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Nanoweek is a national initiative, comprising a week-long programme of activities designed to promote nanoscience and nanotechnology in Ireland.

Nanoweek is an initiative of NanoNet Ireland, a network bringing together the key stakeholders in developing nanoscience and nanotechnology in Ireland – government, academia and industry. NanoNet Ireland is a non-profit network currently combining two major nano-related consortia, INSPIRE and CCAN.

Nanoweek 2013 took place 14th - 21st June and coincided with EuroNanoForum, the largest nanotechnology conference in Europe. Read more about Nanoweek 2013.

Nanoweek 2012 opened on Friday 14th September with Science Gallery's "Magical Materials" exhibition. Run in collaboration with CRANN, this exhibition features an exhibition of innovative materials and a lab area where visitors can explore materials further, e.g. ferrofluids, quantum dots, remote access to CRANN's SEM.

Nanoweek 2012

Magical Materials

Science Gallery's MAGICAL MATERIALS delved into the mysterious and captivating properties of materials science, from metals that behave like fluids, to fabrics that power electronic devices and meta materials that can potentially disappear before your eyes.

A four week long exhibition in partnership with CRANN, Intel, Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission, Magical Materials will explore the properties of a range of interesting materials, giving visitors the opportunity to investigate and experiment at the cutting edge of materials science. The exhibition will demonstrate how nanotechnology and materials science will transform the clothing we wear, the homes we live in, the vehicles we use and our healthcare solutions. Aspects of the exhibition will include:

  • Aerogel: the lightest solid in the world, dubbed ‘solid smoke’
  • Graphene: A layer of graphite just one atom thick but 200 times stronger than steel
  • Antimicrobial surfaces that keep themselves (and us) clean
  • Smart textiles that store information, keep your gadgets charged and raise oxygen levels in blood
  • Shape memory alloys that remember their original shape
  • Remote access to CRANN’s Helium Ion Microscope and SEM in the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory.
  • Quantum dots, tiny particles that emit different colours depending on their size.
  • “Rate my Research” where materials scientists pitch their work to Science Gallery audiences.

In developing Magical Materials, Science Gallery teamed up with artist Stephen Byrne to create a band of superheroes imbued with the intriguing properties of the materials being explored. From Nanoman, with his amazing tensile strength and flexibility, to Morph, who can radically change shape or size due to a small variation in temperature, the MAGICAL MATERIALS superheroes exhibit physical and chemical properties that are directly based on emerging fields of materials science research.

Curators & Advisors

  • Prof John Boland, Director of CRANN
  • Prof Marie O Mahony, Professor of Advanced Fashion + Textiles
  • Dr Michael John Gorman, Director of Science Gallery
  • Dr Zoe Laughlin, Creative Director Institute of Making

Magical Materials