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.

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