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Chapter 307: Pouring Money
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Grynberg sighed with a look of defeat; he looked helpless.
“I admire your commitment to science. I hope you will consider us if you are successful.”
Lu Zhou smiled and said, “I’ll see first. If the modified PDMS material cooperation satisfies me, I wouldn’t mind co-operating on new projects.”
A smile appeared on Grynberg’s face.
“I hope you succeed… Oh yeah, I want to ask about the hollow carbon spheres. Do you really think it is the key to solving the shuttle effect? I’m not inquiring about your research, it’s just…”
Lu Zhou replied, “I did say some things about lithium-sulfur batteries during the meeting, but I hope you don’t over-interpret it. I am only optimistic about it, but I am not 100% sure.”
There had been countless people asking Lu Zhou this question.
Lu Zhou was responsible for everything he said. He couldn’t help but panic about getting so many people excited over hollow carbon spheres.
What if I’m wrong?
What will happen to my reputation?
Lu Zhou finally knew why the Scottish professor, Peter Bruce, still pursued lithium-air battery even after being proved wrong many times.
This wasn’t just about research funding.
This was also about commitment and reputation.
It seems that I have to work harder…
Grynberg smiled and said, “I was only asking, don’t take it seriously.”
However, Grynberg didn’t look like he was only casually asking about it.
Grynberg didn’t stay at Jin Ling University for long. He waited for the equipment to arrive before leaving.
Even though it was a pity that he wasn’t able to reach a cooperative R&D agreement with Lu Zhou, this was nothing unusual. Scientific research was like gambling, and even top scholars couldn’t guarantee good research results. Maybe Grynberg dodged a bullet.
After all, Grynberg could still sign a patent agreement with Lu Zhou after the results came out.
After the first batch of equipment for the experiment had arrived, Lu Zhou’s research inst.i.tute in Jinling was no longer an empty laboratory building.
According to Qian Zhongming, the last batch of equipment had already been shipped. He and Liu Bo would probably return to China within a few days.
Qian Zhongming’s tone on the phone sounded like he was excited.
After all, that was tens of millions of yuan in research equipment. Any researcher would be thrilled to work with these pieces of equipment.
The head of the chemistry department, Dean Li, heard the news and went to the laboratory building.
The old man touched the instrument and said, “Good G.o.d, this thing must be over ten million yuan.”
Research on semiconductors and nanometers needed high-resolution microscopes. There was a huge difference between images collected with ordinary electron microscopes and images collected by SEM 1 .
There are many types of scanning electron microscopes.
The resolution of the high-end tungsten filament gun scanning electron microscope was about 3 nm, and the resolution of the field emission gun scanning electron microscope was below 0.8 nm. Needless to say, there was a huge difference in price between the two.
Lu Zhou equipped the laboratory with cutting-edge equipment. Whether it was the imaging lens on a scanning electron microscope, the electron gun, accelerating tube, or even the high-voltage generator… they were all top-of-the-line.
Although they were expensive, it counted as a long term investment.
Researchers were not the only ones who loved expensive equipment, journals did as well.
If someone used a high-quality scanning electron microscope to do an experiment, they could easily publish in Nature or Science.
The chemistry department at Jin Ling University had an electron microscope, but it wasn’t high in quality.
It wasn’t just the chemistry department that wanted the microscope, the life sciences department was also in need of it. Each professor had an allocated time to use the microscope, while the PhD students would have to apply in advance.
Dean Li always wanted to add a new SEM to the chemistry department, but his application was never approved.
“Not ten million, maybe eight or nine,” Lu Zhou smiled and said, “but it’s in USD.”
Eight or nine million… USD.
Which means 40 million RMB?
Dean Li’s eyebrows started to twitch after hearing Lu Zhou.
He couldn’t say Lu Zhou was wasting money because Lu Zhou was using his own money.
Dean Li was jealous.
“You do love to spend… You might have to invest hundreds of millions on this experiment.”
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, “I can save money on other places, but definitely not on the equipment. A rigorous mathematical model needs rigorous equipment to support it.”
Actually, the scanning electron microscope was basically the largest expense. For the experiment, the other pieces of equipment such as the CVD vacuum tube furnace, arc chamber, Fourier infrared spectrometer, and etc cost a lot less.
Of course, even though the pieces of equipment cost a lot of money, Lu Zhou still didn’t care.
It was fine to cut down on wages, but he couldn’t cut down on the costs of the pieces of equipment.
If the data from the experiment was inaccurate, he couldn’t produce any samples. The experiment would then be a failure.
Also, these equipment weren’t for one-time use, Lu Zhou could use them for his next project.
According to Lu Zhou’s plan, the first investment phase would consist of US$50 million. After that, he planned on adding another US$50 million and to buy equipment such as atomic force microscope and transmission electron microscope. His laboratory would be one of the leading laboratories in China.
It was no exaggeration to say that people would be willing to work at the laboratory for free just for the equipment.
After all, if a researcher worked under Lu Zhou and published a few theses, their entire career would change.
They were definitely willing to work for free.
Although having no salary would be unfortunate, but that was one of the sacrifices one had to make in research.
Dean Li said, “Most people really can’t afford to research computational materials science.”
Previously, Dean Li would talk to other people about opening a computational materials science department at Jin Ling University, but now it seemed that he severely lacked the money for it.
“Yeah,” Lu Zhou said. He continued, “Actually, I want to buy a supercomputer as well.”
A supercomputer was like a nuclear weapon of computational materials science. It was similar to “Anton” 1 .
Simple algebra and geometry calculations could be done with a piece of paper and a pen. However, if someone wanted to do quant.i.tative calculations, even if the data from the experiment accurately simulated the polymer s.p.a.ce model, it would still be insanely computationally intensive.
However, Lu Zhou had just spent US$50 million on equipment, so he didn’t want to spend more just yet.
Lu Zhou planned to wait for some results before making any new purchases.
Suddenly, Lu Zhou noticed that Dean Li had stopped talking.
Dean Li: “…”
He ignored Lu Zhou.
He didn’t want to say a word.