Thursday, April 27, 2017

World scientists gather in Yekaterinburg for nanomaterials conference

More than 160 scientists from 18 countries gathered in Yekaterinburg last week for a three-day conference on nanomaterials.

The conference was held at Ural Federal University and featured lectures by experts in the areas of nanoscale phenomena, ferroelectrics, ionic conductors and polar biomaterials.

UrFU students present at the conference had the option to work directly with nanomaterials at the university's modern nanotechnologies laboratory.

Conference organizers centered the content of the event around the visualization of functional properties of nanomaterials and its implications in modern science.

Lecturers and invited experts represented several sectors of the Russian and global economy, including private construction firms, universities and global producers of nanomaterials.

"At this conference there was a very interesting twist," conference organizing committee co-chairman Vladimir Shur said. "One of the speakers at the conference, Professor Henning from Germany, met with representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Science of the Sverdlovsk region. This meeting was not in the plans, but the interest of the regional government to the issues discussed at the conference, made this meeting possible. Zoz Group [of which Henning is president] is engaged in manufacturing of nanotechnology nanomaterials, and they have a technology that allows slag and metal waste to produce cement additive that makes concrete improved quality. Thus, our conference helped to build a bridge, linking science with industry, and hopefully, will [solve] problems of the region."

The First Conference on piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) was held in Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2007. Since then, the PFM conferences have been conducted regularly throughout the world.

Yekaterinburg's UrFU was selected as this year's host by Andrew Kholkin, PFM 2014's organizing chairman and honored lecturer at UrFU.

In 2013, Kholkin opened an interdisciplinary laboratory for the study of nanoscale properties of ferroelectric materials at UrFU.