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June Chementator Briefs

By Gerald Ondrey |

  Ceramic paper A paper-like material made from vanadium-pentoxide ceramic that is as hard as copper and can be folded or rolled up has been produced by scientists at Stuttgart University (www.uni-stuttgart.de), the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Intelligent Systems (www.is.mpg.de) and the MPI for Solid State Research (all Stuttgart, Germany; www.fkf.mpg.de). The ceramic paper consists of conductive nanofibers of V2O5 assembled into a structure resembling mother-of-pearl. Besides being hard, strong and pliable, the paper has a high conductivity along its plane, and low out-of-plane conductivity. Such properties may find applications in batteries, flat and flexible gas sensors and actuators in artificial limbs. To make the paper, nanofibers of V2O5 are suspended in water on a substrate and the water is allowed to slowly evaporate at room temperature. The film is then heated for a few hours at 40°C, and the humidity is slowly reduced. This slow process allows the fibers to assemble themselves into a parallel pattern. Finally, the film is annealed at 100 and 150°C to make a transparent, orange paper of between 0.5- and 2.5-µm thickness (depending on the amount of nanofibers used). Detecting asbestos The first portable,…
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