Have you ever wondered about how the world looks and works on the level of atoms and molecules? Did you know that it’s because of their surface structures that butterflies’ wings are shiny? How about the Lotus effect, which causes water droplets to roll off of plant leaves, cleaning the plant? How do molecules in a cell find their way around? What does the smallest rolling car look like and how can you actually have car races with it? Can we grow wires one thousand times thinner than a human hair? And can this wire actually conduct like your phone charging cable? What if we can build a computer from such wire or even from single atoms?
These questions, though seemingly disparate, are all addressable through the study of objects on the nanoscale. The field of nanotechnology operates at the interface of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Often inspired by nature, we are nowadays able to directly manipulate and engineer nanometer-sized structures and molecules to explore new possibilities in medicine, electronics, diagnostics, metrology, optics and many other fields. The research in this field is often application-oriented and close to industry. It has led to numerous innovations and successful products that assist us in our everyday lives in more ways than we might think.
In this seminar we will provide a comprehensive introduction to current research activities in the fields of nanotechnology and nanosciences – both on the academic and industry level. During lab tours on Saturday night, we will get a hands-on experience of everyday life as a researcher, visiting nanowire-quantum computers and molecular biology labs. In addition, we have also invited several guest speakers to dive deeper into specific questions the field of nanotechnology is trying to answer right now: How can we manipulate and grow nanoscale structures down to the single-atom level? And what cool physics or biology arises from the availability of such structures? Can we watch single electrons jump around in these structures? And what can we learn from dirty Velcro about the way our cells work? How can we optimally bridge the gap between the lab and the clinic? What are the specific challenges faced by nanotech entrepreneurs when making this transition? What are the risks arising from nanotechnology and how can we find an optimal balance? Our goal is to provide a comprehensive overview, accessible to anyone without a background in technology or natural sciences while being insightful and engaging also to those studying a related subject.
We are looking forward to interesting discussions!
Direction: Rafael Eggli (PhD student in physics, University of Basel, active member of the Swiss Study Foundation) and Patrick Weber (PhD student in biomedical engineering, ETH Zurich, alumnus of the Swiss Study Foundation)
Speakers: Prof. Ilaria Zardo, Associate Professor of Experimental Physics at University of Basel and head of the Nanophononics Lab, expert in Nanowire growth and characterization.
Prof. Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor of Nanobiology at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, University of Basel, head of the Nanobiology lab from which the startup Artidis was spun-off, revolutionizing early cancer diagnostics through nanoscience (tbc.)
Schedule: Saturday 29th April 09:30am to Sunday 30th April 2023 4:30pm
Working language: English
Coordination: Dr. Sarah Beyeler, Dr. Barbara Dankwa
Number of participants: max. 20
Reader: Introductory readings and supplementary materials will be provided before the seminar.
Target audience: Students of all fields with an interest in nanoscale sciences and their application. We especially encourage students without a background in natural sciences to join since interdisciplinary viewpoints will greatly benefit our discussions. While technical talks will be part of the seminar, we want to provide enough room for the ethical, entrepreneurial and societal implications of nanosciences.