What is e-beam evaporation? The technique that could revolutionize hydrogen fuel cells

Where to hydrogen-producing catalysts come from? The question is an important one to those who want to harness hydrogen energy to produce new energy technology like fuel cells. That’s what researchers at Rice University set out to discover with e-beam evaporation.


What is e-beam evaporation?

What is the e-beam evaporation system? Manufacturers use e-beam evaporation to deposit an extremely thin, uniform layer of material on the surface of an object. It’s a multi-step process that involves placing the object in a vacuum chamber with the target material, then bombarding the latter with an intense electron beam known as an e-beam. The process causes the source material to release a great deal of energy and evaporate into a gaseous form. Since the chamber is a vacuum, the gaseous molecules are forced onto the object, where they precipitate back into a solid form.

There are many possible uses for e-beam evaporation. It is often used to produce coatings on photovoltaic solar panels, transition lenses, LCD screens, and hard disks.

E-beam evaporation is a type of physical vapour deposition, a group of industrial techniques similar to e-beam evaporation. Check out Angstrom’s site for more on e-beam evaporation.

Role of e-beam evaporation in hydrogen power

The Rice University team, lead by scientist Jun Lou, have found a technique that lets them look through the holes ‘drilled’ by e-beams to measure the catalytic activity of a material called molybdenum disulfide. This material has some potential applications in using electrocatalysis to separate hydrogen from water, the process necessary to harness hydrogen energy.

This new technique will let researchers quickly probe materials to measure their potential in hydrogen production.

“We’re using this new technology to identify the active sites that have been long-predicted by theory,” researcher Lou describes.

Tools For Studying The Ocean

As humans, we have the ability to do many things – walk, talk, climb, think, rationalize, etc.  However, there’s one ability that we don’t have – breathing underwater.  Without this ability, we aren’t able to go underwater ourselves for an extended period of time unless we have certain tools or instruments to aid us.  I will talk about the tools and technology we use to study the ocean.

Robots: Robots and drones can be used to help study the ocean.  Some of the most wanted tech gear – underwater drones – are used to bring samples from the ocean to the surface where we will then take the samples to a lab and further determine the contents of the samples.  Robots are possibly the most useful tools when studying the ocean because we can use them not only to navigate underwater but also as a pair of eyes to see what is going on down there.  Without robots or underwater drones, we wouldn’t be able to have a device similar to a human being and determine many of the interesting things we’ve found out about the ocean.

Computers: Computers can be used when the water pressure is high to determine depth, temperature, contents and pollutants.  The computer will send data back to us because it is able to stay at the bottom of the ocean for a long time.  They’re usually at the bottom as to not disturb the contents of the ocean.  It also protects the tools inside due to its buoyancy.  Computers are a great way for us to analyze data without being out in the ocean.

Submarines: Submarines are used in advanced cases where we need to physically get down to the ocean to analyze a specific species.  Submarines are expensive and generally need a professional pilot to drive it.  We use submarines in cases where we need to dive deep into the depths of the ocean.  We are then able to send out devices like robots to further determine and analyze the ocean.

There are many other tools we use to study and analyze the ocean.  Some new tech toys include a remote controlled submarine with camera which is growing increasingly popular due to its entertainment value.  You are able to control these devices outside of the water, and it acts like a drone or robot that can take videos and pictures underwater and send them back to you on shore.

To study the ocean, you require these tools and more.  It gets very expensive so many companies will shell out funding for the tools and instruments.

All About Oceans

I’ve been studying to become an oceanographer for about 8 years, and there are so many things I’ve found out about the ocean that I would like to share with all of you.  In understanding the ocean, I’ve learned more on how it affects our ecosystem.  It also helps us understand more about astronomy, biology, chemistry, geography and many other aspects of the world.

We first learned about the ocean in pre-historic times.  We would observe the waves and the time of the waves to determine currents and trends.  Mainly the use of the ocean back then was for catching fish.  Nowadays, we observe the ocean for study it to help us understand more about how it affects our world.  There are so many types of modern technology that helps us study the ocean.  We can determine climate change, the acidity of the ocean, the ocean food chain, along with animals and other species that live in the ocean.  All these factors contribute to our full understanding of the world and will continue as modern technology allows us to.