Saturday, August 26, 2006

nano2006:Day III

Crowd on Wednesday morning was less compared to last couple of days, and I knew that those who didn’t turned up missed something. Prof. Subra Suresh delivered a fascinating lecture today. He is an engineer who is too much inside microbiology and his talk primarily focused at making things better microbiologists through nanomechanics. He talked about basically couple of cells, first one is red blood cell and the second one is cancerous pancreatic cell. Malaria parasite, plasmodium falsiperum which attacks the red blood cell, increases the stiffness and makes the cells sticky hence causes blockages in the vein. He showed the change in stiffness in tensile tests conducted using optical tweezers. The interesting point was to remove an antigen called RESA from the parasite and exhibiting reduction in stiffness, which is desired for these cells. For cancerous cell he observed just the opposite trend and its his ongoing project. By far his talk was most exciting for an engineer. The second talk was delivered by Prof. AK Sood, his name rippled the campus when he got his paper in science. Although focus of his talk was electron conduction through CNTs, he discussed a part of his old work. They passed pure water through a nanotube with an inner diameter of 1.4 nm and observed a suppression of freezing point of water upto -50 oC. Later he proposed that it’s a single chain of water molecule which becomes supercooled, great work. The second phase of his talk was mostly on measuring the electron transport through the tube and also attaching particles like Pd to the tubes for better electrical property, also he talked a bit about the application on nano rods for optical tweezers. So I got to see 3 different optical tweezers in last 2 days. I missed the rest of the sessions as I need to consult the doc in the morning, my poor knee! During second half I had plans for attending few talks; I started with Dr. G. K Deys’ lecture, his grp. in BARC does quite a bit of TEM and here also he presented the work on Zr based BMGs. Good microscopy and followed by the age old question whether there is crystallinity in the shear bands, answer from him was no. I wanted to attend Rachman Chaim’s lecture but he did not turn up. Dr. Wang’s talk on insitu TEM was exciting as much as other in situ experiments that excite me. I had to Rush because today I had my poster presentation. My work was on low temperature creep in YTZ, I had some new stuffs there, couldn’t get good crowd to explain them . I had couple of productive discussion with Prof. R. Andrievski and Prof. Hahn. There few issues related to electron microscopy and grain boundary segregation came up during discussion. Altogether it was a nice couple of hours. I couldn’t get much opportunity to go through other poster though, Prasads’ work on nano Ni drew quite a bit of attention and curiosity. This brought us to the end of the poster sessions in nano2006. In the evening there was a dance program and since I am quite culturally challenged successfully skipped it! The dinner was excellent, people boozed more than yesterday, fortunately there was to trouble today trouble makers were identified and surely some nice surprises were there for them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Prof. Nabarro no more

...Its quite sometime since the incident happened, Prof. Frank Regiland Nunes Nabarro the undisputed authority of dislocation theory passed away in a hospital on 20th July at the age of 90. Almost everyday we talk about Nabarro-herring creep and duing this nano 2006 many times the name came. Titas, who was collaborating with him gave me the news recently. Prof. Nabarro came to IISc this year and spent few days in the campus, he appeared a strong willed person even at the age of 90. He worked in University of Witwatersand, Johanesberg for 53 long years.....

