Following my retirement, we have closed our company for new business.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly, our email portal remains open and I would be delighted to hear from you and provide ongoing support or advice.

Richard Thomson

Companies represented up to the end of December 2023. Please now contact them directly.

k-Space Associates, Inc.
Phone: +1 (734) 426-7977

Phone: +49 8761 76 24 0

Friday 25 October 2013

XPS Simplified

Thermo Scientific launches their new XPS Simplified website, which includes a reduced version of their powerful Knowledge Base. All Thermo Scientific XPS instruments include the Avantage Knowledge View, a store of XPS information offering advice on experimental considerations, and spectral interpretation.

Thursday 17 October 2013

German MBE Workshop

We attended the DMBE2013 in Dresden and enjoyed the usual lively discussions on a broad range of MBE related topics. The hosts provided an excellent event, thanks to Stefan Schmult and his colleagues. Next year's workshop will be in Darmstadt.

XPS tool user base

A visit last month to one our K-Alpha customers, the Department of Chemistry at UCL in London, demonstrated the outstanding value delivered from their purchase 12 months ago. There are now more than 60 users trained on the tool which provides world class publication-ready monochromated XPS data. Contact us for more details on the K-Alpha or the customer feedback.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

In brief

Take a look inside an iPhone 5s. Does it go back together as simply?

The US Senate has voted to keep the Federal Helium Program running. The US Federal Helium Reserve has been providing around a third of global crude helium.

Transparent and flexible e-paper made from woven silicon nanowires aimed at flexible solar cells.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Powerful clathrates

Clathrates are crystals in which host atoms are enclosed in cage-like spaces. Recent work at the Vienna University of Technology with clathrates made of barium, silicon and gold, encapsulating single cerium atoms, has highlighted the novel thermoelectric properties of these materials. The group hopes that clathrates can be applied to harvest industrial waste heat into valuable electrical energy.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Crystal ball gazing - from MOOCs to ...?

Despite my nostalgic recollections of school homework, with hours spent laboriously poring over logarithms, I have to agree that science and technology have improved matters. Life without calculators, computers and the internet would be tough. The myriad of applications of ICT are impacting everyday life on a truly global scale. Information, and its beneficial use, is available wider, quicker and cheaper and in many cases free at the point of use. The UK Open University pioneered the use of radio and television back in the 1970s as delivery vehicles for teaching. We are now seeing the rapid growth in “massive open on-line courses” (MOOCs). These courses are more than good university lectures available online, the real innovation comes from integrating academics talking with interactive coursework. The economic impact of MOOCs on students, parents, countries and universities could be very significant. One potential casualty is any cross-subsidy between teaching and research. MOOCs will make it far harder to overcharge students, especially undergraduates, in order to subsidise research.
Crystal ball gazing on a ten year timescale is rarely accurate, but it is probably fair to say that for those who most want it, education will be transformed.

Thursday 3 October 2013

And the winner is ...

Last month saw the announcement of the 2013 Ig Noble Prize winners. The awards are based on genuine, published, research. My favourites being the Psychology Prize (for confirming by experiment that people who think that they are drunk also think they are attractive) and the Probability Prize (for discovering that the longer a cow has been lying down the sooner it will stand up and that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again). The latter being a triumph for the Scottish Agricultural College Research group.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

No name but bigger

Applied Materials, the world's largest IC equipment supplier, and Tokyo Electron Ltd., ranked third in the world, have agreed to a merger that values the combination at around US$29 billion. The merger will put Europe's ASML based in the Netherlands, into a rather distant second place. The press release states that the new company will be formed as a merger of equals and will have a new (as of yet not announced) name with dual headquarters in Santa Clara and Tokyo. The merged entity will have about 25 percent market share. The deal is aimed at coping with the ever increasing costs and technical complexities associated with developing manufacturing tools for ICs and display panels.