The Swansea University Nanomaterials Lab was established on 1 June 2017 to connect the fundamental science of materials on the sub-10 nanometre scale to the full spectrum of technological applications. Nanotechnology is a flourishing, exciting, cross-disciplinary research field and the subject of considerable international endeavour. The Lab has chosen to focus on the creation, characterisation and integration of nanoparticles (diameters in the range 1 to 100 nm). At the 1nm end of this scale the nanoparticles are also called atomic clusters (clusters of atoms). These entities feature in Feynman’s original (1959) vision of what we now call nanotechnology, where he saw a cluster as a futuristic information “bit” that you could write information to. But nanoparticles are also active elements in catalysts, displays and medical diagnostics, so there is no shortage of motivation to “master the architecture” of these prototypical nanoscale objects. The Lab’s distinctive approach to making nanomaterials, based on the assembly of nanoparticles from the atoms, and their deposition onto template surfaces, is a powerful route to “atom-scale technology”, the ultimate limit of materials control.
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