NanotubeA view down the middle of a boron nitride nanotube. (Credit: © Vin Crespi, Penn State Physics, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nanoscience is well on its way to establishing itself as one of the critical technologies of the 21st Century. Just as semiconductors gave rise to computers, smart phones, the Internet, medical devices, and an endless stream of consumer products, nanoscience is enabling the development of new technologies in fields as diverse as electronics, medicine, photonics, energy, and quantum physics. Nanoscale constructions provide this flexibility for two reasons. First, they are small and precise enough to interact with molecules in entirely new ways. Nanomedicines, for example, often encapsulate drugs in molecular packages decorated with segments of molecules that enable them to target specific organs and diseases, and, once there, convince those cells to ingest the medication. Metal-organic frameworks, complex molecules engineered to reduce energy use in chemical reactions and capture carbon emissions from combustion, are another example. Second, and more intriguingly, nanoscale devices are closer in size to electrons and photons, and may interact with them in ways that are fundamentally different from the behavior of larger objects. For example, metamaterials, arrays of nanoscale structures, can bend light around an object to make it appear invisible. Nanoscale electronics can exploit quantum phenomena, like electron spin, energy waves, and quantum states to capture, store, and process information. As these technologies and other emerging applications reach commercialization, they are certain to change nearly every sphere of life.

Thinking Smaller: How Nanoscience Can Help Us Understand Nature's Many Microbiomes

Feb 12, 2015

More than 50 million different species of single-celled microbes live on Earth, yet we know very little about the communities they inhabit. Two experts in the field, Eoin Brodie and Jack Gilbert, discuss how nanoscience may enable us to better understand their dynamics.

The Future of Nanoscience: Three Kavli Nanoscience Institute Directors Forecast the Field’s Future

Jan 09, 2015

The directors of three Kavli nanoscience institutes – Paul Alivisatos, Paul McEuen, and Nai-Chang Yeh – discuss what makes the nanoscale so important, the field’s grand challenges, safety challenges, and their thoughts on funding, training and the future.

2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience: A Discussion with Thomas Ebbesen, Stefan Hell and Sir John Pendry

Sep 07, 2014

The winners of the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience – Thomas Ebbesen, Stefan Hell and Sir John Pendry – discuss breaking the limits of what we can do with light and opening the door to possibilities ranging from optical computing to invisibility cloaks.

From Scotch Tape to Deli Sandwiches: Future 2D Materials

Aug 25, 2014

The emerging ability to precisely engineer 2D materials is opening design pathways to, among other things, future-generation microelectronics devices, improved batteries, and even new types of liquid crystals.

Layer by Layer: The Ascent of Nanoscale Two-Dimensional Materials

Aug 25, 2014

Three nanoscience researchers - Tony Heinz, David Muller, and Joshua Goldberger - discuss the emerging subfield in nanoscience and nanotechnology known as 2D Materials, as in Two-Dimensional Materials.

The Next Life of Silicon

Apr 04, 2014

We live in the Age of Silicon, yet silicon microprocessors have begun to show signs of age, and for all its flexibility, silicon may be part of the problem. Is silicon up for the challenge, or are we entering a new age? We invited five experts to discuss the future of silicon.

2014 Annual Meeting Communicating Science Seminar

Mar 06, 2014

Seminar from the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting, shares science communication expertise in working with different types of content, across a range of formats, for various audiences. The session was separated into three videos, with each video relating to engagement with one of these audiences:  journalists, social media and public events.

The BRAIN Initiative: Surviving the Data Deluge

Brain chip
Sep 12, 2013

Mapping brain activity will produce nearly as much data as the Large Hadron Collider, yet managing the sheer volume of information will be the simplest challenge for brain data managers

Introducing the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute

Aug 29, 2013

The Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at Berkeley (Kavli ENSI) was founded to unravel the most intimate details of nature's energy secrets and use them to build fundamentally new types of energy systems.

The Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute: Discussion with the Director & Co-Directors

Aug 27, 2013

The new Kavli ENSI was founded to learn how nature manages energy at the nanoscale – sustainably and often with exceptionally high efficiencies – and to develop entirely new ways to capture, store, and harness energy for the world’s growing population.


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