International nanoscience workshop held at UNAM

UNAM has recently hosted the 5th International Workshop on Applications of Nanoscience and Technology (IWANN-5), a two-week workshop and seminar series on the design, fabrication and characterization of nanostructures. Sponsored by the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, Turkish International Cooperation & Coordination Agency (TİKA) and Turkish Ministry of Development, the program was attended by 38 participants from 9 countries.

Born out of a joint initiative of UNAM and UNIDO, the first of the IWANN workshops has been held in 2010, and its great success had resulted in the continuation of the event as an annual series. While the previous years focused on application-based topics such as renewable energy, sensor technologies and lab-on-a-chip systems, this year’s event concerned the growth and synthesis of nanomaterials – the optimization of which provides the groundwork from which all applications of nanotechnology derive.

The program featured keynote talks by two illustrious researchers, Dr. İlhan Aksay of Princeton University and Dr. Tuomo Suntola of Picosun Oy and Tampere University of Technology, on the design of multi-functional materials and the advanced uses of ALD, a high-precision material deposition technique. In addition, Bilkent University and UNAM faculty members provided lecture seminars on various aspects of functional nanoscale materials growth and synthesis, covering alternative bottom-up and top-down methods such as self-assembly, chemical/physical vapor deposition, transfer of two-dimensional membrane materials, atomic layer deposition, fiber drawing, electrospinning and laser-assisted nanoparticle synthesis.

The weekend was devoted to a one-day İstanbul excursion, preceded by country presentations from each international participant group. The participants also visited the neighboring cleanroom facility at METU-MEMS and given a tour of Turkey’s foremost establishment for the fabrication of MEMS devices. This break was followed by four days of hands-on laboratory sessions, during which various proof-of-concept devices and nanomaterials were fabricated. This year’s workshop covered an impressively large list of equipment, with sessions on ALD-based thin film growth, PVD using E-beam evaporator, graphene membrane transfer, nanofiber synthesis via electrospinning, VO2 nano-beam growth via PVD, Kelvin probe microscopy, fiber drawing, and graphene synthesis via CVD. Participants also had the opportunity to observe and cross-communicate with fellow scientists while they were instructed on the production of functional nano-scale materials and devices in the UNAM cleanroom and specialized labs. In parallel to the hands-on sessions, equipment vendor technology workshop sessions were provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific-Redoks, Malvern & Tescan-Atomika, and Ultratech/CambridgeNanotech.

After nearly two weeks of intensive training, the workshop ended with a farewell dinner and closing ceremony for the certification of participants and the evaluation of the program. We thank all attendees for their participation and wish them success in their future endeavors.

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