Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Teaching tomorrow’s researchers about the “The Tiny Revolution”

On April 26th, 2011 at the Barrie Foundation Headquarters at Vigo, Sergio Figueiras, from the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and former Barrie Foundation’ scholar, had the opportunity to present nanotechnology to students from the Ricardo Mella Secondary School (Vigo). The talk, entitled “The Tiny Revolution”, was able to give a students and teachers a good idea about what the nanotechnology entails as well as provide examples of the broad range of applications that it offers.  These included the creation of new electronics, energy solutions, and health care products, all of which make improve our everyday life.

The INL should be recognized as a leader in nanotechnology, and we wanted to use this event to share our expertise and excitement with these young students who may be learning about nanotechnology for the very first time,” said Sergio “We hope this event showed them how research is done at the nanoscale and how this research can affect their everyday lives.”

The students were highly interested about the latest developments in the nanotechnology area.  They were especially interested in the innovative research tools such as the electron microscope, while others were able to identify with the application of technologies leading to the improvement in manufacturing of cell phones, an item they all use daily.

This talk is part of a larger series of conferences called “Talks about sciences/Charlas de Ciencias” organized by the Barrie Foundation, a corporate foundation focused on promoting the development of Galicia from a global perspective.  The foundation has made education and research and innovation a high priority.

These conferences are designed to complement the school’s curriculum as it pertains to the scientific research, giving a practical overview and increasing students interest in the sciences, helping make today’s students tomorrow’s researchers.


April 29, 2011 Posted by | Events, Nano Kids, Scholarships | , , , | Leave a comment

Nanoland a fun way for children (and adults) to learn about Nanotechnology

There is no better way to learn about something than by making them participate in a fun and entertaining way. Aimed at the gaming generations, the London Science Museum has developed “Nanoland: Big Adventures in a Small World” an exciting way to teach its players the basics of nanotechnology interactively.

The concept is simple. Duck Boy is exploring Nanoland. It’s a strange place where not all is what it seems. As he explores Nanoland he encounters a strange phenomenon, which causes everything to reduce in size to nano-scale, making the journey much more difficult! However, Nanotechnology is available to help Duck Boy solve the problems that he comes across.

Through Duck Boy’s ride, children and adults will get a better understanding about the differences between the macro-world and the nano-world as well as expand their knowledge base in nanotechnology and nanoscience concepts like Brownian motion or nano-research tools like electron microscopes.

You can play on-line HERE

What do you think about this game? Do you know any other interactive interactive programs about nanotechnology?  What do you think the best way is to learn about Nanoscience? Write a comment and share it with the rest of Nanobugle’s Readers.

April 27, 2011 Posted by | Educational & Teaching Resources, Nano Kids, Nano News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

INL introduces its new social networking groups for updates regarding nanotechnology and nanosciences.

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) has created groups across a range of the most popular social networks where you can be updated about the latest nanotechnology news and job offers as well keep in touch with other researchers, organizations or companies working in the nanotechnology field or to simply contact people interested in the field.

  Be our fan in Facebook by clicking HERE

Follow us in Twitter by clicking HERE

Be member of our Linkedin Group by clicking HERE

As with any social medium, you are the most important part of the process.  We would like to feature content that best suits your needs and are open to your suggestions.  What is the most important type of content for you as a researcher?  Would you be interested in information about how to best commercialize your research?  Would you be interested in interviews from companies and research groups throughout the world?  Help us to make this a diverse and dynamic reference for the growing field of nanotechnology, please leave your comments and suggestions below.

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

INL launch summer scholarship programme for Spanish and Portuguese students

As a multilateral organization opened to new countries membership and absolutely committed to Nanotechnology promotion and development, INL manages and administers several educational and research programs specifically orientated to encourage capacities and knowledge in Nanosciences. In this regard, INL launches INL Scholarships Programme offered to portuguese and spanish for second cycle university students of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Medicine, Physics and related areas interested in a research career in Nanotechnology. Working on the breakthroughs of tomorrow, INL Scholarships Programme offer hands on training in advanced research projects with INL scientists for two months (July & August). Scholars will also have the great opportunity of sharing first research steps of an international and multidisciplinary community formed by scientists and engineers from all over the world.

Read more information and apply at:

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Apple iPhone apps put Nanotechnology in your pocket

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN), established in April 2005 as a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts (Washington) has developed findNano, an application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch that lets users discover and determine whether consumer products are nanotechnology-enabled ranging more than 1,000 different products from consumer electronics, toys or food to improved drug delivery systems.

This application takes as base, the PEN’s “Consumer Products Inventory”, which is one of the leading sources of information on manufacturer-identified nanotechnology consumer products around the world and through this new application becomes more accessible for today’s consumers.

Patrick Polischuk, Research Associate at PEN says: “This innovative tool satisfies the needs of citizen, scientists, tech-savvy consumers, and those who are merely curious about whether products contain nanomaterials.”

To help develop better estimates of the number of nano-based products in commerce, the iPhone app allows users to submit information on new products, including product name and where the product can be purchased. Using the built-in camera, iPhone users can even submit new nanotech product to be included in future inventory updates. This feature will help consumers, researchers, etc to determine how and where nanotechnologies are entering the marketplace.

findNano is available as a free download for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and can be found in the iTunes App Store.