nano2006: Day II

Second day started with a usual busy note, the main hall was filled before nine and just over nine there was a decent crowd inside. The morning sessions began with couple of plenary lectures. Two stalwart from Japan, Prof. Inoue and Prof. Aono set the day for the participants, physical metallurgy and functional materials became more interesting from morning! Prof. Inoue the pioneer in bulk metallic glasses talked about lanthanide based system and also the true bulk glass with diameter of 100 nm. Prof. Aono discussed nanowires and primarily the CNTs. I had to attend the talks under theme B, the first invited talk was by Enrique Lavernia from UCD on the cryo milled nanostructured materials, a novel technique to form nano grained Al, Cu. He talked also about the high ductility of the material with bimodal microstructure, nano metals is moving towards this direction, yesterday Prof. Mukherjee and Prof. Valiev had talked about it and today Enrique. Ruth Swaiger from FZK had something different to talk. It was the grain growth in the edges of the nanoindented Ni, there were many questions about the process but she threw the idea of athermal, stress induced grain growth in these materials. Prof Rodriguez talked about the Hall Petch and inverse Hall Petch relation. I wanted to attend a talk on the nanoporous alumina protein bio markers, unfortunately the speaker did not turn up! Today the conference got true colours, the colorful pics from the mixture party and poster session yesterday came today. Today was also the day for making new contacts, well I got to know few people and there were more going on, of course it is a rare opportunity of discussions. The second a session started with a talk by Uwe Erb, he talked about the thermal stability of nan Ni, in my lab Prasad and Ravi had already worked with this material, they were quite thick plates, the concern is with sulpher content. The second talk I attended was by Rajesh Kumar a grad student from Punjub Engineering College. It was on optical tweezers. I did not know about the technology and was curious to know. They were using mysine and was passing a laser through the molecule in the fluid. From the image analysis they were figuring out the parameters, it was quite good piece of work. The could measure load as low as 0.3 pN and a displacement of 677 nm. Prita Pant in the structural materials section talked about modeling of dislocations dynamics. Kartik almost had a discussion with her during question answer sessions. Poster sessions was quite enriched though I did not have much to get from them still had quite good discussions with Rejin on his work on hydroxyapatite, on carrying out indentation on non basal planes. Arindam also had a nice poster as well as Dibyendu. Kotts got quite a bit of crowd for his poster. There were much on functional materials but I couldn’t pick much from them. Tomorrow I have my turn to present my poster.
Evening was the banquet time, good food nice drinks and nice ambience had great time with friends from the dept. and Abi! The torch for nano2008 was handed over to Rio De Janeiro also today evening and now time to talk about some unfortunate events, some “Indian scientists (!!??)” who were being put up in NIAS guest house behaved so badly with me and my few juniors that it almost took me to my undergrad days, it was surprising how mean people can become, anyway I felt very bad because these people are testing the patients of my colleagues everyday day and night. Do we really need everyone to run a conference? Hats of to the guys carrying out transportation job, looks like more pains are still there.

Tomorrow morning session and afternoon sessions

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

nano2006: Day I

Yesterday there was an indication and today it was a reality. The 8th international conference on nanostructured material started today with a bang! We anticipated the no. of people going to turn up will be quite large and it was evident from last night attendance in the mixture party, more than 450 delegates! The conference was inaugurated at 9 in the moring and J. N. Tata Auditorium was just packed. Many of the big guys talked about nano science and technology and theme of the in augural session was of course anticipation for a productive 5 days ahead. Prof Balram, Director of IISc emphasized more on interdisciplinary research and agreed that he really have tough time in bringing science and engineering department together. Although his last statement, which did not make me elated’ was that chemistry in the key for nanomaterials. Mr. Director its material science and physics, maths and bio is now equally important brothers. The first plenary lecture was delivered by the pioneer in nano research Prof. CNR Rao, Prof. Ranganathan introduced the only Dan David fellow in India. Prof Rao started his lecture by describing an oxide which behaves as a metal (ReO3) at nano stage. His talk was concentrated more on the nanotubes than any other properties, the innovative work was to form thin films at the liquid-liquid interface. This lecture set the tune of the conference, but still it was started with the chemical note. There is little doubt that Atul and Kamanio really had tough time making this big event a reality, the way our faculties slogged for last few months was really impressive. The sessions I followed and will be following is taking place in the J. N. Tata audi, and few talks I will attend in bio materials and few in the functional material sessions. I am not going to Satish Dhawan audi where the theme D talks are going on. CNR’s talk was followed by the talk by Ruslan Valiev in structural materials session. He talked about the SPD process, the interesting part of his talk was to describe the amorphous phase that formed in Ni during parallel channel ECAP, Vikram rightly added issue of grain size dependence on the amorphization. Prof. Amiya Mukherjee’s replaced Helena and gave a very stimulating talk. Highlight was the strength of Cu and the Si3N4 with toughness nearly 15??!! Rightly the work reached Nature. The talk on Biomaterials in the hall c in the afternoon session was also quite informative for people who are new to this field. Prof Yang stressed on the nano ceramics required for biomedical application. I missed the last talk by Ramu, he is in a new field and quite happening one: it was the SWNT doped nano composite for high mechanical strength application. Prof. Mukherjee’s talk gave us the information that the CNT fibers have strength of 1 TeraGPa!!! It appeared to me that this nano will be dominated by CNTs; last nano2004 surely paved the way for CNT technology for this one. There were tons of posters there; I was looking for few guys who did not turn up. like Takeli, anyway it had few very good works to go through. Whether it is Krisanu’s HREM or the scientist's work from TIFR, had shown that nano materials are in the heart of technology today. Let’s see what day 2 unfurls, by the way, Abi’s hall management gang or the guys in the registration were quite sharp today, but extra credit goes to the people taking care of transportation they are having a tough time, i hope situation changes tomorrow.