Thursday, July 5

Guardian on nanotech at Imperial College

Nanotechnology and electron microscopy get an article in the Grauniad - but unfortunately it's not my University, it's Imperial College. Well, I guess it's less distance for a journalist to travel for starters. Plus they have results, while we only just opened (although we do have some very, very nice results already, but I'm not saying what they are until they're published)

Digs at journos apart, it is a good look at the sort of things that scientists can do, why we can do them now and couldn't before, and why it is important. Higher efficiency boilers are a good environmental thing after all, even before you get to the point that pure hydrogen fuel boilers produce no carbon emissions.

The electron microscope comes into it as to get these boilers to work needs lower temperatures, to get the lower working temperatures needs more understanding of the surface of the ceramic material, and to really do that they need to look at the atoms. Which you can if you have a very nice new transmission electron microscope.

They've also got their own spin-off company, Ceres Power - playing on the environmental aspect, I guess, as Ceres was the Roman goddess of agriculture. I'm guessing they had a good announcement of something last month, as their share price jumped up significantly in June, possibly connected to the Daily Telegraph's shares column listing in their green portfolio (the month would have started particularly well for chief science officer Professor Nigel Brandon, as he also got his Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Award that week)

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