Topic: materials-science

SEM analysis of PVDF-HFP nanofibers for the fabrication of energy harvesters

By Karl Kersten - Mar 8, 2018

Nowadays, energy harvesting is seeing an increasing interest from the research community, a fact that is confirmed by the rising number of publications. Energy harvesting has a wide range of applications, ranging from portable electronics, such as wristbands, to implanted medical devices like pacemakers. In this field, researchers are focusing their attention on the development of new energy harvesters that satisfy strict requirements: they need to be light and small, but also cheap and highly portable. In this blog, we discuss the fabrication of energy harvesters made from PVDF-HFP nanofibers on PDMS and SF substrates. We investigate how these energy harvesters are characterized and what the role of SEM is in this study.

Nowadays, energy harvesting is seeing an increasing interest from the research community, a fact that is confirmed by the rising number of publications. Energy harvesting has a wide range of applications, ranging from portable electronics, such as wristbands, to implanted medical devices like pacemakers. In this field, researchers are focusing their attention on the development of new energy harvesters that satisfy strict requirements: they need to be light and small, but also cheap and highly portable. In this blog, we discuss the fabrication of energy harvesters made from PVDF-HFP nanofibers on PDMS and SF substrates. We investigate how these energy harvesters are characterized and what the role of SEM is in this study.

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SEM and fiber analysis for filtration systems quality control

By Luigi Raspolini - Feb 16, 2018

The production of filters and membranes undergoes several quality control steps to ensure that the properties of the product are up to specification. Different tools can be used for such analysis, but only one can provide the best results. Find out in this blog how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) can be used to investigate imperfections in metallic filters.

The production of filters and membranes undergoes several quality control steps to ensure that the properties of the product are up to specification. Different tools can be used for such analysis, but only one can provide the best results. Find out in this blog how Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) can be used to investigate imperfections in metallic filters.

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How electron microscopy fuels the development of eco-friendly polymers

By Luigi Raspolini - Oct 12, 2017

Thermosetting polymers are widely used in modern industry due to their specific chemical and physical properties. With a wide range of applications, from components of huge aircraft to small electronics, epoxies are one of the main products of the polymers industry. This blog will focus on how these materials are improved and made eco-friendly, by making use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Thermosetting polymers are widely used in modern industry due to their specific chemical and physical properties. With a wide range of applications, from components of huge aircraft to small electronics, epoxies are one of the main products of the polymers industry. This blog will focus on how these materials are improved and made eco-friendly, by making use of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

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Scanning electron microscopy analysis of polymer coatings of stents

By Karl Kersten - Oct 5, 2017

The development of polymers and their diverse range of applications is a wide research field. Polymer materials became prevalent in implantable medical devices through processing capabilities in a wide variety of physical and chemical properties, as well as biocompatibility. This article describes how polymer coatings are used in the fabrication of drug-eluting coronary stents and how scanning electron microscopy (SEM) helps analyze the performance of these coatings in great detail. 

The development of polymers and their diverse range of applications is a wide research field. Polymer materials became prevalent in implantable medical devices through processing capabilities in a wide variety of physical and chemical properties, as well as biocompatibility. This article describes how polymer coatings are used in the fabrication of drug-eluting coronary stents and how scanning electron microscopy (SEM) helps analyze the performance of these coatings in great detail. 

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Why hi-tech textile engineering requires SEM analysis

By Luigi Raspolini - Sep 28, 2017

It’s been a long time since the textile industry relied exclusively on natural fibers. Over the decades, synthetic fibers have proven to be cheaper, easier to produce and often perform better. At the same time, chemical treatments have been developed that improve the smoothness and the resistance of both natural and synthetic fibers, which has resulted in higher quality products. Read this blog for more information on how electron microscopy can play a fundamental role in this development process.

It’s been a long time since the textile industry relied exclusively on natural fibers. Over the decades, synthetic fibers have proven to be cheaper, easier to produce and often perform better. At the same time, chemical treatments have been developed that improve the smoothness and the resistance of both natural and synthetic fibers, which has resulted in higher quality products. Read this blog for more information on how electron microscopy can play a fundamental role in this development process.

