Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Milestone in Nanotechnology History

I know that I have not posted any material lately, as I have been concentrating on the NRC's other modes of communication (Facebook, LinkedIn, and our Newsletter), but I could not pass up an opportunity to reference one of the major milestones in the short history of nanotechnology: the 25 year anniversary of the discovery of buckminsterfullerene at Rice University by Smalley, Curl, and Kroto.

Building blocks of nanotechnology to be named National Historic Chemical Landmark

There is a particular resonance for achievement of this status this year, as the base material of the fullerenes (carbon) is the same as that of graphene, which was just recognized with awarding of the Nobel Prize to Geim and Novoselov

On a personal note, when I was visiting potential graduate schools in 1984, I happened to be at Harvard University on the same day as a seminar by Prof. Rick Smalley.  I cannot recall what the topic of the seminar was (perhaps early experiments with buckyballs), but I do remember the Harvard faculty I met with encouraging me to attend because Smalley was "doing great things."  I guess the 1996 Nobel Prize committee agreed.