a new generation of electrical ceramics, including nano-structured
ceramics, will help accelerate the miniaturisation and improve functionality
of electrical circuit components.
it will not necessarily lead to making appliances smaller, says
Prof Hayden Chen, head of the Department of Physics and Materials
Science, City University of Hong Kong, which is researching electrical
ceramics. Instead, it will lead to appliances or devices becoming
ceramics, like porcelain and clay, conduct very small amounts of
electricity, said Prof Chen. But this class of ceramics actually
displays profound electronic properties.
the grain size or nano-structures of the ceramics and combining
them with other elements, properties of the composite material can
uses cover a wide range of components such as capacitors, transistors,
inductors, infrared detectors, ferroelectric memory devices, fuel
cells, sensors, and actuators.
Chens research focuses on devising methods of fabricating
and optimising different ceramic material, and characterising its
properties. Developing functional material on a nano scale is not
a case of simply making existing material smaller, he said.
by controlling the fabrication processes, you can obtain nano-structured
materials with new or novel properties because of the nano size.
The traditional approach to improving properties such as hardness
and wear by increasing thickness of some nitride coating is no longer
valid, for example.
the properties are enhanced through basic improvements in nano-structure
and texture. Another area of Prof Chens research is
the fabrication of thin films with optical transparency.
resulting film can be layered on window glass; as well as being
able to see through the window panes because of the films
transparency, they are useful for display windows and solar cells.
Prof Haydn H D Chen : firstname.lastname@example.org