Compound composite challenges

Materials World magazine
A EUREKA SURFAS project made up of French and Swiss researchers seeks to address the problems surrounding the use of sheet moulding compound (SMC) composites in automotives. The material could reduce the car's weight and decrease carbon emissions but their use has been limited due to cracks and blisters appearing on the surface of components.
Etched trench in silicon film

Novel technique developed to grow semiconductors on silicon

Materials World magazine
AmberWave Systems, based in Salem, USA, has developed a novel technique to grow semiconductors, such as germanium, gallium arsenide and indium phosphide, on silicon. Researchers hope the method will lead to faster and smaller transistors, and cheaper lasers and photonic devices. Faster and smaller transistors are the key to extending Moore's Law - the chip industry axiom that predicts doubling the number of transistors in an integrated electronic circuit every two years will improve performance. The team has epitaxially grown non-silicon semiconductors through chemical vapour deposition.

Clay nanoparticles enhance latex emulsion paints

Materials World magazine
Polymeric latex emulsion paints can be made more hardwearing and fire resistant by incorporating clay nanoparticles, according to research conducted at the University of Warwick, UK. These paints are applied as waterborne and automotive coatings, or as a binding material in cement, mortar, asphalt, carpet and paper.
Schematic of the optical sensor

Super-sensitive optical chemical sensor in development

Materials World magazine
Researchers at Southampton University, UK, are developing an optical chemical sensor made from optical fibre stretched to around 400nm. They claim it can detect compounds with a sensitivity of one molecule in 10 million. This is 10 times more sensitive than other sensors available, and could be used to detect minute amounts of toxins or explosives.

UK’s Carbon Trust releases £1m of funding for low energy projects

Materials World magazine
The UK’s Carbon Trust has released £1 million of funding for seven new carbon technology projects. The Carbon Trust, an independent company funded by the UK Government to support the development of low carbon technologies, has announced one million pounds worth of funding for seven low carbon technology projects.