Condensed Matter Seminar: "How challenging is the path from nanoscience to nanotechnology? A computational condensed matter physicist perspective"

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 16:00 - 17:00
Vincent Meunier, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Efforts to assemble functional materials with atomic precision has energized scientists and engineers to eventually lead to the field of nanoscience. The development of nanoscience is a premise for new technological advances with unprecedented functionalities and miniaturization, and scientific scrutiny must now shift to translating nanoscience discoveries into technological realizations. However, the road from nanoscience to nanotechnology is a difficult one, as fundamental issues related to quality of interfaces, materials homogeneity and integration into existing technology must all be satisfactorily addressed. In this talk, I will present examples from our quest to optimize properties at the atomic and nano- scales for macroscopic applications in areas such as energy harvesting, storage, water purification, electronic device design, and biophysics. The use of large-scale supercomputing will be highlighted to demonstrate how current capabilities are quickly closing the gap between realistic length and time scales with those amenable to state-of-the-art modeling.

Image: Top (left to right): Simulated Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) image of a defective graphene nanoribbon edge; Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation of water desalination in graphene oxide framework (GOF), gyroidal nanopore colored according to local stress tensor. Bottom (left to right): MD simulation of DNA threading into an amorphous silicon membrane; charge density of a graphitic nanowiggle; STM image of self-assembled polymer on Au (111).