39: Lars Pleth Nielsen - Why not try something new and better?

Lars Pleth Nielsen is the director of the Tribology Centre at the Danish Technological Institute. His team works with customers to invent, advance, and industrially deploy coating technologies. Coatings are thin layers that cover most of the materials made today. They can offer protection from the environment, impart different surface properties, and more. On this episode of Nanovation, Lars recounts a variety of stories from his research career, ranging from his exploration of the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen as a child to the “super slip” coating he’s currently working to bring to market. We also discuss his outstanding two-volume book titled Advanced Surface Technology that he co-authored with his colleague and friend Per Moller, and which is considered by many to be the Bible of coating technology. (Recorded on May 3, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

38: Emily Weiss - When they’re smushed, they get mad

Emily Weiss from Northwestern University joins the podcast for a wide ranging discussion. We start by asking a deep question: "What is good science?" The answer takes us from the discovery of Neptune to the marriage of basic and applied science that made Bell Labs so great. We then discuss her lab's interest in the interactions between light and quantum dots, tiny crystalline particles with diameters less than about 5 nm. We also find time for Emily to share her vision of a future where biology can be investigated not only on extremely short length scales, but also on extremely short time scales. Stick around for a brief after show if you've ever wondered about making poached eggs. This episode has it all. (Recorded on April 25, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

37: Victor Breedveld - That’s why they pay chemical engineers the big bucks

Victor Breedveld from Georgia Tech joins the podcast to discuss "Process Principles for Large-Scale Nanomanufacturing," a perspective piece that he and I co-authored with Sven Behrens and graduate student Maritza Mujica. We overview the state-of-the-art in terms of nanomanufacturing, the pros and cons of modular and integrated manufacturing paradigms, why we think the chemicals industry is a good model for a future nanomanufacturing industry, the physical phenomena that complicate the processing of "nanoparts," and what science and engineering will be required before the real potential of nanotechnology will be felt by the average person. (Recorded on April 2, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

36: Anna Fontcuberta i Morral - I’m grateful that I am naïve

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland joins the podcast to talk about compound semiconductors and their nanostructures. These more exotic relatives of silicon excel in charge transport and light emission/absorption, which makes them useful in technologies ranging from wireless communications to solid-state lighting. We also talk about the differences between academic research in Europe and the United States. We discuss how laboratories are structured, where funding comes from, and how that can influence the resulting research. (Recorded on March 26, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

35: Elizabeth Nance - Why I’m fascinated by diffusion

Elizabeth Nance from the University of Washington talks about the use of nanoparticles to treat neurological diseases. We discuss what makes nanoparticles such interesting vehicles for delivering drugs to the brain, how her lab interrogates this process, and why laboratory success so often fails to translate into people. Elizabeth also shares her perspective on how to train future scientists and engineers to operate in a complex, interdisciplinary world. When a conversation begins with a story of a stolen brain, you know it's going to be good! (Recorded on February 15, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

34: Matt McDowell - Fancy Latin words

Matt McDowell is an expert in electrochemical materials and devices. On this episode, we talk about everything batteries — how they work, the state-of-the-art, what still needs to be improved, and what options are on the table for future technologies. We also discuss Matt and his students’ use of in situ experiments — those able to make measurements of a device while it is operating — and how they use this capability to understand the atomic scale details that govern battery performance and failure. We also ponder if batteries will ever be used as the main source of energy in airplanes and, if so, what it will take to get there. (Recorded on February 1, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

33: Andrew Cannon - He's one of those scientists

This episode is dedicated to Lorrie Michele Parson.

Andrew Cannon started 1900 Engineering to commercialize a microcontact printing-based technology to map strain in high performance materials. His technology helps engineers understand when and how parts fatigue, knowledge that is critically important for industries ranging from aerospace to automotive. We talk about how 1900 Engineering's technology works and how the stamps are fabricated, but also discuss a number of the long-standing challenges to precision patterning at the micrometer and nanometer length scale. (Recorded on December 5, 2017. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

32: Stacey Bent - A Ph.D. thesis in Russia

Stacey Bent from Stanford University joins the podcast to talk about Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), a technique used to modify the composition and properties of surfaces. Since a large fraction of the atoms in nanostructures exist on the surface, ALD has become a quintessential tool for nanotechnologists. In this micro-episode, Stacey explains how ALD got its start, how it works, how the semiconductor industry accelerated its development, and what opportunities lie ahead. (Recorded on October 25, 2017. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

31: John Randall - The way I ended up being a nanofabricator

John Randall, the President of Zyvex Labs, joins the podcast to discuss his far reaching vision for nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing. We discuss what he calls Digital Atomic Scale Fabrication, the future products it might enable, the critical need for error correction, and why today's semiconductor manufacturers are unlikely to lead the way. John also shares a number of captivating stories from his career. (Recorded on September 14, 2017. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

30: Eric Furst - A crystalline solid of yummy, delicious chocolate

Eric Furst from the University of Delaware is an expert in self-assembly -- the Harry Potter-esque ability of materials to assemble themselves into well-defined structures. We talk about where we are, where we are going, and what makes controlling self-assembly so hard. A variety of topics make cameos, including M&Ms, NASA's Vomit Comet, flying solar cells, and more. (Recorded on April 19, 2017. Edited by Andrew Cannon)