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Metal Nanostructures – The Colour of Size In contrast to simple bulk materials, the optical properties of nanostructures depend very much on their size and shape, as well as the composition of the material in which they are found. Of especial importance, for instance, is the so-called quantum size effect in semiconductor nanostructures that may result in light being emitted when an electrical current is passed through the semiconductor. From an electromagnetic point of view, metals can be considered as plasmas, comprising fixed, positive ion cores and free conduction electrons.

Moving the tungsten particle back and forth helped to strengthen the bond between the two nanotubes. “Eventually a new carbon nanotube is fabricated and a seamless connection between the two tubes with completely different diameters is achieved,” Jin said. “Not only does this mechanism work for nanotubes of different diameters, but it can also be used to connect nanotubes of the same diameter. The major benefit is that it requires much lower temperatures than connection without the tungsten particle.

I wanted to create a set of programmes where great scientists could communicate their views directly to the public on issues of importance. This has been achieved. 150 programmes have now been made, with the help of the OU; and 55 of these have been shown on the BBC. The Vega site is now a tremendous archive of the scientific thinkers of the day and I want to see it continuing to be added to. The Vega Trust programmes include extraordinary interviews, lectures and panel debates and discussions with world-class scientists of the last 50 years.

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