The end of the teenage years of the 21st century is in sight. A good moment to look back at the past decades, which were characterised by a multitude and variety of technological developments. Without having the illusion of being complete, here are some highlights from this period. Consider microtechnology for ICT, but also new … Continue reading Technological developments over the last 50 years
Batteries exist by the grace of people who want to be mobile at all times. Lithium ion batteries are especially popular because of their high energy density – up to 200 Watts of energy per kilogram of battery. But also because they can be recharged over and over again without deteriorating significantly. And that’s why … Continue reading Electrochemistry behind rechargeable lithium ion batteries
You can download digital files from the internet via your glass fibre optic cable or through copper wire – coax cables, telephone cables (such as ADSL) or network cables (‘twisted pair’). One bit of information goes nearly as fast through copper as through glass, with two-thirds of the speed of light. This information is carried … Continue reading Data faster through glass fibre or copper?
More and more, light metals as aluminium or magnesium take the place of polymers as polycarbonate with respect to the housing of smartphones, tablets or notebooks. Of these materials as such, polycarbonate is the lightest with a density of 1.2 g/cm3. This would argue in favour of this material; after all, the lighter such a … Continue reading Polymers or light metals as housing for gadgets?
Computer simulations on an atomic or molecular scale give a direct link between the microscopic details of a system (atomic masses, molecular geometry, etc.) on the one hand, and macroscopic properties that are of experimental interest (energies, transport coefficients etc.) on the other. By comparing the outcome of the simulation with experimental results, understanding can … Continue reading Molecular dynamics computer simulations of yttria-stabilized zirconia
Picture this … your mobile phone is lying on your desk, close to the speaker of your desktop computer system. A few seconds before you receive a call or SMS message on your mobile phone, the speaker makes a buzzing noise. Is this clairvoyance of the speaker? No way. Here, the wire to the speaker … Continue reading Conductive polymer composites for electromagnetic shielding
What is the common denominator in inkjet printers, parking sensors for cars, gas lighters and ultrasound imaging for babies? The answer: all these applications make use of piezoelectric materials. This material has something special: it has the capability to change shape – for example become shorter or wider – by applying an electric voltage over … Continue reading The hidden use of piezo technology in applications all around us
Between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2011, Betase participated in the European knowledge transfer project iPolyCond, together with other European partners and partly funded by the European Commission. The booklet iPolyCond conductive polymers as well as the book An introduction to conductive polymer composites are results of the project, aiming at developing training materials … Continue reading iPolyCond – European knowledge transfer project