This week was dominated by European financing of our research. First of all, I submitted my application for an ERC Consolidator grant. This is a highly competitive call and frankly, my chances of success are small. On the other hand, I truly believe the submitted research theme to be original, interesting and important – so I had to try, hadn't I? Readers of this blog are kindly asked to keep fingers crossed for this proposal, it would mean a lot to our research group.
The second European activity was the final meeting our our FP7 project "THEMA-CNT" in Vilvoorde, Belgium. The meeting was held on the premises of the project partner ON Semi on Thursday. THEMA-CNT was a very ambitious project focused on developing carbon nanotube based chip coolers. It had its highs and lows, but in the end everything fitted together quite nicely and the final results are promising. I can't share the results here because a patent application is being considered, so I will share two pics I made on this trip :)
The past weeks were really quite busy, so I'll take this weekend easy. Fortunately, a good example has already been set for me...
Activities of this week were not very spectacular but they are supposed to help the future progress of our group a lot:
New BSC and MSC students have joined our group for their thesis research. We welcome them all and have high hopes for achieving publication quality results with them.
Last but not least, I was invited to give a talk at the ASME 2013 Congress in November 2013 in San Diego. Many factors will determine if I will be able to actually attend or not, but it is certainly a very nice move from the symposium organizers, thank you Robert!
The Spring semester has started at our host university, the University of Szeged on this Monday. I'm teaching three courses (Metallurgy, Silicate technology and Process plant safety) now and advertised our group, this homepage and our Facebook page to the students in the first lectures. Of course it is not compulsory to join, like or even read the stuff posted here. However, I sincerely believe that reading my science newsbits and gaining some insight into the work of our group will be beneficial to some of the readers. So this post is mainly to say Welcome! to all of my new readers and thank them for their interest.
Now I'd like to share with you a very interesting experience about how information really moves. As you may now, Facebook provides basic access statistics about our page there and simultaneously, the visibility of this site (http://www.porousnanocomposites.com) is evaluated anonymously by the Google Analytics service. Let us now check the statistics for this first semester week that started on the 4th February, 2013!
Facebook group page access data first:
Traditional homepage access data from Google second:
It is clear that the Facebook page visibility got an instant boost from the students checking it out and liking it, whereas the number of visits to the group's "real" homepage decreased simultaneously. This is big time news and a real surprise to me. I was expecting the group homepage to win (because not everyone is on Facebook but everyone has access to the Internet) or at least to tie, not to loose so pathetically :) The message for me is clear: if I want to access young people, I should put even more effort into Facebook presence :)
This week certainly ranks among our best-evers as far as papers are concerned :)
Besides the Langmuir paper mentioned in the previous post, two more manuscripts were accepted from our group for publication in Adsorption on Friday. "Fine tuning of titanate nanostructures' surface acidic sites" summarizes the recent work of Dániel Madarász et el. who measured the surface acidity of titanate nanowires by pyridine adsorption and NH3 TPD. Despite the large number of titanate nanostructure related publications in the literature, this type of data was scarce and difficult to find until now. The acidity of a surface is most important from the heterogeneous catalytic point of view. However, the information will be useful for the solid-fluid interaction research of our Lendület group as well.
The second Adsorption paper was written by Zita Ibolya Papp et al. on the "Effect of planetary ball milling process parameters on the nitrogen adsorption properties of multiwall carbon nanotubes". Specific surface area, pore size distribution and surface fractal dimension were calculated from N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms and compared with nanotube length distribution data derived by TEM image analysis. Ball milling is a facile, industrially available and scaleable way of post-synthetic nanotube property tuning, therefore, we expect these results to be useful for a broad audience interested in nanotube usage. The following figure demonstrates one of the non-trivial findings of this paper: the specific surface area of a ball milled multiwall carbon nanotube sample is inversely proportional with the average nanotube length.
Ákos Kukovecz is associate professor of chemistry and Head of the MTA-SZTE Lendület Porous Nanocomposites Research Group. He works at Szeged, Hungary.