Can nanotechnology help make a better COVID-19 test?

Did you know that scientists have used nanotechnology to develop a test for the MERS coronavirus? The results of the test can be seen by the naked eye within 10 minutes of interacting with the viral DNA, which can shorten the analysis and interpretation time.1 Current testing for the COVID-19 virus takes hours or days.2 So, …

What gives gold nanoparticles their color?

In a previous post, Can gold melt at room temperature? Melting temperature depression!, we talked about how the color of gold changes from shiny yellow to dark red when it is shrunk down to the nanoscale. We know that lots of materials have interesting properties when they get that small, but why do gold nanoparticles have …

Nanostructures in chameleons, damselflies, and peacocks (oh my!)

My favorite rain jacket is bright blue. So bright, in fact, that my first semester chemistry professor was able to point it out in a class of 300 people to explain principles of visible light and color. As it happened, the class benefited from two examples that day, my jacket and my face which turned …

Chemistry and Art in the Mountains of Morocco

Last month, I went on a dream trip – a 9-day tour through Morocco. Morocco is a beautiful country at the cultural crossroads of Africa and the Middle East, with a touch of Europe (it was a French colony for much of the 20thCentury). We visited big cities like Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakech, but my …

Using Nanoparticles in Glazes

Did you know that when you walk through an art museum, there is a good chance that you will come across nanoparticles? Long before nanoparticles began finding applications in battery technology, experimental medicine, and electronics, they were used to color pottery. Pottery gets its characteristic colors and textures from mixtures of chemicals called glazes. Glazes …

Podcast Ep 15. The Art of Beehives, Foam, & Bubbles: An Interview with Peter Krsko

Artist Peter Krsko uses his background in physics and materials science to study and communicate about nature. He is described as a "bioinspired artist whose approach combines science and art, participatory, interactive and community arts, and play with hands-on education." On this episode of the podcast, we interview Dr. Krsko about art, science, community building, …

Ep 7. What Do Glaciers Have to Do With Nanoscience?

Sustainable Nano Podcast cover image

Why do glaciers sometimes look blue? Hint: it's not for the same reason we see blue as the color of the sky!

On this episode of the podcast, we have an interview with Dr. Robert Hamers, following up on his recent blog post. Bob is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, and he tells us about a recent family trip to Alaska that got him wondering about why some glaciers have an amazing blue color.