Nanoscience - Tiny Tinkertoys and Big Ideas

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Nanostructured materials continue to be the focus of intense research due to their promise of innumerable practical applications as well as advancing the fundamental understanding of these intriguing materials. From physics, to chemistry, to biology, to computer science, across the engineering disciplines and into the imagination of the general event, nanotechnology has become an extremely popular buzzword that represents both hope and hype to many people. This talk will outline and describe the exploding field of nanotechnology, including its potential for promising new applications, and for negative societal implications that cause many to fear it. Recent work in our group in the area of integration of nanoscale structures with silicon will be outlined to show the scope and approaches to building nanoscale architectures; the applications of these frameworks include molecular computing, nanoscale sensing platforms, integration of silicon with biology, and intricate structures with unforeseen properties.