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One of most negative campaigns in history may have taken place during the 2014 Senate election cycle. Nearly 75% of senate ads aired during a two-week period in early fall of 2014 showed a candidate in a negative light, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. A postelection analysis by the Center for Public Integrity showed that 46% of the more than one million ads aired during the 2014 senate campaigns were negative. And, in the most competitive states, the proportion of negative ads was even higher (e.g., 67% in North Carolina, 58% in Kansas). Negative advertisements sponsored by candidates, interest groups, and political parties are being launched on the airways, in newspapers, on radio, and via the Internet at an unprecedented pace. These advertisements, however, are now routinely subjected to fact checking. The Washington Post, along with many other fact-checking organizations, such as PolitiFact, The AP Factcheck, and Factcheck.org, examine thousands of statements and political advertisements during campaigns to determine the accuracy of the claims. For instance, during the 2012 election cycle, PolitiFact had 36 reporters and editors working in 11 states producing more than 800 fact checks on the presidential campaign and hundreds more for candidates running for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
Micromachined fuel cells are among a class of microscale devices being explored for portable power generation. In this paper, we report processing and geometric design criteria for the fabrication of free-standing electrolyte membranes for microscale solid-oxide fuel cells. Submicron, dense, nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) films were deposited onto silicon nitride membranes using electron-beam evaporation and sputter deposition. Selective silicon nitride removal leads to free-standing, square, electrolyte membranes with side dimensions as large as 1025 μm for YSZ and 525 μm for GDC, with high processing yields for YSZ. Residual stresses are tensile (+85 to +235 MPa) and compressive (–865 to -155 MPa) in as-deposited evaporated and sputtered films, respectively. Tensile evaporated films fail via brittle fracture during annealing at temperatures below 773 K; thermal limitations are dependent on the film thickness to membrane size aspect ratio. Sputtered films with compressive residual stresses show superior mechanical and thermal stability than evaporated films. Sputtered 1025-μm membranes survive annealing at 773 K, which leads to the generation of tensile stresses and brittle fracture at elevated temperatures (923 K).
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