KC McGinnis | September 3, 2015
A University of Iowa researchers has joined a national effort to study the relationship between the environment and nanotechnology.
The Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, brings together researchers from around the country to analyze the environmental impacts of nanoparticles, which play a major role in a wide range of products from aerospace to paint, but perhaps most notably in electronics and healthcare. The Center’s primary focus is to better understand the interactions between biological and synthetic materials at the scale of nanometers – about 1/100,000 the width of a sheet of newspaper. One concern over the growing use of nanotechnology is nanopollution, which can include the transfer of heavy metals used in nanotechnology into air and water.
Sara E. Mason, a computational chemist and assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Iowa, joined the Center along with two other researchers. Her research group will look at nanomaterials used in products like batteries to see how the structure of these tiny particles effects their reactions to other materials and to ascertain possible negative impacts of these particles when introduced to the environment.
The UI joins a team of prestigious researchers from around the country working on nanotechnology from a sustainability perspective.