Ep. 33 It Just Didn’t Feel Like Me: Belonging and Sexism in Science

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How often do college women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) experience sexism? And how do these experiences affect their likelihood of staying in scientific fields? In this episode we talk with Majel Baker, a counseling psychologist who investigated these questions in her doctoral dissertation. Spoiler alert: sexism is bad. But there are ways …

Ep 27. The Constant Loop: How Nanoparticles and the Environment Affect Each Other

Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) is an important nanomaterial used in batteries, but little is known about what happens when it gets exposed to the environment. In this episode we interview Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology graduate student Liz Laudadio, who was the first author on a recent paper about what happens to LCO when it gets …

Ep 26. Nanomaterials and Renewable Energy: From Solar Panels to Machine Learning

How are photons like toddlers? And what does that have to do with solar energy? Dr. Jillian Buriak has been researching nanomaterials and renewable energy for over a decade, including work to improve solar panel technology. In this first episode of the Sustainable Nano Podcast's third season, we interview Dr. Buriak, who is a Professor …

Nanotechnology and cars, inside and out

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Vehicles of the near future will benefit greatly from nanotechnology and nanomaterials. The global expectations for lower emissions and fuel economy are creating huge demands for lightweight, durable, and low-cost materials to replace expensive metals and composites, and nanotechnology can help meet those demands. Nanotechnology1 refers to the production of advanced materials at the scale …

How do nanomaterials from e-waste transform in water? Computational chemistry helps find the answer

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The development of nanotechnology has been an exciting route to chemical innovation that has changed the way that we live. Fields as diverse as medicine, water treatment, and energy storage have all used nanoscale devices and nano-sized architectures to improve technologies related to human health, communications, and transportation. Nano is big business and projected to …

Have You Ever Heard a Lemon Sing? Music and Chemistry

Have you ever used a poem or song to help yourself remember a complicated concept or a list that you were sure to forget? (Figure 1) As I sat and thought about the many times that songs and clever poems helped me to remember things like the history and progression of the atomic model or …

What’s With All Those Flaming Cell Phones? A Primer on Battery Safety

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By now you’ve probably heard about Samsung’s recall of all Galaxy Notes 7s. Several years ago the entire worldwide fleet of 787 “Dreamliners” was grounded due to onboard battery fires. You might be wondering, “Why are all these batteries catching on fire? Are lithium ion batteries safe?” To answer this, let’s look at how a …

Battery Behavior in the Biosphere: How We Probed Nanoscale Battery Materials Interacting with Bacteria

Along with eight colleagues (most from the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology) I recently co-authored an article in the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry of Materials journal titled “Impact of Nanoscale Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) on the Bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR‐1.”1 Just as the name suggests, we analyzed how nanoscale NMC, an important material in some …

How Many AA Batteries Would it Take to Power a Mercedes?

If you're like me, you probably have a drawer full of AA batteries at home somewhere, just in case you need them. They're not as ubiquitous as they used to be - I try to buy mostly rechargeable electronics nowadays, but those AAs still go into so many things, from TV remotes to flashlights to bathroom gadgets. (And …