Student Research Team:
BCS Technologies characterizes their YBCO superconductive nanofibers!

On Wednesday, June 10th, Nicholas Pleim and E.J. Bevenour tested the conductivity of their YBCO superconducting nanofibers!

Below is a synopsis of their research findings:

Superconductive state properties were observed in our samples, from both electrospinning and spin-coating processes, of a Yttrium Barium Copper Oxide precursor solution with a Poly(Acrylic) Acid carrier polymer after being pyrolysed in a tube furnace. The samples, on a one-by-one inch alumina ceramic square, were submerged in liquid nitrogen, and put under a four-point-probe conductivity meter. Current was sourced between one and ten nano-amps, and Voltage, sheet Resistance, and Temperature were measured as the sample heated in air. The samples heated too quickly to measure a zero-ohm resistance, but an increase in electrical resistance was measured as the temperature of the sample increased. Also, when cooled in the presence of a magnetic field, the samples retained magnetic properties even after heating. Despite the limits of the equipment, symptoms and signs of a superconductive state, including SEM-imaging as well as electrical-thermal and magnetic properties, were observed. Although our findings are inconclusive, it is inferred that the samples of YBCO nanofibers and films were successfully superconductive.

A very special thank you to Drexel University, Dr. Michel Barsoum and his undergraduate student, Cooper Voigt, for running the YBCO nanofiber specimens in the tube furnace for us!

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Liquid nitrogen for the tests.
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Measuring the temperature.
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Measuring the temperature.
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Running 4 Point Probe analysis with a Signatone 302 and a Keithley 2450 source meter.
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Twitter post!

Drexel University, Dr. Barsoum assist research team BCS Technologies!

BCS Technologies has been researching and designing high temperature superconductors this school year.  One of the major processes in developing the highly conductive nanofibers is the use of a tube furnace to process their materials.  Nicholas Pleim, senior student, visited with Dr. Michel Barsoum at Drexel University today to drop off his team's electrospun and spin coated samples for processing in their tube furnace.  The tube furnace will prepare their fibers at temperatures exceeding 900 0C for over 16 hours!  Thank you so much Dr. Barsoum and his undergraduate student, Cooper Voigt!  Please check back soon for further information!

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Nicholas Pleim, BCS Technologies, in front of the tube furnace at Drexel University to process their electrospun superconductor nanofibers!!

Students begin testing custom machined nanofiber alignment apparatus!

EJ Bevenour and Nicholas Pleim are currently testing an apparatus they designed in Autodesk Inventor to collect aligned nanofibers for high temperature superconductive polymers which they plan to electrospin next week.

The disc is designed to spin at 1200rpm while holding eight scanning electron microscope mounts (SEM stubs) and four single sapphire substrates.

The students plan to electrospin YBCO (yttrium barrium copper oxide) nanofibers to the disc and test their conductivity utilizing liquid nitrogen, a Keithley 2450 Source Meter, Interdigitated Microsensor Electrodes and a Signatone Four Point Probe.

The disc and the materials were donated and machined by Edward Stachowicz at EDS in Philadelphia.
Thank you so much Mr. Stachowicz!!!

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Custom-designed electrospinning apparatus!

Students wetspin, spincoat and electrospin polyacrylonitrile and copper composite nanofibers!

Students in research team Electrifiber processed a polyacrylonitrile copper composite solution utilizing three different methodologies: Wetspinning, spincoating and electrospinning!

Fibers were analyzed with the our new Zeiss microscope. Next will be electrical characterization with our new Keithley 2450 SMU we just received! Check back soon for more information!

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Wetspinning, spincoating and electrospinning!

Dow Engineers Visit North Penn High School Engineering Academy?

On Thursday, March 19th, five engineers from The Dow Chemical Company visited the Future is NEAR program to learn about the research endeavors the students are performing this year.

The students presented their research, including the successes and challenges they have had so far this year. The engineers offered invaluable insight, ideas and suggestions to help them prepare the design of their next set of experiments. Thank you so much! Check back soon for more information soon!

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DOW Engineers Visit NPHS!

What are Interdigitated Microsensor Electrodes?

Interdigitated Microsensor Electrodes (IMEs) are a family of devices developed by ABTech Scientific, Inc. in Richmond, Virginia.

They are designed to aid in the optical and electrical characteristics of thin films, coatings and polymer nanofibers. Students in the engineering academy will be utilizing these devices to help them characterize the conductive and superconductive nanofibers they are producing in class. More to come soon!

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Students Melt-Electrospun PCL!:

Students in the Deltatech research team, Jacob Boyce, Jack Pedicone and Chris Sibel were able to successfully melt-electrospin PCL (polycaprolactone) for the first time at North Penn High School today.

The fibers were analyzed utilizing our new Zeiss Primo Star microscope!

Check back soon for images of the studentsí research endeavors!

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Deltech Solutions: Melt-Spinning!

