Science Pub

Science Pub Eugene: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology: Breakthroughs Enabled by Making Things Small

With David Johnson, PhD, Professor of Chemistry and Rosaria P. Haugland Foundation Chair in Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Oregon

Doors open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation

Imagine taking gold metal and clear glass and performing alchemy to make them turn into a brilliant red colored stained glass.  This and similar transformations were the basis of trade secrets in the middle ages making stained glass. We now know that the only transformation involved is dividing the gold (or other metal) into nano-sized particles dispersed throughout the glass.


In this talk, materials scientist David Johnson will describe why the properties of materials change as size is decreased to the nanoscale and why nanoscience and nanotechnology has created such intense interest around the world. New technologies in the market place will be discussed.


David received his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1983 and worked as a research chemist for DuPont before coming to Oregon in 1986, where he received the Oregon Academy of Science’s Outstanding Scientist Award in 2006.  He has served as a Board Member for the International Thermoelectric Society and is a founding academic member of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI). He was a Mercator Fellow of the DFG (the German Research Foundation) in 2013 at the University of Freiburg.

He is currently the Rosaria Haugland Foundation Chair in Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Oregon. He helped create the Graduate Internship Program and the Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR) – the state of Oregon’s ‘high tech’ extension service,


Johnson’s research is at the interface of chemistry and physics focused on controlling materials properties using nanoarchitecture.  His non-traditional approach to chemical synthesis has led to many new materials with unprecedented physical properties.  A recent example is the discovery of a new class of materials with the lowest thermal conductivity ever reported for a fully dense solid.  


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