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How next-generation composite materials are created and analysed

By Luigi Raspolini - Jul 6, 2017

The technical specifications of next-generation materials are taking our technology to a completely new level, allowing us to create products with outstanding properties that were impossible to achieve in the past. These materials are the result of a huge drive toward innovation in material science and could only be achieved because of the invention of the first composite materials and their introduction into the industrial landscape.

In this article, I describe how these next-generation materials are being developed — and equally important: how their chemical composition is analysed, and their performance is measured.

The technical specifications of next-generation materials are taking our technology to a completely new level, allowing us to create products with outstanding properties that were impossible to achieve in the past. These materials are the result of a huge drive toward innovation in material science and could only be achieved because of the invention of the first composite materials and their introduction into the industrial landscape.

In this article, I describe how these next-generation materials are being developed — and equally important: how their chemical composition is analysed, and their performance is measured.

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How SEM helps discover suitable corrosion inhibitors

By Karl Kersten - Jun 12, 2017

Many industries would benefit from the inhibition of corrosion in metals. In the materials science field, scientists are therefore exploring ways to prevent or reduce corrosion. Many studies looking for suitable corrosion inhibitors have been carried out.

However, most of the inhibitors discovered and developed during those studies were synthetic chemicals, which are very expensive, and hazardous to the environment. Due to the characteristics of these chemicals, studies were carried out to investigate and analyze natural products that could be used as an anti-corrosion agent. SEM technology helped conduct these studies in an effective manner, something we will describe further in this article.

Many industries would benefit from the inhibition of corrosion in metals. In the materials science field, scientists are therefore exploring ways to prevent or reduce corrosion. Many studies looking for suitable corrosion inhibitors have been carried out.

However, most of the inhibitors discovered and developed during those studies were synthetic chemicals, which are very expensive, and hazardous to the environment. Due to the characteristics of these chemicals, studies were carried out to investigate and analyze natural products that could be used as an anti-corrosion agent. SEM technology helped conduct these studies in an effective manner, something we will describe further in this article.

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Why SEM is the go-to technology for microfabrication evaluation

By Jake Wilkinson - May 19, 2017

The world of microfabrication is in a constant state of flux. With new technologies, new applications and more difficult problems to be solved, microfabrication is developing at such a speed that it will soon touch all our lives. In the past, microfabrication has been limited to using carbon and semi-conductor materials. But now, new commercial laser techniques, such as those used in the Technology & Applications Center (TAC) at Newport Corporation, are expanding the scope of microfabrication. The range of materials that can be worked on has been extended into polymers, composites, dielectrics and even ceramics. 

The world of microfabrication is in a constant state of flux. With new technologies, new applications and more difficult problems to be solved, microfabrication is developing at such a speed that it will soon touch all our lives. In the past, microfabrication has been limited to using carbon and semi-conductor materials. But now, new commercial laser techniques, such as those used in the Technology & Applications Center (TAC) at Newport Corporation, are expanding the scope of microfabrication. The range of materials that can be worked on has been extended into polymers, composites, dielectrics and even ceramics. 

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How knowledge of fiber properties led to the fabrication of a heart valve

By Karl Kersten - Apr 13, 2017

These days, fibers and fiber materials can be found in endless applications. A wide range of these materials is used everywhere from baby diapers to water filters, from applications in asbestos to the automotive industry. Because of their widespread use, a lot of research is carried out to alter fiber materials and enhance their properties. This includes research on components as well as on fiber preparation technologies. One example is the fabrication of a heart valve using differently engineered fibers, which is described in this blog in more detail.

These days, fibers and fiber materials can be found in endless applications. A wide range of these materials is used everywhere from baby diapers to water filters, from applications in asbestos to the automotive industry. Because of their widespread use, a lot of research is carried out to alter fiber materials and enhance their properties. This includes research on components as well as on fiber preparation technologies. One example is the fabrication of a heart valve using differently engineered fibers, which is described in this blog in more detail.

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