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News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A new study by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Cornell University and Duke University is the first in a series to understand how marine mammals like porpoises, whales, and dolphins may be affected by the construction of wind farms off the coast of Maryland. The new research offers insight into previously unknown habits of harbor porpoises in the Maryland Wind Energy Area, a 125-square-mile area off the coast of Ocean City that may be the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. Offshore wind farms provide renewable energy, but activities during the construction can affect marine mammals that use sound for communication, finding food, and navigation. “It is critical to understand where marine mammals spend their time in areas of planning developments, like offshore wind farms, in order to inform regulators and developers on how to most effectively avoid and minimize negative impacts during the construction phase when loud sounds may be emitted,” said Helen Bailey, the project leader at the UMCES’ Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science used underwater microphones called hydrophones to detect and map the habits of harbor porpoises, one of the smallest marine mammals. Bailey describes harbor porpoises as “very shy” ranging 4 to 5 feet long with a small triangular fin that can be hard to spot. They swim primarily in the ocean, spending summers north in the Bay of Fundy and migrating to the Mid-Atlantic, as far south as North Carolina, in the winter.  There are about 80,000 of them in the northwestern Atlantic. “There was so little known about them in this area,” said Bailey. “It was suspected they used the waters off Maryland, but we had no idea how frequently they occurred here in the winter until we analyzed these data.” Porpoises produce echolocation clicks, a type of sonar that hits an object and reflects back to tell them its distance, size and shape. They use it to navigate and feed. The researchers used hydrophones anchored 65-145 feet deep, and about 10 feet off the bottom of the ocean, to pick up these clicks over the course of a year. “We found that harbor porpoises occurred significantly more frequently during January to May, and foraged for food significantly more often in the evenings to early mornings,” said study author Jessica Wingfield. Scheduling wind farm construction activities in the Maryland WEA to take place during summer months (June to September) could reduce the likelihood of disturbance to harbor porpoises. “We were certainly surprised by how frequently we detected harbor porpoises because there had not been a lot of reported sightings,” said Wingfield. Maryland Department of Natural Resources secured the funding for this study from the Maryland Energy Administration’s Offshore Wind Development Fund and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. “Year-round spatiotemporal distribution of harbour porpoises within and around the Maryland wind energy area” was recently published in PLOS ONE.


Jose Andres L.,Energy Area | Fe Menendez M.,Energy Area | Gomez D.,Energy Area | Luisa Martinez A.,Energy Area | And 4 more authors.
Nanotechnology | Year: 2015

Rapid synthesis of ultralong silver nanowires (AgNWs) has been obtained using a one-pot polyol-mediated synthetic procedure. The AgNWs have been prepared from the base materials in less than one hour with nanowire lengths reaching 195 μm, which represents the quickest synthesis and one of the highest reported aspect ratios to date. These results have been achieved through a joint analysis of all reaction parameters, which represents a clear progress beyond the state of the art. Dispersions of the AgNWs have been used to prepare thin, flexible, transparent and conducting films using spray coating. Due to the higher aspect ratio, an improved electrical percolation network is observed. This allows a low sheet resistance (RS = 20.2 Ω/sq), whilst maintaining high optical film transparency (T = 94.7%), driving to the highest reported figure-of-merit (FoM = 338). Owing to the light-scattering influence of the AgNWs, the density of the AgNW network can also be varied to enable controllability of the optical haze through the sample. Based on the identification of the optimal haze value, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been fabricated using the AgNWs as the transparent electrode and have been benchmarked against indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes. Overall, the performance of OPVs made using AgNWs sees a small decrease in power conversion efficiency (PCE), primarily due to a fall in open-circuit voltage (50 mV). This work indicates that AgNWs can provide a low cost, rapid and roll-to-roll compatible alternative to ITO in OPVs, with only a small compromise in PCE needed. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Alvarez-Martos I.,University of Oviedo | Fernandez-Gavela A.,University of Oviedo | Rodriguez-Garcia J.,University of Oviedo | Campos-Alfaraz N.,Energy Area | And 4 more authors.
Sensors and Actuators, B: Chemical | Year: 2014

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been widely used in many fields of chemical analysis to achieve more sensitive detection systems. In this work, we performed fundamental studies on grown or bottom-up fabricated MWCNTs (both non-oriented and oriented configurations), showing how variables like orientation, density, underlayer deposition, or synthesis time strongly determine their behavior (physical, electrochemical and analytical) as transducers. The electrochemical performance of these surfaces was demonstrated by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry of dopamine (DA) solutions in 0.1 M H2SO 4. The carbon nanotubes surfaces pre-treated with 1 M HNO3 lead to increased signals, sensitivity and enhanced limits of detection (LOD). The grown working electrodes (WE) were reproducible and stable over the time. The peak variations gave RSD values of 8%, 4% and 3% for high-density spaghetti-like and ITO or Al underlayered forest-like MWCNTs grown for 30 min, respectively. This study highlighted the importance of controlling the synthesis variables to achieve better analytical parameters. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Campos N.,Energy Area | Gomez D.,Energy Area
2014 IEEE 9th Nanotechnology Materials and Devices Conference, NMDC 2014 | Year: 2014

The possibility of using graphene as a key element to develop low-cost terahertz sources has been considered on the basis of theoretical predictions showing non-linear effects leading to frequency multiplication phenomenon. For the integration of graphene in real devices of such kind, special attention must be paid to the processes of synthesis and transfer to suitable substrates, focusing on the needed properties of the final samples. In this work, all the steps followed towards the preparation of the optimal samples of graphene on polyimide substrates are described in detail with particular emphasis on the electrical properties required for the final application. © 2014 IEEE.


Rapid synthesis of ultralong silver nanowires (AgNWs) has been obtained using a one-pot polyol-mediated synthetic procedure. The AgNWs have been prepared from the base materials in less than one hour with nanowire lengths reaching 195 m, which represents the quickest synthesis and one of the highest reported aspect ratios to date. These results have been achieved through a joint analysis of all reaction parameters, which represents a clear progress beyond the state of the art. Dispersions of the AgNWs have been used to prepare thin, flexible, transparent and conducting films using spray coating. Due to the higher aspect ratio, an improved electrical percolation network is observed. This allows a low sheet resistance (RS=20.2 /sq), whilst maintaining high optical film transparency (T=94.7%), driving to the highest reported figure-of-merit (FoM=338). Owing to the light-scattering influence of the AgNWs, the density of the AgNW network can also be varied to enable controllability of the optical haze through the sample. Based on the identification of the optimal haze value, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been fabricated using the AgNWs as the transparent electrode and have been benchmarked against indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes. Overall, the performance of OPVs made using AgNWs sees a small decrease in power conversion efficiency (PCE), primarily due to a fall in open-circuit voltage (50 mV). This work indicates that AgNWs can provide a low cost, rapid and roll-to-roll compatible alternative to ITO in OPVs, with only a small compromise in PCE needed.

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