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Compare the Materials.com October 24, 2010

Posted by calvinus in Meerkat Science.
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I now have a new hobby.  Spotting tortured English (Meerkatish?) in published articles.  First up, from Solar Energy, 2006, 80, 1098:1

Here  the  samples’ simples’  flat  band potential, which is determined by a potential of the Nb2O5 conduction band, is rather negative and, it is additional bias from an external source not be necessary for realization of water photoelectrolysis.

From the same article:

The focus of this paper is investigations of the photoelectrochemical  properties  of  polycrystalline photoelectrodes…and to study the structure of the metal oxide  semiconductor–electrolyte  interface  by  via impedance spectroscopy.

Don’t even sound same?

Now, I do not want to criticise (or criticize) the standard of English of the authors who are having to overcome being forced to communicate their work in a language other than their own.  I know my own prose is usually strewn with typos and sentences that start with prepositions.  But given how much publishers charge for journal subscriptions and access, you might think that they could at least polish the language of their product a little.  You might think that they could afford it – they are, after all, saving a tidy sum by not paying highly qualified referees and authors!  Who knows, they may even be saving money on cheap deals on their car insurance too.


ResearchBlogging.org [1] Aroutiounian, V., Arakelyan, V., Shahnazaryan, G., Stepanyan, G., Khachaturyan, E., Wang, H., & Turner, J. (2006). Photoelectrochemistry of semiconductor electrodes made of solid solutions in the system Fe2O3–Nb2O5 Solar Energy, 80 (9), 1098-1111 DOI: 10.1016/j.solener.2005.10.005

Wavelength to electronvolts October 17, 2010

Posted by calvinus in Energy, Spectroscopy.
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I have forgotten how many times I have forgotten the automatic reflex that used to be quick conversion between various units of energy, wavelength and wavenumber.  The latest bout of amnesia has prompted E=hν






λ=hc/E                or                λ=1240/E if E is in eV


There is also a nifty wee website that converts all of the spectroscopic terms that you could ever hope to shake a stick (or rigid rotor) at.


I will forget again, I know that for a fact, but the above link means that having measured the diffuse reflectance spectrum of his latest semiconductor, my student can then convert his optical band gap data into eV or kcal mol-1. And now that he has done that, I might ask him to express it all in Hartrees or ergs…