Thursday, February 11, 2010


So cool! I have thus far resisted following the TED talks (and all of their many offspring), but this looks really neat:

(via boingboing)

Kate Nichols is an American painter who was an "artist-in-residence" at the Alivisatos lab in Berkley (I blogged about some of their work this summer).

She used nanoparticles made in the lab to produce what she calls "structural color," aiming to emulate the iridescence found naturally in butterfly wings.

In the above photo, she's used silver nanoparticles with microscope slides. The size-dependent plasmon resonance of the nanoparticles is what gives the piece the iridescent colour. Here's a electron micrograph of the nanoparticles used in the piece:

Man, I am totally going to go bug my boss about using some of our samples in an art piece.

Actually, the Art Gallery in Edmonton (which was recently completely rebuilt, Frank Gehry-style- check out some pictures of it) recently had a really cheesy exhibit where they had the microelectronics fabriciation facility at school build them some sort of NEMS device on a Si wafer and put it on display. You couldn't see anything other than the shiny piece of silicon and no one other than me had any idea the coolness it represented. That made me slightly embarrassed for nanoart. This makes me excited.


kerry said...

Woah. Someone else just talked about TED talks. I had never heard about before that. Twice in two or three days. What does it mean?

Joel Kelly said...

TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design." They're a popular series of conferences (the 2010 one is happening right now) where speakers from all over give short talks on a really wide range of subjects. Bono, Dave Eggers, Bill Clinton and a bunch of other people have given talks.

They're also broadcasted as podcasts online.