Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Towards A Sustainable Future With Lead-free Electroceramics

From transducers to ultrasonic motors, ferroelectric ceramics are at the heart of today’s consumer electronics yet what causes these versatile materials to age and degrade is poorly understood. With most containing toxic lead, cleaner alternatives are also urgently needed.

Now University of Canterbury researcher, Associate Professor Catherine Bishop, has been awarded a grant of $774,000 from Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden, the Marsden Fund, to study the fundamental properties of ferroelectric degradation and help pave the way to a more sustainable future.

Many of the devices we take for granted – in communications, computing, manufacturing and the energy sector – rely on materials that age and degrade electromechanically and most contain toxic lead. If ferroelectric ageing and fatigue could be controlled – and alternatives to lead found – the environmental benefits would be considerable. Scientists have long been searching for lead-free replacements for the most widely used ferroelectric ceramic chemistries. At the same time, they have been seeking answers on ferroelectric degradation, which limits the lifetime of devices.

Associate Professor Catherine Bishop, Postgraduate Director of Studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, won Marsden Funding to study the fundamentals of two promising lead-free materials. She hopes to uncover new insights in this complex field that could, in turn, shepherd design of new lead-free electroceramics.

“The goal of this study is to unravel the processes around how these materials degrade and then identify ways to potentially minimise ferroelectric ageing and fatigue. The next step would be targeted development of innovative new lead-free oxide materials,” she says.

“The wide-ranging implications of the research include optimising organic solar cell materials that are only now being recognised as ferroelectric in nature.”

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

Real Estate: House Price Growth Rates In Hawke’s Bay Skyrocket Ahead Of Rest Of New Zealand

Hawke’s Bay is leading the property ‘pack’ proving a post lockdown land of milk and money, continuing to outstrip the rest of the country with the highest annual growth rate in house price values. But experts warn an overheated market is fast ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>