Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Nanotech: What’s The Big Deal On Small Stuff?

Talk Adults
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From self-cleaning windows to personalised medicine, the promise of nanotechnology spans from the mundane to the lifesaving. But is it really new? Should we be worried about it? Where to from here?

A nanometre, from the Greek ‘nanos’ meaning dwarf, is one billionth of a meter or 80,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Nanotechnology is the manipulation or manufacture of materials or devices at the scale of atoms or small groups of atoms. At this scale the material properties differ from the bulk, and we can control properties such as the conductivity or transparency by controlling the structure.

Rosie Hicks is the CEO of the Australian National Fabrication Facility – a national network of labs that provide Australian researchers with access to the tools for fabricating materials and devices at the micro and nanoscale.