A week of contrasts

22 04 2012

The end of another week and this one has shown the usual ups and downs. Firstly, Sandip joined us to take up the PhD studentship on our EPSRC project on Monday. His first job was to write an abstract for the ECSCRM 2012 deadline, which was Friday the 20th of April. With eight abstracts being submitted by us this year, it was a relief when they extended the deadline to the 30th, as some people still hadn’t finished writing theirs by lunchtime on Friday.

My trip to the NMI meeting on Tuesday was great. Flying in a small, turbo prop plane in high winds and driving rain is never much fun, but the talk went well and I got to speak to a good number of interesting people. Hopefully some of these will translate into collaborations for the future. Just inside the MTC at Ansty (which is a spectacular looking building) is an amazing sight …

Bentley Le Mans Winner 2003

Wednesday brought an opportunity for a properly ‘techy day’, John and Anna from the Space Research Centre at Leicester University came to have a chat about our ongoing work developing Silicon Carbide radiation detectors. There’s plenty of scope here for some interesting developments in the future, so watch this space.

Finally, during one of the obligatory trips to a well known DIY store, it appears that the nice people at JCB know more about my dressing habits than I do …

JCB Alton Hoodie B&Q

I guess it is referring to Alton, a town in Staffordshire which is famous for an amusement park

National Microelectronics Institute

16 04 2012

Just finished my talk for tomorrows day out at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, hosted by the National Microelectronics Institute. It’s an opportunity to talk about the work we have been undertaking in power electronics using Silicon Carbide. It’s certainly interesting how rapid the change has been in this field, with efficiencies of over 95% now being reported. Our work is in the idea of novel topologies and gate drive circuits to enable SiC to move forward. Some of this work was presented by Omid at the PECI conference last month and won him the best paper award, so this is obviously a topical area! The presentation I am giving can be downloaded from here.

NMI Talk – 17th April 2012

The Hasselt Diamond Conference

10 04 2012

Amit has been off to the Hasselt Diamond Conference to showcase his work on the functionalisation of diamond surfaces, with a view to understanding their suitability for manufacturing thermionic converters. The key for this application is the realisation of a thermally stable, negative electron affinity surface, which will enhance the electron emission properties. This is an interesting challenge in three parts, the understanding of the surface, modelling the behaviour of two surfaces in close proximity and the non trivial engineering challenge of placing two atomically flat surfaces only a few nanometers apart in a vacuum. His work is a follow on to the paper we published in Physical Review B at the end of 2011 and includes some recent observations on metal terminated surfaces.

Hasselt Diamond conference functionalisation poster

It’s not all hard work at a conference though and Amit spotted a fantastic advert. It seems strange that a UK based company doesn’t use this type of advertising here …

Strongbow advert

Don’t know why, but for some reason, it appears that this image will only insert sideways …