The term “nano” is the Greek prefix that refers to a unit of measurement that is 10-9, which translates into one billionth of the suffix unit, in this case the meter. Nanoscience is the study of structures and materials at the nanometer scale. Though nature has been producing compounds at the nanometer scale for billions of years (such as DNA which has a width of approximately 3 nm), scientists only began to explore the possibility of synthesis on the nanoscale about 60 years ago. Back in 1959, Richard Feynman expressed the idea that there was potential to synthesize smaller structures through the direct manipulation of atoms in his lecture “there is plenty of room at the bottom”. In my talk, I will be going over the history of nanomaterials and the field of nanotechnology. We will also explore many different nanomaterials, including the buckyball, carbon nanotubes, and quantum dots. Additionally, we will look the properties of these modern materials, their synthesis, and uses. Lastly, we will look at what the future holds for these materials.
Dr. Foley is an Associate Professor of Chemistry with a focus on Materials Chemistry at the University of North Georgia – Dahlonega. She received my BS in Chemistry at University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College and State University). While at NGCSU, Dr. Foley worked in the water lab with Dr. Fuller in the Physics department, and did undergraduate research with Dr. Thompson in the Chemistry department. From there, she went on to Florida State University to get her Ph. D in Materials Chemistry under Dr. Strouse. Her focus in graduate school was nanotechnology. Dr. Foley studied phosphors for LED lights and quantum dots for biological imagining. After completion of her Ph. D, she spent a semester teaching at Austin Peay State University. The following semester, Dr. Foley returned to teach at her alma mater, UNG, and has been happily here ever since.