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The 214th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society, Hawaii, 12 -17 October 2008

Russell Binions

The 214th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii from 12 -17 October 2008. I gave an oral presentation entitled ‘Zeolite Modified Gas Sensors’ (R. Binions et al. Electrochemical Society Transactions, (2008), 16(11), 275–286.). Such devices show great improvement in selectivity and show potential for a variety of gas specific applications.

This conference was an ideal opportunity to present my work, as there were in excess of 4,000 delegates from both industry and academia in attendance participating in over 25 parallel sessions. The poster session proved to be particularly stimulating with many interesting discussions, suggestions and questions taking place. It was also an excellent opportunity to network and talk to people in industry from companies such as NASA, Proctor and Gamble and Caterpillar Inc to name but a few.

The plenary lecture was given by Professor Tetsuya Osaka of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. He discussed new and important areas in electrochemical nano-technology and expanded on his research centres philosophy of ‘creating new designs for the interface between solution and electrode at an atomic scale’ which has become common not only in wet, electrochemical technologies, but also in dry technologies.

The islands of Hawaii proved to be an exotic and exciting destination for a conference. Certainly I have never been to a conference where most of the networking took place on the beach. Also there was a notably more relaxed atmosphere than other conferences I have attended; many presentations were given with delegates dressed in Hawaiian shirts (pictured) and shorts rather than the standard business attire. Fortunately, I was able to take advantage of an afternoon off to explore the beautiful island of Oahu and explore the magnificent views from Diamond Head - the local resting volcano.

My particular highlight was a talk presented by Professor Tom Welton of Imperial College London entitled ‘In search of an ionic liquid effect’ (Abstract 2972) which covered research into the fundamental properties of ionic liquids and described some of the potential uses for this interesting class of materials.

It was a pleasure to attend such a well organised conference and such a useful forum. With topics as wide ranging as atomic layer deposition, ionic liquids, gas sensors and nanotechnology; the conference enabled me not just to be aware of the latest developments in the areas I work in, but also the broader areas that encompass my work. Credit must be given to the organisers who managed to include such diversity in their programme.

I would like to thank SCI for the Messel Travel Bursary, which helped in funding this trip.

Russell Binions
Christopher Ingold Labs, London

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