Scientists share sustainable research

Wednesday, 04 February, 2009

The fourth International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (AMN-4) will run from 8–12 February 2009 at the University of Otago.

It is arranged by the MacDiarmid Institute, a partnership between the University of Otago, the University of Canterbury, Massey University, Industrial Research Limited, GNS Science and Victoria University.

“The meeting provides an opportunity for New Zealand researchers and postgraduate students to present their research to an international audience of leading scientists. Much of this research is aimed at developing industries in the high-technology, materials and nanotechnology sectors, and could impact on the future prosperity of New Zealand,” said conference Co-Chair Keith Gordon.

The conference will attract 300 delegates from New Zealand, Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.

Among the participants will be Professor Sir Harry Kroto, 1996 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry for his work in discovering the carbon molecule C60 or ‘buckyball’. Professor Kroto, in New Zealand as a University of Otago James and Jean Davis Prestige Visitor, will give a public lecture in Dunedin on 11 February.

“Scientists at the conference will report on advanced materials for solar cells, novel methods for detecting complex molecules, faster and cheaper ways for sequencing DNA and innovative techniques for making even smaller electronic devices,” said conference Co-Chair Sally Brooker.

Professor Tim Sands from Purdue University in Indiana has developed new materials that can generate electricity from heat energy that would otherwise be wasted, such as from a hot car engine. These materials could be used to make vehicles and energy-intensive industrial processes more energy efficient, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

Professor Ping Chen from the National University of Singapore has developed a material that could be used for onboard hydrogen storage systems for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This has the potential to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles safer and more energy efficient.

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