Environmental Noise Challenges in Materials Science Research

Today, materials science is one of the academic disciplines with the most direct applications in industrial enterprises. It is an applied science which tries to gain a better insight into the characteristics of natural and manmade materials.

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Materials science combines techniques and knowledge from a range of disciplines such as mechanical engineering, physics and chemistry, and has a wide array of applications that range from energy and bioengineering to product research and development (R&D).

For materials scientists, the suitability of materials for different types of tasks is of significant importance. To this end, various R&D departments of technology companies employ many materials scientists. In addition, the tools of materials science are crucial in the growing field of nanotechnology.

Materials scientists represent a significant group of advanced analytical tools, and constitute the largest group of atomic force microscopists. As the applications of materials science expand, the discipline is spreading outside the conventional fields of physics, chemistry and mechanical engineering and entering into other areas like bioengineering and forensics.

Besides studying and improving existing materials, materials scientists strive to create novel materials. Some examples of synthetic materials produced are Styrofoam, Kevlar, polyester and nylon. Nanoscale materials science has also produced novel nanomaterials, such as graphene, buckyballs, nanowires and carbon nanotubes.

Environmental challenges

While researchers continue to study the materials’ atomic and molecular structure, much of the revolutionary materials science is happening on the nanoscale. Owing to the high levels of accuracy required in research on this scale, the instrumentation is obviously susceptible to even small amount of noise levels in the environment.

In certain experiments, where assembling of carbon nanotubes or moving of atoms are involved, it is easy to envisage that even the slightest of disturbance can destroy the whole process.

At the cutting edge, materials scientists need to construct their own custom instrumentation to measure novel properties of novel materials. It is not easy to control the sensitivities of these home-made instruments.

Conclusion

Scientists planning to set up a laboratory for materials research should adopt extreme care while reviewing the noise levels of the location. Testing instruments should be used to assess vibrational and acoustic noise, and potential sources of electromagnetic interference, to determine the most suitable location to install the sensitive instruments.

In addition, measures should be taken to cut down background noise for AFMs and other instruments, using devices such as EMI cancellation systems, soundproof hoods and supplementary active vibration control systems.

About Herzan

Herzan provides high performance environmental solutions for precision research instruments. They include acoustic enclosures, vibration isolation systems, Faraday cages, and site survey tools. Herzan specializes in supporting nanotechnology research, but also offers solutions for product testing, in-vitro fertilization, and many other applications.

Herzan understands that every application and environment is different, so it collaborates with customers to create comprehensive integrated solutions that satisfy their unique demands.

Herzan was founded in 1992 by Ann Scanlan in Orange County, California. Originally, Herzan was established as an American subsidiary of Herz Company Ltd., a Japanese company specializing in vibration control. The name Herzan comes from the amalgamation of 'Herz' and 'Ann'.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Herzan LLC.

For more information on this source, please visit Herzan LLC.

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