Podcast on new materials: Chasing for smart materials

Follow us from the origin of materials to modern applications and future prospects of materials. Materials researchers from the University of Helsinki discuss the opportunities offered by new materials.

Researchers are trying to solve problems of mankind also by developing new materials.

  • What kind of hardware, treatments, or methods can we develop with current or future materials?
  • What can materials already do? These materials that we also call smart materials?
  • Can we even teach materials, or somehow make them do things we want them to do?
  • What kind of challenges do researchers meet when they try to develop these new materials?
  • Do researchers agree on which materials are smart?

Chasing for smart materials is produced by Riitta-Leena Inki. She started by asking scientists from different fields at the University of Helsinki. She wanted to know exactly, what are smart materials?

The University of Helsinki is an international science community with researchers from all over the world. The reputation of the research community has attracted researchers to the University of Helsinki, and there are some who have moved to Finland for personal reasons. In these podcasts, we can meet researchers working at the University of Helsinki who are originally from England, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Uzbekistan, and Finland. How they feel about they life in Finland and what kind of activities they have in their free time.

Listen to all the episodes in Soundcloud

Kings of Chemistry:

In the first episode we go to the material chemistry lab at the University of Helsinki to meet Alistair King and Peter King.

In this episode, the chemists Alistair King and Peter King meet. Do they have anything more in common than their surname? At least their sense of humour. The thin films used in the semi-conductor industry utilise the features of different materials and they can be used in nano-scale processors. There has been progress in the deployment of the anti-bacterials in wood. With the help of a new solvent method, fibers can be extracted from newspapers and old clothes to replace the use of cotton. In the future, we will need hardware that is faster, more efficient, and uses less power.

Listen to the episode 1 "Kings of Chemistry" in Soundcloud

The Beauty of the Atom:

In this second episode we visit Flyura Djurabekova  and Kai Nordlund, they live in an eastern suburb of Helsinki. This busy Physics family has got an adorable cat called Toulouse.

What does the world look like in the eyes of a materials physicist? Flyura Djurabekova  and Kai Nordlund are a couple devoted to science, whose life is now electrified by a small kitten called Toulouse. A single-electron transistor is coming up, who will be the first to develop it? Material can be split into atoms and reorganised to accomplish certain features. Did you know that the most important raw material for the semi-conductor industry, silicon, consists of almost the same components as sand? Art forgery can also be traced in the accelerator laboratory.

Listen to the episode 2 "The Beauty of the Atom" in Soundcloud

War against Cancer:

In this third episode we meet Mirkka Sarparanta from Kumpula Campus Tracers in Molecular Imaging (TRIM) research group and Hélder Santos from Viikki Campus Nanomedicines and Biomedical Engineering research group.

Mirkka Sarparanta and Hélder Santos  have been collaborating for over ten years. They develop nanomedicine, with which to produce cancer medicines that are safer and more efficient for patients. Nanomedicine can be made to target the affected cells more exactly. It works like a vehicle steered by GPS, taking its passenger to a previously programmed destination. Imaging can be used to look inside the patient and offer personalised, tailored medicine in the future. When smaller doses of the medicine are efficient, will the treatment become cheaper?

Listen to the episode 3 "War against cancer" in Soundcloud

More information

Communication Specialist Riitta-Leena Inki

Email: riitta-leena.inki@helsinki.fi

Tel: +358 50 448 5770

Twitter: @inkiriitta