Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USM researcher uses nanotechnology to invent high quality varistor

12.11.2009
The new varistor is able to withstand up to 2000 Ampere electrical current without causing any harm to the electrical goods and is 30% cheaper.

Malaysia has the second highest rate of lighting and thunder occurences (about 280 days a year) after Florida at over 300 days a year.

The imapct results in the destruction of many electrical and electronic equipment and loss of electricity supply. USM researcher, Dr Sharom Mahmud, 46 has improved the varistor technology and succeeded in inventing a high quality varistor which is able to withstand up to 2000 Ampere electrical current without causing any harm to the electrical goods.

This far exceeds the standard 500 Ampere varistors found in most electrical items in our homes. Furthermore, the product is 30 % cheaper at RM 0.70 sen a unit compared to RM1.26 sen a unit for a comparable varistor in the market.

INTRODUCTION
Varistors are semiconductor components that protect electrical equipment from electrical power surges. Currently almost all electrical equipment use varistors for surge protection – it is a must-have product. Each time there is thunderstorm, there are reports of power failure due to power surges – it is a common problem in Malaysia. Most varistors are made from zinc oxide (ZnO) as the main element. The world makes about 3 billion varistors annually.
BACKGROUND
Dr Shahrom started working on varistors 16 years ago when he worked as a varistor engineer at a European-owned factory. He was involved in the improvement of varistor industrial technology. He has produced about half a billion varistors that conformed to world standards. For 7 years, Dr Shahrom has done research to further improve varistor technology with the help from Prof Mat Johar Abdullah. Finally he has produced High Performance Varistors that are proven to outperform international standards. His novel product is recognized by winning a gold medal in PECIPTA 2009. The invention, supported by an incentive grant from USM, is currently being processed for patent filing.
SIGNIFICANCE OF INVENTION TO SOCIETY
High Performance (HP) Varistors are what Malaysia need to solve the severe power surges due to lightning. With about 280 lightning days per year, Malaysia has one of the world’s highest lightning occurence. Many people have reported equipment damage during thunderstorms. HP Varistors can greatly reduce equipment damage due to power surges because they are specially formulated to absorb more electrical energy. They are also cheaper than commercial varistors because 90% of the raw material can be sourced locally and homegrown technology is used. Malaysia will need tens of millions of HP Varistors per year to overcome severe power surges due to lightning. With his decade-long industrial experience, Dr Shahrom has the expertise to build one varistor factory bottom-up.
UNIQUENESS OF THE INVENTION
High Performance Varistors can be produced by controlling at the nano scale. The main ingredient, zinc oxide, possesses several nano morphologies and Dr Shahrom discovered that certain rectangular morphologies tend to give the best energy handling capability for varistors. This nanostructural-electrical correlation is new and many varistor corporations are investigating this fascinating phenomenon. He is also currently attached as a consultation for two zinc oxide companies. State-of-the-art equipment at USM’s NOR Lab and EM Lab are used for this nano research.

This research won the Gold Medal in PECIPTA 2009

RESEARCHER
Dr. Shahrom Mahmud
Senior Lecturer
NanoOptoelectronic Reseach (NOR) Lab
School of Physics
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 Pulau Pinang.
Phone: 012-5710976
E-mail: shahromx@usm.my

Mohamad Abdullah | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://shahrom.com/
http://www.usm.my

Further reports about: Ampere NOR PECIPTA Performance Measurement-Systems Shahrom USM specimen processing

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

nachricht Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication
16.07.2018 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>