April 21, 2016
Announcements and Reminders
Sam received a Rotary Pin for contributions to the Paul Harris Foundation.  John Fisher said we contributed over $3000 to the polio plus effort through our donations to the foundation.
Sandra announced that we need help (volunteers) for the wine and beer booth at the Aptos Park on Memorial Day Weekend for the music festival. Volunteers need to be there all day. She needs people on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Laura announced that we applied for a RotoCare grant from PAMF and we’ll know in June whether or not we receive funding.
Doug Deaver mentioned that one of our students is interested in beginning a RotorAct club at Santa Clara University.
Sandra Wallace introduced our speaker today. Christopher Deming is the recipient of our Piatt Rotary fellowship. She gave us some background on the award. Henry Piatt was a member of the club who left an endowment for a graduate of Santa Cruz County public high schools and a candidate for a post baccalaureate degree in the natural sciences at any one of the UC campuses. Mr. Deming, last year’s recipient, is a local student who is now at UCSC. He works on synthesis and analysis in chemistry and already has published more than 10 first author peer reviewed papers.  He is married and has a baby. He is hoping to teach chemistry at the college after he graduates.
Mr. Deming explained that he works on the manipulation of nanoparticles to exploit the electrical and optical properties for fuel cells.  His focus is materials chemistry associated with energy or how electricity and light interact with the nanoparticles. Those in his field wish to exploit the possibilities of using nanoparticles in fuel cells.
Mr. Deming said that nanoparticles are a spherical collection of atoms. They are very, very small.  10,000 of them can fit across the fitness of a hair. They represent an intermediate class between bulk and atomic; a unique class that gives them interesting properties. One of these is the surface area to volume ratio. As the material gets smaller the ratio of surface area to volume gets larger, up to 100 meters squared per gram.  50 grams of this material would have the surface area of a football field which gives a lot of power to do surface reactions. 
Fuel cell electrocatalyst offers a clean renewable energy source.  It produces electricity and the output is water … which is very good for the environment.  The fuel can come from renewable options. Currently H2  (hydrogen) is the fuel . These fuel cells are well suited for long range as well as stationery applications. In a vehicle they get 300 miles per tank.  Toyota has a new model coming out that will use this technology. Trains are also starting to use fuel cells.
One of the bottlenecks to more widespread adaptation of fuel cell technology is that it requires a lot of expensive metal. Mr. Deming’s research goal is to reduce or eliminate the amount of precious metal needed to make energy. He is working on gold palladium alloy nanoparticles which are less expensive than platinum. He has been looking to find the optimum ratio for palladium gold alloy. When  tested for electron catalytic activity it turns out that 91.2% palladium and 8.6% gold  is best,  better than commercial platinum which is the energy standard. In the future it is hoped that nanoparticles with carbon/nitrogen structures will help reduce costs, as well as silicon or something that is very abundant. Some research is now focused on removing metal completely.
Mr. Deming concluded by showing us a photo of his new baby boy (very cute!) and thanking the Club for the opportunity to pursue his research with our support.