PicaMS Pty Ltd
MaterialS: picometre structure - nanotechnology - millimetre application

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Recent Projects


Transmission electron microscopy and analysis of sugar cane bagasse char

Work done in assistance to a study of on gasification properties and porosity of bagasse chars.
Electron microscope imaging  enables direct visualisation of porosity and particle microstructure in these chars.

By examining the chars in a low power dissection microscope it was observed that there were three different morphological forms in the char (these forms are related to basic structures in the sugar cane).  These three forms were separated and studied separately in the electron microscope.

Analysis of the chars by electron imaging, electron diffraction, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis led to identification of the constituent particles by crystallinity (physical form), elemental composition (chemistry), and by surface roughness/particle size/porosity (surface area).  The results were summarised and tabulated.

It was found that the major contribution to char porosity was from the mineral phases (the ash) rather than carbonaceous phases (the active component).  This finding was surprising, but also very significant – it changed the thinking about the gasification process. 


A study on copper hydroxide fungicide

This was a project in developing new formulations in the production of  fungicides.  It is essential that the new formulations produce copper hydroxide material which has properties identical to material made by the traditional route. 

The suspension properties and fungicide activity of the material depend upon crystal morphology.  Through the work done at PicaMS it was found that scanning electron microscopy imaging is an excellent technique for the elucidation of both crystal morphology and crystal agglomeration.  Although the crystals are quite small, being less than 30 nm in diameter in some cases, the spectacular resolution of the scanning electron microscope revealed not only crystal shape but also revealed differences in surface structure in the crystals.

The SEM imaging performed through PicaMS proved to be a very efficient way of establishing the outcomes and reproducibility of various processing methods.