Sheffield Café Scientifique

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Nanotechnology – Tiny Structures, Big Ideas and Grey Goo Professor Chris Binns

It has been said that nanotechnology is set to revolutionise technology (perhaps mainly by nanotechnologists) but what is it and what does it do? Essentially a toolkit is being developed that enables one to play ‘atomic lego’ and build tiny devices or design very high performance materials. To do this it borrows from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Engineering and this cross-disciplinarity is one of the most exciting aspects of the field. The talk will describe how it works and some of the fabulous technologies just around the corner based on nanotechnology. These include a generic symptom-free cure for cancer, cheap abundant solar energy and 1000-fold minituarisation of electronic devices. It will also talk about nano-robots or nanobots and the dangers associated with this kind of radical nanotechnology.