Take electrochemistry, materials chemistry and surface chemistry, and mix in some nanotechnology and biology and the possibilities are endless. In electrochemistry, electrical energy is used to force oxidation and reduction (redox) reactions to occur at electrodes. The materials and surfaces of electrodes are the starting point and with the techniques of nanotechnology, we can get right down to the surface to see what is happening and maybe even take control.
The lecture will showcase some of the ways we make electrodes, enzymes and bugs work together for us, how we can use carbon nanotubes to give us new electrical devices and how electrochemistry may play a role in a future world of nanoscale devices.
About Alison Downard
Professor Downard obtained her BSc(Hons) and PhD degrees at the University of Otago, beginning her research career in electrochemistry and surface chemistry. Following her PhD, Alison did a year’s postdoctoral research on conducting polymers at the University of Southampton and then took up a two-year postdoctoral position at UNC-Chapel Hill, examining the construction and function of artificial photosynthetic systems. Since joining the staff at the University of Canterbury, Alison has worked in several areas of electrochemistry, surface chemistry and most recently, nanotechnology. She has a particular interest in surface films which can be only a few nanometers thick (extremely thin!) but have dramatic effects on surface properties. Alison is a Principal Investigator with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and leader of the Institute’s Molecular Materials theme. She is currently the chair-elect of the Analytical Electrochemistry Division of the International Society of Electrochemistry.