From self-cleaning windows to personalised medicine, the promise of nanotechnology spans from the mundane to the lifesaving. But is nanotech really new? Should we be worried about it? And 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.
Join Rosie Hicks, CEO of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, for a fascinating talk on nanotechnology and its applications in Australian health, communications and energy.