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The technological revolution is evident: our phones have become more powerful, our computers smaller and day-to-day lives increasingly interconnected. Tonight, we cast our gaze to futuristic materials in search of opportunity and adventure. From the possibility of beetle inspired TV screens, to infinite batteries and beyond: come share our excitement about what the periodic table has to offer!
Nailing nanostructures: how nature got it right
From wearable sensors to personalised medicines and solar panels, nanostructures made from functional materials are already enhancing our lives. Nonetheless, science is still playing catchup as nature has been nailing nanostructures for hundreds of millions of years. Whether it is peacock feathers or butterfly wings, science can only aspire to manipulating matter at the subatomic scale. I will explain how the LEDs in your next television will be inspired by beetle shells, and why plastics can still be fantastic.
Fire without smoke: our energy future
It’s only a matter of time before our current stockpile of fossil fuels burn out, leaving in their trail an uncertain future for The Earth’s environment and an energy obsessed population. We have on our hands a critical global issue: an urgent energy crisis. Modern material science is driven by tackling this issue head on, through the discovery of new materials, to replace fossil fuels. I will show a window into the energy landscape of the future: from batteries that will never die to “smart” energy regulating windows in our homes. Most of all: can we really have fire without any of the smoke?
Dr Junghwan Back (Research Associate at King's College London)
The advance of robotics in the past is based on the assumption that robots are chains of rigid links. Replacement the rigid link by soft material and actuating the soft body is a new scientific paradigm. The applications of soft robotics are not only for static environment such as factory automation, but also for our natural environments such as in human body. In this talk, current development of soft robotics for various application will be introduced.