Green on the Industrial Scale

May 21, 2012

Molecular Layer Deposition of Polymers – George, Yoon & Dameron [4]

Many exotic materials or materials with special properties are processed using extreme temperature and pressure often with toxic starting materials. In semiconductors, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) to build single crystal structures and sputtering are common methods of physical deposition to deposit thin films. Both are done using a very high vacuum. MBE heats the atomic materials until they sublimate and land on the desired surface. Sputtering uses a gas plasma to knock a few atoms of material off a “target” and onto the desired surface. There are also different chemical deposition processes including electroplating which uses metal salts dissolved in a solution bath, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) which uses high vacuum, and atomic layer deposition (ALD) which is similar to CVD but uses two half-reactions of gas phase precursors

Limitations imposed by extreme temperature, extreme pressure, and toxic materials combined with a typically slow deposition rate make it is difficult to economically run these processes on an industrial scale for high volume manufacturing. But what if there was a process that  Read the rest of this entry »

IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium – Session 1 – Energy Generation and Storage

June 7, 2011

US Energy Flow 2009 (LLNL)

Here are the highlights from Session 1 – Energy Generation and Storage of the recent IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council Symposium:

Dr. Dania Ghantous, V.P. Technology of Qnovo: “Lithium-Ion Batteries: Opportunities and Challenges”

Dr. Ghantous provided an overview of lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery technology and market since Qnovo is still in “stealth mode”. She did say that battery life, charge time, and cost are Read the rest of this entry »

IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium 2011 – Keynote

May 19, 2011

Dr. Narayan

The IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council held their 7th annual symposium this week. As in the past, the council presents an excellent program. This year’s program focused was “Nanotechnology – Consumer Applications.”

Here are my notes from the keynote presentation by Dr. Spike Narayan, Functional Manager IBM, “Nanotechnology: Leveraging Semiconductor Technologies to Address Global Challenges.”

He asks: can we leverage semiconductor technology to address global challenges of environment, energy, healthcare, and water? Others have made a compelling argument that Read the rest of this entry »

SolFocus: Focused on System Economics

September 23, 2010

At Tuesday’s IEEE Nanotechnology Forum, Phil Metz, Director of Business Development for SolFocus, discussed their technology in his presentation “SolFocus Concentrator Photovoltaics – An Introduction“. Though I enjoyed learning about their concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology (the presentation was appropriately focused for the audience), I had a greater appreciation for their integrated system approach including the economics. This was evident in the non-technical details he shared. As an early adopter with a residential photovoltaic (PV) system, I was surprised when comparing systems beyond the core technology.

Both CPV and PV systems convert the energy radiated from the sun to direct current (DC) power. Most “grid tie” systems then use an inverter to convert the DC power to alternating current (AC) power which is then fed into the power grid. Beyond these basic similarities, there are large differences in technology, complexity, and economics between the systems.

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IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop – Opening Session (Sunday)

June 6, 2010

The 20th annual IEEE Semiconductor Wafer Test Workshop (SWTW) started this evening. Rumor has it that attendance is over 240 this year which is a vast improvement over last year’s 160 or so attendees. At the peak the conference had almost hit 600. Things started off well with a reception where I had the chance to catch up with many industry friends and colleagues.

After dinner, Jerry Broz the General Chair kicked things off with the “Probe Year in Review”. In summary:
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IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium – Day Two – Plenary

May 21, 2010

Here are the highlights from the Plenary session on day two of the IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council 6th Annual Symposium“Nanotechnology: State of the Art & Applications”

Dr. Burton Lee, Stanford University, “State of European Nanotech.”

  • Discussed European framework for funding.  However, financial crisis requires radical innovation to spur industrial growth and stability.
  • Read the rest of this entry »