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Ancient Greeks help scientists build environmentally friendly nano devices

A new generation of materials inspired by the ancient Greeks have been developed by scientists for use in miniaturised devices. The materials are robust, flexible films with perforations on the nano scale and have nano coatings. They are environmentally safe and will enable ultra-fast optoelectronic communication. They are produced by the self-assembly of an intricate 3D jigsaw which is then filled with solid metal or active plastic using the same technology used for plating jewellery. This new technique has been inspired by the lost-wax casting process used by the ancient Greeks for sculpture, but scaled down by a factor of one million.

This new technology will be described by Professor Jeremy Baumberg in the Mott Lecture on Monday 5th April at the Institute of Physics conference CMMP 2004. This four-day conference will take place from Sunday 4th to Wednesday 7th April 2004 at the University of Warwick. Some of the topics being presented include: developments in nanotechnology, snap-shot MRI, organic semiconductor technology, high temperature superconductivity, and progress towards quantum computers.

Professor Baumberg, from Southampton University, said: "These environmentally friendly nano-coatings stay embedded within their operating devices. The nano-perforations produce new electronic, magnetic, optical and bio-sensing properties, applicable to a vast range of new nano-devices in consumer electronics. The complicated 3D nanostructures are impossible to create using conventional micro-technologies, and fill a gap in our ability to build what we need on the nanoscale.

He continued: "Our goal is to allow researchers waking up with a smart idea, to design their new nano-device after breakfast, rapidly nano-prototype it after lunch, and to be testing its nano-performance the same evening. Only in this way will we unlock the full creative potential of our innovative researchers, and find the right ways through the vast maze of possible nano-de
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Contact: David Reid
david.reid@iop.org
44-207-470-4815
Institute of Physics
5-Apr-2004


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