News & Upcoming Events

08/10/2011 - 11:05

Soladigm Dynamic Glass electrochromic windowsRigorous Testing Verifies Long-Term Durability of Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass

Soladigm, a developer of highly energy-efficient Dynamic Glass for next-generation buildings and a CEC industrial affiliate, today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed that Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass has passed ASTM E2141-06 durability testing.

NREL tested Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass units, which were put under the equivalent conditions of the sun’s radiation at an elevated temperature, simulating the effect of real-world use in buildings for the lifetime of window glass. More than 50,000 cycles of testing were completed, after which each unit showed no change in physical appearance or performance.

“Soladigm is one of only two companies to have successfully met this durability milestone for Dynamic Glass technology,” said Dr. Anne Dillon, Principal Scientist at NREL. “Soladigm’s samples stood up to our rigorous testing protocol showing no degradation. The stability shown throughout the testing clearly proves that Soladigm has developed a highly durable product.”

“There are numerous technologies that can achieve color change in transparent materials. An insulated glass unit installed in a building window or a façade needs to withstand the harsh UV and high temperature environments for an extended period of time,” said Dr. Rao Mulpuri, CEO of Soladigm. “The selection of materials and manufacturing technology in our Dynamic Glass unit took into account this important requirement from the beginning. This result at NREL is a significant milestone for Soladigm, validating the commercial viability of our product.”

Soladigm continues to achieve significant milestones toward high-volume production. Soladigm’s Dynamic Glass, which electronically switches from clear to tinted on demand, enables control of heat and glare in buildings while providing greater comfort, uninterrupted views, and natural daylight. Soladigm Dynamic Glass windows will reduce HVAC energy usage by 25 percent and peak load by 30 percent in commercial buildings.

About Soladigm

Soladigm is a developer of next-generation green building solutions designed to improve energy efficiency. The company’s highly energy efficient dynamic glass switches from clear to tinted on demand, resulting in significant cost savings, environmental benefits, and quality of life enhancements. Soladigm is headquartered in Milpitas, California. For more information, visit www.soladigm.com.

About National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. Window testing is performed under the supervision and funding from the Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Buildings Technology Program. For more information, please visit http://www.nrel.gov/.

Contacts

Schwartz Communications
Dan O’Mahony, 415-512-0770
Soladigm@schwartzcomm.com

07/14/2011 - 10:48

LiFePO4 structureThe University of Texas at Austin has announced an agreement with Canada-based Hydro-Quebec for lithium-ion material technology invented and patented by Dr. John Goodenough, a world-renowned scientist at the university.

Goodenough's research resulted in much lighter, longer lasting lithium ion batteries. It also provided improved safety for consumers and an environmentally friendly solution for transportation and storage applications. LiFePO4 is an innovative and powerful cathode material useful in rechargeable batteries. Uses for the technology include cell phones, laptops, mp3 players, power tools, hybrid automobiles, small electric vehicles and stationary energy storage in ‘smart grid’ applications.

The University of Texas at Austin and Hydro-Quebec have worked together since 1996 to develop and commercialize these materials. The long-standing relationship established a successful basis to take the technology from the laboratory to commercial product, enabling commercial production worldwide for LiFePO4.

“This agreement is indicative of the value of university research and will accelerate the commercialization of a key technology with a wide range of applications in the energy sector,” said Juan M. Sanchez, the university's vice president for research. “We are pleased that a company with the stature of Hydro-Quebec is committed to the advancement of UT inventions. The agreement is also an acknowledgment to the importance of Dr. Goodenough’s research.”

Goodenough, the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, identified and developed the cathode materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are found in devices and products around the world. “This has been an amazing opportunity to collaborate with Hydro-Quebec and the university's commercialization partners,” Goodenough said. “We knew it was a promising technology, but the market was not ready for it in 1996 when we started on this endeavor. It was in the lab, and today it is a commercial product.”

Goodenough has received many honors for his work, including the 2009 Enrico Fermi Award presented on behalf of the White House, and the 2001 Japan Prize, the country's equivalent to the Nobel Prize. Goodenough is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the L’Academie des Sciences de L’Institute de France and a fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s 350-year-old national academy of science.

Hydro-Quebec recently entered into an alliance that will aid the distribution of the university's technology to address the market demand with high quality products. The alliance has established licenses worldwide with material producers, enabling materials to become readily available for use in battery manufacturing, and for products to be available for worldwide distribution. Initial sublicense agreements to produce and sell lithium iron products have been concluded with Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. Ltd. and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., both based in Japan, and Tatung Fine Chemicals Co. and Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry (Cayman) Co. Ltd. (ALEEES), based in Taiwan.

Hydro-Quebec is a government-owned public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electricity using mainly renewable energy sources, in particular, hydroelectricity. Composed of 60 hydroelectric and one nuclear generating station, Hydro-Quebec is the largest electricity generator in Canada and the world’s largest hydroelectric generator. The utility, which has more than 23,000 employees, also conducts research in energy-related fields, focusing on energy efficiency. The broad-based market penetration of these high quality battery materials is a result of the growing demand from the global battery and automotive industries for reliable and efficient sources of energy.

For more information, contact: Betsy Merrick, Office of Technology Commercialization, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-7399.

04/26/2011 - 11:50

Trypsin sensor Zaccheo CrooksA new low cost test for acute pancreatitis that gets results much faster than existing tests has been developed by scientists in the Center for Electrochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin.

The sensor, which could be produced for as little as a dollar, is built with a 12-cent LED light, aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein and a few other cheap, easily obtainable materials.

The sensor could help prevent damage from acute pancreatitis, which is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to severe stomach pain, nausea, fever, shock and in some cases, death.

