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Outreach News

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

2nd Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: 10alamenos9

The 10alamenos9 Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is back with over 100 activities to choose from at five locations in Spain. Among them, the UAB Campus in Bellaterra, where it kicked off today with a tour of the research facilities and a talk from ICN2 ICREA Research Prof. Stephan Roche.

The nanometre, from which this festival derives its name, is the unit of length used to measure the “nanoworld”. At one billionth of a metre, or 10 to the power of 9, it is hard to comprehend just how small this really is. And yet, though we cannot see them with the naked eye, the fruits of nanoscience and nanotechnology are all around us. What 10alamenos9 sets out to achieve is to bring this little known branch of science to mainstream attention.

Funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and sponsored by BASF (primary sponsor) and Sesderma, this year’s festival offers more than 100 activities, double that of last year. In total some 15 universities and research centres from around Spain are taking part, including the ICN2, as coordinators of a joint contribution from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) and the Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica (CNM-CSIC).

In Catalonia, besides the ICN2 and the UAB, CosmoCaixa will be hosting the bulk of the events, along with the Universitat de Barcelona, Libraries of Barcelona and Gavà Museum. Activities will also be run in Zaragoza (University Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon, and CSIC), in San Sebastian (NanoGUNE) and in Madrid (CSIC and NANODYF). It is expected that over 5000 people will take part, 2000 of which will attend activities based in Barcelona, including students, practitioners and the general public.

10alamenos9 at the UAB

Today, 25 April, in collaboration with ICMAB and CNM-CSIC, the ICN2 and UAB led school visits to take groups of students on tours of the respective research facilities, complete with practical demonstrations. As part of the tour, the students attended a talk from seasoned ICN2 ICREA Research Prof. Stephan Roche at the Auditorium at the UAB Faculty of Sciences. This was followed by a round table session entitled “Ask a future nanotechnologist”, where undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students fielded questions from the school children about what they do and why they do it. The idea was to present nanoscience and nanotechnology as an exciting and rewarding career path, and one with relevant applications within society at large.

And then, on 26 April, there will be a public talk delivered (in Catalan) by researchers from ICN2, ICMAB and CNM-CSIC with the title "Nanoscience and nanotechnology in everyday life". Despite being a relatively young field, nano-related research has already had a huge impact on our daily lives. From smartphones to applications in biomedicine, the solutions that emerge from our growing understanding of how materials behave at the nanoscale are all around us, and have set us in the direction of a greener, more efficient, more technologically creative society. This talk will be held in Sant Cugat, at its Casa de Cultura at 7pm, with researchers Dr Anna Laromaine of ICMAB, Dr Francesc Pérez of IMB-CNM and Àlex Argemi, MSc, Head of Marketing and Communication at the ICN2.

Meanwhile, the exhibition “Dimensió Nano” (Nano Dimension, in Catalan) can be visited throughout this week at the Faculty of Sciences at the UAB (Facultat de Ciències - Vestíbul de l’entrada nord). Gaze in awe upon spectacular images of 2D materials and even individuals atoms obtained using highly specialised equipment from the world of nanotechnology, such as the electronic or atomic-force microscopes.

For the full 10alamenos9 festival programme, click here.