almost an hour and a half, a lot of which was questions from the audience, we came to the vote.

This House Believes Experimental Science

Before the debate

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This House Believes … is back

8 12 2010

After the popularity of the last debate, we are going for a Christmas special. As it will be the last day of term for us all (otherwise known as the last day for the heating!) we are holding something a bit different. The theme this time is ‘This House Believes That ‘Simulation is only a parody of experimental science‘, which should make for a decent debate. This will be followed by a traditional end of year celebration. Anybody wanting to come along and watch, it’s at 14:30 on the 17th and the advert can be found here.

High Temperature JFETs

3 12 2010

Despite the snow, the high temperature results are in! The first data shows gate leakage two orders of magnitude below the channel current and that’s at 400C!

silicon carbide JFET data 400C

First of Rupert's JFET data at 400C

Just how extreme is that … ?

3 12 2010

It’s been a bit quiet round here of late. The most obvious thing has been weather, which for a research group which works in high temperature electronics has been a bit of a surprise. The North East of England has had somewhere between 50cm of snow (that’s in the centre of Newcastle) to somewhere over 1.5m. On top of that it got down to about -17C last night (only -12C in the city …) On the plus side, it makes for nice views on your way to work

snow tyneside  newcastle sunrise

The sun rises on another snowy morning

The rest of the UK has had snow as well, although it seems that we have had more than our share. A really good image showing the extent of all this can be found on the BBC news page

In terms of the research, people are spending quite a lot of time in the burn in room, where the furnaces are running 24-7. Results from here indicate that our devices cope well with long term exposure to temperatures of 400 and 500C. Certainly the JFETs show a substantial reduction in gate leakage current after a few hours, which is then stable. This indicates that we should be well placed for running these devices in our target applications of volcanoes and jet engines.

For me, the next challenge is in completing the paperwork for the UKube mission. It’s ten pages and due in on Wednesday next week. The challenge at the moment is in terms of manpower. Although I have a decent sized team working for me, they all have a full time job already and the amount of work required to get this thing to fly (literally) might be too much. I suspect some form of outsourcing is going to be required, so if you are a wizard with an FPGA, live fairly close by and fancy joining in with this escapade, let me know! Having said that, it’s not just FPGA wizards wanted, anybody who is a competent electronic engineer, let us know!