Welcome to the blog for SUNY Oswego's SHArK Project. In the coming days, we will be providing a status update of our work on the project and some ideas of where we will be going over the summer.

We have two undergraduate students (one from chemistry and one from technology education), one high school student, and one high school teacher working on the project this summer.

Since 2008, We've been working with one of the original SHArK kits. We started with the Epson Photo printer and initially enountered a problem with the metals not printing where we expected. After several attempts we resolved that issue and began generating samples. We were able to prepare about a dozen samples, all in duplicate, before the printer nozzles clogged.

During the summer of 2009, an undergradute student, Lenny Breindel, visited Lee Sharpe at Grinnell College to see how their spray pyrolysis system worked. After Lenny's return we began exploring similar options here, but with the plan of generating one ternary composition space at a time. We also planned to use a sprayer fo visualizing chromatography plates. We established the best air pressure and distance by spraying basic solutions at a piece of paper painted with phenolphthalein.

We planned to make a metal glass plate holder and template that wold attached to a hotplate, so we enlisted the help of faculty members in the Department of Technology Education at SUNY Oswego. Out first design was unsuccessful; however, in the intervening days Dan Tryon developed a system that became know as the "spinning hotplate of death".

Photos of Spinning Hotplate of Death

Spinning hotplate 1


Spinning hotplate 2

Photo of hotplate at 0º Photo of hotplate after 120º rotation

We also progressed to using an inexpensive (<$10) hobby airbrush as our sprayer to prepare samples.

Al Co Fe Sm-Spray

Al-Fe-Sm ternary print

We are currently working to refine our sample template and our airbrush holder. We are also beginning to develop designs for a low-cost, 500 ºC, furnace for annealing samples.