• Bacillus Spores and Their Relevant Chemicals Studied by Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy

      Tang, Jianhua; Yang, Bin; Llewellyn, Ian; Cutler, Ronald R.; Donnan, Robert S.; Queen Mary University of London; University of Bolton (Elsevier, 2013-12-28)
      Terahertz Time Domain Spectroscopy has been used to investigate 0.2 to 2.2 terahertz (THz) transmission responses of Bacillus spores and their related chemical components. Whilst no THz signatures could be clearly associated with either sporulated cells or their chief chemical components, differing degrees of signal attenuation and frequency-dependent light scattering were observed depending on spore composition and culture media. The observed monotonic increase in absorption by spores over this THz spectral domain is mainly from Mie scattering and also from remnant water bound to the spores.
    • Effect of cell-size on the energy absorption features of closed-cell aluminium foams

      Nammi, Sathish K.; Edwards, Gerard; Shirvani, Hassan; Anglia Ruskin University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-07-02)
      The effect of cell-size on the compressive response and energy absorption features of closed-cell aluminium (Al) foam were investigated by finite element method. Micromechanical models were constructed with a repeating unit-cell (RUC) which was sectioned from tetrakaidecahedra structure. Using this RUC, three Al foam models with different cell-sizes (large, medium and small) and all of same density, were built. These three different cell-size pieces of foam occupy the same volume and their domains contained 8, 27 and 64 RUCs respectively. However, the smaller cell-size foam has larger surface area to volume ratio compared to other two. Mechanical behaviour was modelled under uniaxial loading. All three aggregates (3D arrays of RUCs) of different cell-sizes showed an elastic region at the initial stage, then followed by a plateau, and finally, a densification region. The smaller cell size foam exhibited a higher peak-stress and a greater densification strain comparing other two cell-sizes investigated. It was demonstrated that energy absorption capabilities of smaller cell-size foams was higher compared to the larger cell-sizes examined.
    • Enhanced design of an offgrid PV-battery-methanation hybrid energy system for power/gas supply

      Xu, Xiao; Hu, Weihao; Cao, Di; Liu, Wen; Huang, Qi; Hu, Yanting; Chen, Zhe
      Extensive studies have been carried out on various hybrid energy systems (HESs) for providing electricity to off-grid areas. However, a standalone HES that is capable of providing power and gas, has been less studied. In this paper, a standalone Photovoltaic (PV)-battery-methanation HES is proposed to provide adequate, reliable and cost-effective electricity and gas to the local consumers. Identifying a potential solution to maximize the reliability of the system, asked by consumers, and to minimize costs required by the investors is challenging. Bi-level programming is adopted in this study to tackle the pre-mentioned issue. In the outer layer, an optimal design is obtained by means of particle swarm optimization. In the inner layer, an optimal operation strategy is found under the optimal design of the outer layer using sequential quadratic programming. The results indicate that 1) The bi-level programming used in this study can find the optimal solution; 2) The proposed HES is proved to be able to supply power and gas simultaneously. 3) Compared with the right most and leftmost points on Pareto set, the total costs are reduced by 17.77% and 2.16%.
    • Enhanced design of an offgrid PV-battery-methanation hybrid energy system for power/gas supply

      Xu, x; Hu, W; Cao, D; Liu, W; Huang, Q; Hu, Y; Chen, Z; University of ESTC; Utrecht University; University of Chester; Aalborg University
      Extensive studies have been carried out on various hybrid energy systems (HESs) for providing electricity to off-grid areas. However, a standalone HES that is capable of providing power and gas, has been less studied. In this paper, a standalone Photovoltaic (PV)-battery-methanation HES is proposed to provide adequate, reliable and cost-effective electricity and gas to the local consumers. Identifying a potential solution to maximize the reliability of the system, asked by consumers, and to minimize costs required by the investors is challenging. Bi-level programming is adopted in this study to tackle the pre-mentioned issue. In the outer layer, an optimal design is obtained by means of particle swarm optimization. In the inner layer, an optimal operation strategy is found under the optimal design of the outer layer using sequential quadratic programming. The results indicate that 1) The bi-level programming used in this study can find the optimal solution; 2) The proposed HES is proved to be able to supply power and gas simultaneously. 3) Compared with the right most and leftmost points on Pareto set, the total costs are reduced by 17.77% and 2.16%.
    • Isolation of a Ferroelectric Intermediate Phase in Antiferroelectric Dense Sodium Niobate Ceramics

      Yang, Bin; Zhang, Hangfeng; Yan, Haixue; Abrahams, Isaac (Elsevier, 2019-08-22)
      Switchable ferroelectric/antiferroelectric ceramics are of significant interest for high power energy storage applications. Grain size control of this switching is an interesting approach to controlling polarization and hence dielectric properties. However, the use of this approach in technologically relevant ceramics is hindered by difficulty in fabricating dense ceramics with small grain sizes. Here an intermediate polar ferroelectric phase (P21ma) has been isolated in dense bulk sodium niobate ceramics by grain size control through spark plasma sintering methods. Our findings, supported by XRD, DSC, P-E (I-E) loops and dielectric characterization, provide evidence that the phase transition from the antiferroelectric (AFE) R-phase, in space group Pnmm, above 300 C, to the AFE P-phase, in space group Pbma, at room temperature, always involves the polar intermediate P21ma phase and that the P21ma to Pbma transition can be suppressed by reducing grain size.
    • Microstructure and broadband dielectric properties of Zn2SiO4 ceramics with nano-sized TiO2 addition

