'Nanotechnology: small science‚ big deal'

The University of Surrey’s world-class expertise in nanotechnology research is a key contributor to a new exhibition entitled ‘Nanotechnology: small science‚ big deal’, now showing at the Science Museum in London. Professor Ravi Silva, from the University’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), along with PhD students Anthony Miller and Stephen Lyth, have been helping the Science Museum put the exhibition together since last year.

‘Nanotechnology: small science‚ big deal’ explores the possibilities of building useful structures and devices – even controllable machines – that are no bigger than single molecules. It reveals how nanotechnology products are already changing our world and asks what might happen in the future.

Also on display are many amazing images of ‘nanoscale’ objects, including carbon nanotubes, an area of research in which the University’s ATI leads the world. Carbon nanotubes are very thin sheets of graphite rolled into cylinders only one nanometre (equal to one billionth of a metre) in diameter. They are very strong and very light, and exhibit unusual thermal, electronic and structural properties.

Researchers at the ATI created nano-sized messages on a single grain of pollen and on a mat of carbon nanotubes especially for the exhibit. They also provided images of their nanomanipulation system in action, and of a free-standing ATI advertisement built entirely of carbon nanotubes. Additionally, they acted in a consultative role for much of the written information in the exhibit, as well as providing giant models of nanotubes and buckyballs (kindly donated by EPSRC).

‘Nanotechnology - small science‚ big deal’ runs from 25 February until 31 August 2005‚ after which it will tour to four UK venues.

Source: University of Surrey

Citation: 'Nanotechnology: small science‚ big deal' (2005, March 9) retrieved 24 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2005-03-nanotechnology-small-science-big.html
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