Seeing at the Nanoscale 2012' conference, which will take place at the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, UK, from July 9th-11th 2012

Conference Overview

We are pleased to announce Seeing at the Nanoscale 2012, the tenth annual scientific conference focusing on nanostructural imaging, characterization, and technique development in Biology, Energy, and Material Science Applications using scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and related techniques.

Wills Memorial Building
Wills Memorial Building

The event will be held from July 09th-11th, 2012, at the Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

The conference is jointly organized by Bruker, the University of Bristol, the Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information, and promises to build on the biological and physical sciences interdisciplinary strengths of each organization.

The event includes 2 ½ days of technical presentations and posters, with ample networking opportunities to interact with leading SPM scientists. The conference acts as a forum to discuss and solve problems through brainstorming and hands-on experience. In conjunction with the conference, Bruker will host ahalf day training course covering a variety of atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques.

The conference chairman Prof. Mervyn Miles and co-chairman Prof. Heinrich Hörber, as well as the conference organizers are delighted that Toshio Ando has accepted our invitation to be the conference keynote and that the following speakers have accepted invitations to give plenary talks (for full details, go to the Session and Invited Speakers page): Yves Dufrêne (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), Simon Scheuring (INSERM/University of Marseille, France), Jean-Luc Pellequer (CEA Marcoule, France), Evangelos Eleftheriou (IBM Research, Switzerland), David Fermin (University of Bristol, UK), Markus Raschke(University of Colorado, USA), Franz J. Giessibl (University of Regensburg, Germany), Rainer Hillenbrand (CIC nanoGUNE, Spain), Georg Schitter (Vienna University of Technology, Austria), Julius Vancso (University of Twente, NL), Jamie Hobbs (University of Sheffield, UK), Thilo Glatzel (University of Basel, Switzerland).

Join the leaders of the field to explore the future of nanotechnology using SPM and related techniques: BOOK THE DATE: 09th-11th July, Bristol, UK.

Conference Links

New study reveals molecular mechanism of carbon nanotubes role in arterial thrombosis

Blood platelets are the structural and chemical foundation of blood clotting and they play a vital role in minor injuries when coagulation prevents the loss of blood at the injury site. If the proper function of these platelets gets disturbed, blood clotting can lead to thrombosis, which is a leading cause of death and disability in the developed world. In view of the rapid development of nanotechnology, the impact of the newly engineered nanomaterials as an additional thrombosis risk factor is not yet known but should not be underestimated. In fact, it has been reported that carbon nanotubes induce platelet aggregation and potentiate arterial thrombosis in animal model. However, a mechanism of thrombogenic effects of carbon nanotubes was not known. Researchers have now shown that show the molecular mechanism of carbon nanotubes' induced platelets activation.




Nanotechnology innovations can improve water purification

(Nanowerk News) Membranes for water purification are used in many applications and different types of membranes are being developed at the moment. No membrane can filter and purify water entirely, but improvements using novel kinds of membranes are made.
In the European Commission-funded project MEMBAQ (Incorporation of Aquaporins in Membranes for Industrial Applications) researchers are taking advantage of a unique structure nature has already created, when they are developing a nanotechnological invention. They are inspired by the cell membranes' water-transporting channels made up of proteins called aquaporins. Only pure H2O molecules are let through. Different kinds of water filtration membranes have been incorporated with these aquaporins, in the pursuit of a revolutionary nanobiotechnological water membrane technology that can remove particles and pathogens from the water much more efficiently, compared to other membranes on the market.
The main challenge at the moment is to make membranes applicable to industrial processes. However, the scientists have come a long way by supporting the aquaporins with a flexible and tissue-like hydrogel layer and then stabilizing this layer with a perforated Teflon film, capable of holding hydrogel and aquaporin droplets. The project's aim is to develop membranes capable of, for example, recycle wastewater into drinking water and desalinate water. In addition, this technology could serve customers working on semiconductors, since they use a lot of ultra pure water, and might make this industry greener by reducing the energy needed during the water purification process. If everything goes according to plans, the customers will be offered a membrane that is five to ten times more efficient than membranes currently available on the market.
Another way of improving water purification through a nanotechnological approach has been developed by researchers at Stanford University. They have electrified a cotton membrane, coated with silver nanowires and nanotubes, to kill pathogens. This electrical mechanism is used instead of size exclusion. The bigger pores let the water flow through about 80,000 times faster than bacteria-trapping membranes allow and also make it possible to avoid clogging of the membranes. Multiple filter stages are needed, since one electrified membrane only kills 98 percent of the pathogens. The researchers have shown that the electricity required to run current through the membrane could be as low as a fifth of a filtration pump's energy need, when a comparable water amount is let through.
The market for different membranes that can purify water is growing and customers might soon have the possibility to pick a membrane that better suit their needs.
Source: By Annette Oestrand, Youris


Novel hybrid graphene materials for solar cell applications

The extremely high electron mobility of graphene - under ideal conditions electrons move through it with roughly 100 times the mobility they have in silicon - combined with its superior strength and the fact that it is nearly transparent (2.3 % of light is absorbed; 97.7 % transmitted), make it an ideal candidate for photovoltaic applications. Recent research suggests, though, that doping is a necessity to harvest the full potential of graphene. The challenge then for researchers is to find suitable fabrication techniques for high-quality graphene flakes that exhibit high charge mobilities. Researchers now present a chemical approach towards non-covalently functionalized graphene, which is generated from vastly available and low-priced natural graphite.


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