We now have "macro"scale vision!:

Zeiss Primo Star with ERc 5s Camera

A Zeiss Primo Star microscope was delivered and installed today by Thomas Pogash of Hitech Instruments, Inc.

Thanks to a generous donation from Dow, the students of the North Penn High School Engineering Academy now have the ability to characterize much of their research with a high quality, research grade microscope from Zeiss!

Check back soon for images of the studentsí research endeavors!!

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We have vision!

Custom Designed / 3D Printed Spin Coater Chuck:

Brandon Berlin, Rahul Pendurthi and Alex Pham are developing a custom spin coater from a low-cost mini-centrifuge.

The team designed an adapter chuck in Autodesk Inventor to mount their Flourine Tin Oxide doped glass slides to their centrifuge and then utilized one of the 3D printers available in the engineering academy to create their custom chuck. The device is capable of spin speeds of 12,000 rpm; however, their initial spin coats will be run at only 3,000 RPM.

The team hopes to utilze their device to create a novel photocatalytic layer for more efficient solar cells.

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We have vision!

We Have "Vision"!  Angstrom Scientific Loans Scanning Electron Microscope to
North Penn High School Engineering Academy Students

On Friday, the Engineering Academy seniors at North Penn High School received, on loan, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) from Angstrom Scientific to aid in the characterization of their research.  Read More....

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We have vision!

Engineering Academy students Present at Philly Materials Day:

North Penn High School Engineering Academy students present at Philly Materials Day!
Students in two research teams of the Engineering Design and Development (EDD) course of the Engineering Academy presented their research on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10am to 4pm.  Read More...

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Students to present at Philly Materials Day Saturday 2/7/15!

Engineering Academy students to Present at Philly Materials Day:

NPHS Engineering Academy students will be presenting at Philly Materials Day on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from 10am - 4pm.  Please visit their website for more information at: www.phillymaterials.org!


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Students to present at Philly Materials Day Saturday 2/7/15!

Engineering Academy students visit the Laurell Technologies Corporation:

NPHS engineering academy students visit the Laurell Technologies Corporation in North Wales to learn about the spin coating process and to tour their manufacturing and engineering facilities. L to R: Alex Noce, Joe DiFeo, Rahul Pendurthi, Mr. Boyer, Nick Pleim and Chris Sibel

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Students visit Laurell Technologies Corporation in North Wales!

BCC Biotech begins antibacterial fabric research:

NPHS engineering academy students in research team BCC Biotech are working on the development of chitosan nanofibers. Their research this year is focusing upon the development of antibacterial fabrics that also have bioabsorbable features.

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BCC Biotech developing a chitosan solution to create antibacterial nanofibers!

2014 Engineering Academy Graduates Visit from PSU Materials Science & Engineering:

Thank you so much to Victoria Christensen and Nick Bonsignore, 2014 Engineering Academy graduates, for coming out to share materials demonstrations and their experiences in the Materials Science and Engineering program at Penn State Universityty!

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2014 Engineering Academy graduates visit from PSU Materials Science & Engineering program @ PSU!

Engineering academy students in team Electrifiber took their first attempt at a new way to create polymer fibers: wet spinning. In wet-spinning, the spinneret remains submerged in a chemical bath that leads the fiber to precipitate, and then solidify, as it emerges out of the spinneret holes. Acrylic, rayon and spandex fibers, all are manufactured through wet spinning. Students plan to design a wet spinning apparatus with the hopes of producing conductive fibers.

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Electrifiber: Results from first wet spinning experiment.

Meltspinning Research - A New Process for Students to Create Polymer Fibers

Student research team, DeltaTech, is working on the development of a custom-designed melt spinning apparatus and are currently testing the properties of a thermal tape to control the temperature of their polymers.
Melt Spinningng is used for the polymeric fibers or the polymers that can be melted. The polymer is melted and then pumped through a spinneret. The cooled and solidified molten fibers get collected on a take-up wheel. The fibers, when stretched in both, the molten and solid states, facilitate orientation of the polymer chains along the fiber axis.

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DeltaTech: Thermal tape test.



Students Began Electrospinning Polymer Nanofibers

Student research teams began electrospinning their first polymer nanofibers from their own developed polymer solutions.
Check back soon for more work to be completed by the students this year and new types of polymer fiber development techniques!

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Student research: Electrospinning this first polymer nanofibers.



Engineering Academy Creates Hydrophobic Phosphorescent Nanofibers 
Research student, Chris Sibel, designed an experiment to see if Europium based phosphorescent powders embedded in a hydrophobic polymer nanofiber would glow in the dark after being exposed to uV light.  The experiment worked!

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Phosphorescent nanofibers!



Ametek / Pittman Manufacturing Day Facility Tour

Thank you so much to Ametek Precision Motion Control and Pittman Motors for hosting the North Penn High School Engineering Academy for Manufacturing Day!

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Ametek Precision Motion Control and Pittman Motors