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What is the Materials Today Virtual Conference: Nanotechnology?

The Conference is a free online-only event hosted by Materials Today: the gateway to Materials Science and home of the Open Access journal of the same name. Materials Today has gathered together some of the top researchers from across the field of nanotechnology to share their latest developments.

The conference will span the hottest topics in nanotechnology today, including: graphene and nanotubes, materials for energy and biomaterials. The virtual conference platform will allow you to listen and network with like-minded scientists from the comfort of your own desk; listening to presentations, posting questions to speakers, browsing posters from your fellow delegates, and downloading must-have whitepapers, videos, podcasts and documents.

We have also brought together some of the key industrial players in the field to help you find the solutions you are looking for in your research.

So register for the conference now and we'll send you everything you need to know to log in from the 11th December.


Nanomedicine: From increasing tissue growth to toxicity concerns

Thomas J. Webster, Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University

Inspired from biological systems, nanotechnology is beginning to revolutionize medicine including improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of numerous diseases. This talk will summarize efforts over the past decade that have synthesized novel nanoparticles, nanotubes, and other nanomaterials to improve medicine. Efforts focused on the use of nanomaterials to minimize immune cell interactions, inhibit infection, and increase tissue growth will be especially emphasized.

Recent concerns over nanoparticle toxicity will also be covered as well as strategies to make nanoparticles less toxic. In summary, this talk will provide the latest information concerning the design and use of numerous nanomaterials in regenerative medicine while highlighting what is necessary for this field to continue to grow.

Heat and noise in graphene: Unique properties and practical applications

Alexander A. Balandin, Department of Electrical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California – Riverside

Unique electronic properties of two-dimensional (2D) graphene originate from its unusual linear Dirac-cone dispersion. Phonons – quanta of lattice vibrations – in 2D crystals also reveal features different from those in bulk materials. In 2008, we discovered that the phonon thermal conductivity of suspended graphene can be exceptionally high – exceeding that of the basal graphite planes.

This presentation will review the results of optothermal Raman measurements, and describe practical applications of graphene in the thermal management of electronics. We will also discuss graphene electronic applications that do not require an energy band-gap including graphene-on-diamond interconnects with exceptional current-carrying capacity, low-noise graphene transistors for analog electronics and communications, phase detectors and selective gas sensors implemented with pristine graphene.

Controlled synthesis of colloidal nanoparticles: How high quality can benefit new discoveries

Yugang Sun , Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory

Synthesis of colloidal nanoparticles with tailored properties provides the foundation for exploring their applications in many promising areas, such as energy harvesting/conversion/storage, catalysis, electronics, etc.  In this presentation, I will highlight a number of guidelines that allow us to engineer the critical nucleation steps involved in the growth of colloidal nanoparticles by taking the synthesis of silver nanoparticles with controlled sizes and morphologies as an example. 

In the second part of the presentation, reversing size-dependence of optical properties of the synthesized silver nanoparticles and exceptional tetragonal crystalline symmetry of the silver nanowires will be highlighted to shed a light on how to use the well-synthesized nanoparticles as a platform to discover the unique properties associated with nanometer dimensions.

Use of the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.


Dmitri Golberg, World Premier International (WPI), Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Japan

Boron nitride (BN) nanomaterials, i.e. nanotubes and nanosheets, have long been in a shadow of their popular carbon (C) cousins. However, recently, these exciting nanostructures have started to attract the full attention of materials scientists and engineers. NanoBNs are much more thermally and chemically stable compared to their C counterparts, while possessing approximately the same values of mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. Specific features of these nanomaterials include stable electrical insulation and radiation protecting properties. Therefore, nanoBNs are rich in exciting structural and functional application potentials.

For many years our group at NIMS, Tsukuba, Japan, has been studying and utilizing BN nanotubes and nanosheets in various fields, from reinforcing agents in polymers, ceramics and metals, to field-emitting and lasing applications. In this talk I will review the rich field of BN nanomaterials, particularly highlighting the new and booming field of “white” BN graphene.

The author is grateful to many past and present colleagues at NIMS for their tremendous contributions to the subject of this talk.

Dipeptide Hydrogels

Dave J. Adams, Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool

Low molecular weight gelators (LMWG) form gels by the self-assembly of the LMWG into long fibres. These fibres entangle and, at a suitable concentration, lead to the network that gives rise to the solid-like properties of the gels. Many LMWG exist, with very different molecular structures. Paradoxically, it is also clear that slight changes in molecular structure can result in a LMWG becoming a non-gelator. Linking the molecular structure to the mechanical properties of the gels is difficult. One reason for this is that it is becoming increasingly clear that the method of assembly is a critical parameter in determining the properties of the gel. The self-assembly for LMWG can be induced by a variety of stimuli including pH, temperature and solvent polarity. Each of these methods can lead to a different self-assembly pathway. Here, we describe the formation of hydrogels from dipeptide-based LMWG. Depending on the assembly process, gels can be prepared which have widely differing properties. We will show how the properties of the gels can be controlled.

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