      Weng, Zhangzhao; Song, Chunxiao; Xiong, Zhaoxian; Xue, Hao; Sun, Wenfeng; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Bin; Reece, Michael J.; Yan, Haixue; Xiamen University; Capital Normal University; University of Chester; Queen Mary, University of London; China Electronic Product Reliability and Environmental Testing Research Institute (Elsevier, 2019-04-06)
      Zn2SiO4 ceramics with nano-sized TiO2 addition (ZST) were synthesized by conventional solid state method. The association between the new composite’s microstructures and dielectric properties reveals that reduced pores, increased density and average grain sizes with increasing sintering temperatures, have contributed to the increased permittivities at kHz and microwave bands; the decrease of the permittivities at 1275 0C is due to the form of twin planes. At the terahertz band, the competition of generating oxygen vacancies and forming them into twin crystallographic shear planes dominates the change of permittivities: the crystallographic shear planes decrease the permittivity at the sintering temperature 12250C and 12500C, and the high-rate generation of oxygen vacancies at 1275 0C increases the permittivities. The ZST ceramics demonstrate stable permittivity and low dielectric losses (<10-3 from 10 kHz to microwave band; and < 10-2 at THz range); and the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency is optimized to close zero. These advanced dielectric properties and low sintering temperature (<13000C) provide the ZST ceramics great potential in designing microwave and THz devices.
    • Microwave and terahertz dielectric properties of MgTiO3–CaTiO3 ceramics

      Huang, Jinbao; Yang, Bin; Yu, Chuying; Zhang, Guang; Xue, Hao; Xiong, Zhaoxian; Viola, Giuseppe; Donnan, Robert S.; Yan, Haixue; Reece, Michael J.; et al. (Elsevier, 2015-10-05)
      The THz dielectric properties of MgTiO3–CaTiO3 ceramics are reported. The ceramics were prepared via a solid-state reaction route and the sintering conditions were optimized to obtain ceramics with high permittivity and low loss in the terahertz frequency domain. The amount of impurities (MgTi2O5) and grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. The dielectric properties improved with increasing density, and the best terahertz dielectric performance was obtained at 1260 °C, with a permittivity of 17.73 and loss of 3.07×10−3. Ceramics sintered above 1260 °C showed a sharp increase in loss, which is ascribed to an increase in the impurity content.
    • Perovskite Srx(Bi1-xNa0.97-xLi0.03)0.5TiO3 ceramics with polar nano regions for high power energy storage

      Wu, Jiyue; Mahajan, Amit; Riekehr, Lars; Zhang, Hangfeng; Yang, Bin; Meng, Nan; Zhang, Zhen; Yan, Haixue; Queen Mary University of London; Uppsala University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-06-06)
      Dielectric capacitors are very attractive for high power energy storage. However, the low energy density of these capacitors, which is mainly limited by the dielectric materials, is still the bottleneck for their applications. In this work, lead-free single-phase perovskite Srx(Bi1-xNa0.97-xLi0.03)0.5TiO3 (x=0.30 and 0.38) bulk ceramics, prepared using solid-state reaction method, were carefully studied for the dielectric capacitor application. Polar nano regions (PNRs) were created in this material using co-substitution at A-site to enable relaxor behaviour with low remnant polarization (Pr) and high maximum polarization (Pmax). Moreover, Pmax was further increased due to reversible electric field induced phase transitions. Comprehensive structural and electrical studies were performed to confirm the PNRs and the reversible phase transitions. And finally a high energy density (1.70 J/cm3) with an excellent efficiency (87.2%) was achieved using the contribution of PNRs and field-induced transitions in this material, making it among the best performing lead-free dielectric ceramic bulk material for high energy storage.
    • Terahertz Characterisation of UV Offset Lithographically Printed Electronic-Ink

      Zeng, Yang; Edwards, Marc R.; Stevens, Robert; Bowen, John; Donnan, Robert S.; Yang, Bin; University of London; National University of Defense Technology; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University; University of Reading (Elsevier, 2017-06-10)
      Inkjet-printed electronics are showing promising potential in practical applications, but methods for real-time, non-contact monitoring of printing quality are lacking. This work explores Terahertz (THz) sensing as an approach for such monitoring. It is demonstrated that alterations in the localised dielectric characteristics of inkjet-printed electronics can be qualitatively distinguished using quasi-optically-based, sub-THz reflection spectroscopy. Decreased reflection coefficients caused by the sintering process are observed and quantified. Using THz near-field scanning imaging, it is shown that sintering produces a more uniform spatial distribution of permittivity in the printed carbon patterns. Images generated using THz-TDS based imaging are presented, demonstrating the combination of high resolution imaging with quantification of complex permittivities. This work, for the first time, demonstrates the feasibility of quality control in printed electronic-ink with THz sensing, and is of practical significance to the development of in-situ and non-contact commercial-quality characterisation methods for inkjet-printed electronics.