“We’ve turned Reynold’s Wrap, JELL-O and milk into a way to look for organ failure,” says Brian Zaccheo, a graduate student in the lab of Richard Crooks, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Read the full story at Texas Science.

04/14/2011 - 11:23

Professor Allen BardProfessor Allen Bard, CEC Director, will be honored with a College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award at a banquet later this month. Natural Sciences Dean Mary Ann Rankin established this award to increase recognition of the College’s many exceptional faculty who are committed to teaching at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

03/22/2011 - 16:58

Going to the ACS meeting? Don't miss this electrochemistry symposium organized by UT-Austin graduate students.

See full details at gsspc.cm.utexas.edu.

Monday, March 28, 2011
Disneyʼs Grand Californian Hotel, Trillium C
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

GSSPC group members

Speakers include:
Julie Macpherson, Warwick University
William Heineman, University of Cincinnati
Henry White, University of Utah
Andrew Ewing, University of Gothenburg
Charles Martin, University of Florida
Allen J. Bard, The University of Texas at Austin

02/17/2011 - 16:02

CEC Annual Workshop on ElectrochemistryThe CEC hosts the third annual Workshop on Electrochemistry this weekend (February 19-20, 2011) at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. The workshop will feature seminar presentations from 11 leading scientists in four sessions: electrodeposition and electrosynthesis, industrial electrochemistry, photoelectrochemistry, and new techniques.

A poster session and exhibition on Saturday evening at the Texas Union will present recent research results from 50 presenters representing UT-Austin, other univerisities and industry. More information and registration is available online.

Also in connection with the workshop, the Center for Electrochemistry will host a seminar by Dr. Akira Yoshino, Asahi Kasei Corporation. Dr. Yoshino will speak on "Origin, Recent Development and the Future of Lithium-Ion Battery (LiB)" at 10:00 am, Monday, February 21, 2011 in the seminar room of the new Norman Hackerman building (NHB 1.720) at UT-Austin.

Each year in Austin, Texas, the CEC Annual Workshop on Electrochemistry brings together experts in fields of engineering, materials, and electrochemistry to focus on a  topic in an important area of research. Participants address specific challenges in the field, exchange ideas and information, and catch up with colleagues from around the world.

These exclusive workshops feature scientists and researchers from top universities, national laboratories, and electrochemical industries discussing cutting-edge electrochemical science, and addressing issues with respect to the mechanisms of electron transfer. Electrochemistry is the foundation for chemical transducers and sensors and is poised to play an increasing role in the analysis of chemical and biological interfaces; and for the high-resolution study of ion/charge transport and dynamics, electron transfer, adsorption, and chemical toxicity.

02/10/2011 - 13:00

Keith JohnstonKeith P. Johnston, chemical engineering professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to engineers worldwide.

With this year's election, the academy includes 2,290 members and 202 foreign associates.

Johnston was elected for his advances in science and technology of particles and colloids used in drug delivery, biomedical imaging and therapy, microelectronics and energy applications. He holds the M.C. (Bud) and Mary Beth Baird Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering and has been a professor at the university since 1982.

01/31/2011 - 16:49

Allen BardRecent work by CEC researchers including Allen Bard, on harnessing the power of sunlight to produce fuels that can substitute for oil, was a featured story on the main University of Texas at Austin web site.

Sunlight to fuels research involves the search for specialized materials that can absorb the energy of sunlight by creating electron-hole pairs, which remain available long enough to react with water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen. Similar schemes are sought for reduction of carbon dioxide to hydrocarbon fuels.

The full article is available here. A related article is available here.

12/13/2010 - 11:44

university money graphicOn October 11, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) published a CEC Director Allen J. Bard's guest editorial entitled “It’s Not the Money, Stupid!”. In the editorial, Bard considers the influence of money and the creation of intellectual property on the culture of academic research in chemistry.

A number of letters, both pro and con, were sent to C&EN in response to the editorial. In today's issue of C&EN the editorial was reprinted as part of a Point/Counterpoint format that features three unsolicited guest editorials from prominent chemists. Two of the editorials, one jointly by University of Utah chemistry professors Glenn D. Prestwich and Charles A. Wight and one by University of Texas chemical engineering professor and CEC faculty member Adam Heller, offer differing views. Another, by University of Wisconsin chemistry professor Howard E. Zimmerman, support and expands on Bard’s view. The article concludes with a final comment from Bard.

reference: C&EN, December 13, 2010, Volume 88, Number 50, pp. 26 - 29
12/02/2010 - 10:25

photomicrograph of cu2znsns4 nanocrystals for low-cost photovoltaicsSolar technology has the potential to advance beyond bulky, heavy solar panels for home and commercial use. Can you imagine using solar paint applied to your home or car to create electricity to run them? Think "solar ink."

Join Professor Brian Korgel for "Powered Paint: Nanotech Solar Ink" and learn how close we are to this goal. Families can experience activities ranging from animal visitors to science fair-style experiments at the pre-lecture fair, beginning at 5:45 p.m.; lecture begins at 7 p.m.
Time: Friday, December 3, 2010, 5:45-8:30 p.m.
Location: Robert A. Welch Hall 2.224
Admission: Free
URL: http://www.esi.utexas.edu/outreach/ols/lectures/Korgel/

Thanks to cutting edge technology, solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle "inks" that allow them to be printed like newspaper or painted onto the sides of buildings or rooftops to absorb electricity-producing sunlight. Dr. Korgel will disucss how nanomaterials can help enable the creation of exciting new devices and practices.

Dr. Korgel's research lab studies nanotechnology, the field of applied science at the atomic and molecular scale. His group focuses on investigating size-tunable material properties, and the self-assembly and fabrication of nanostructures. This multidisciplinary research finds applications in electrochemistry, microelectronics, photonics, photovoltaics, spintronics, coatings, sensors and biotechnology.