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanoelectronics, Nanofood, Nanomaterials, Nanomedicine, Nanooptics, Nanopackaging, Nanophotonic, Nanoproduction, Nanotester, Nanotextile | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ImagineNano – Connecting Nano-industry and Nano-science

The first edition of ImagineNano  was held from the 11th to the 14th of April in the North of Spain, Bilbao. Organized by Phantoms Foundation, CIC nanoGUNE, DIPC and the University of Basque Country, the event was visited by more than 1500 participants from more than 35 different countries, thus being considered as the largest 2011 European Event in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

The event was made up of 5 international conferences with more than 250 experts in nanotechnology and nanosciences including 2 Novel and 3 Príncipe de Asturias Awards winners. These conferences covered different hot topics and trends on nanosciencies such as Graphene, Photonics, Energy, High Performance Computing, Optics, etc.

The event began with Dr Konstantin Novoselov, the latest winner of the Novel Prize in Physics and actually working at the Manchester University. He gave a speech entitled “Materials in the flatland” about the short and medium term potential and impact of nanomaterials. Also, Dr. Wolfgang Bosch, Director of the INFSO/FET Unit, gave a presentation about the European Union’s integration of scientific resources and infraestructures with the aim of increasing European innovation to the highest levels.

ImagineNano also had a huge exhibition area with more than 130 booths where companies, technological centres and Universities provided visitors with an outlook of the most innovative trends, projects and products in various fields of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology.

The INL (International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory) was one of the most visited booths at the exhibition where the visitors received information about the objectives, structure and potential for research and industrial collaboration of the laboratory as well as the internationally recognized research community that the INL offers in the nanotechnology area.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Events, Nano Events | , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Do you want to be part of an ecosystem facilitating high level research in nanotechnology and nanosciences? Are you creative, team worker and interested in shortening the time to provide solutions aimed at improving the public good through nanotechnology?

Join INL team! we are looking for motivated people to build our international community of researchers.

New INLer will have the opportunity to joint projects, supported by public and private investors, and work closely together keeping each other’s needs in mind while working hand-in-hand to accomplish a common goal.  

INL focus is to encourage disrupting innovation by connecting top-notch researchers and society with the resources they need to grow and prosper.

Here you have just some of our latest opportunities to make it real:







See all INL’s job offers and apply them at:

April 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

INL and CCDR-N signed new contract to support equipment aquisition


(Left to right: Mariano Gago, Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology; Carlos Lage, President of CCDR-Norte, Mário Rui Silva, manager of ON.2  O Novo Norte, and José Rivas, Director General of INL)

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional Norte (CCDR-N) signed the contract that allows INL to benefit from an additional  €14M assistance, under the Portuguese North Regional Operational Program “ON.2 – O Novo Norte”, financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The official ceremony was held in Oporto and presided over by the Portuguese minister of Science Technology and Higher Education, Mariano Gago.

«With the scientific equipment included in this second grant, INL shall complement its characterization, micro and nanofabrication infrastructures. Among other research units, the new equipment will allow the development of high value projects, such as bottom up research, where nanostructures can be obtained by controlled self-assembly processes of simple building blocks previously built by chemical techniques. This strategy is especially suitable to get nanoparticles (magnetic NPs, quantum dots, etc.) and complex structures obtainable by controlled self-replication processes», explained José Rivas, Director General of INL.

INL also aims to be a reference laboratory in the development of Nanotechnology applications in the area of Nanomedicine. In this research area, multidisciplinary research teams will work with the latest equipment and technologies on diagnosis (point-of-care systems for bimolecular recognition, the development of biomarkers for rapid detection of specific cancer cells, the study and comprehension of physical processes involved in molecular recognition processes), on drug delivery (particularly in the development of carriers and receptors with nanoscale capabilities, and the study of their interactions with target cells) and in the area of neuroscience (studying the interface “nervous system-chip” and developing micro and nanodevices ready to interact with different levels of the nervous system, using them to address several serious diseases), among others….

The INL facilities are funded by Portugal and Spain in equal parts. The state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure is also supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Cross-border Cooperation Spain-Portugal 2007-2013 Program co-finances the construction while the scientific equipment and instruments are co-financed by the Portuguese North Regional Operational Program “ON.2 – O Novo Norte”.

Photo: CCDR-N/Egídio Santos

January 13, 2011 Posted by | INL Project | Leave a comment

It’s Christmas time


Christmas decorations in Braga

Christmas decorations in Braga – Portugal

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Braga | Leave a comment

Follow the light in the discovery of the wonders of nano

Ellipsometry is a versatile, non-destructive technique that works in real time in any transparent medium, based on the fact that when light is reflected from a surface of a material its polarization state undergoes some change depending on its own characteristics.

The word ellipsometry was first introduced in a scientific publication by Alexander Rother in 1945, and is based on the fact that the polarization of the light is generally elliptical. In the last years of the XIX century, Paul Drude derived the mathematical equations that allowed the calculation of the optical constants. In the 60’s, due to the availability of computers for numeric processing, ellipsometry suffered a renaissance. Besides measuring the thickness of a film of few nanometers or its optical constants, today, ellipsometry finds applications in different areas like semiconductor and data storage solutions, biosensors, optical coatings, microelectronics, surface chemistry.

The one recently acquired by INL is a spectroscopic imaging ellipsometer. With spectroscopy it is possible to know the optical constants as a function of the wavelength of light, enlightening to greater detail the secrets of complex materials. The imaging feature enables, for example, analyzing biochips without any labeling of the probes, an advantage when compared with techniques based on fluorescence or radioactivity. It is thus possible to examine the surface structure of, for instance DNA, on substrates like glass, silicon or gold with high spatial resolution and also in real-time to measure adsorption reactions by using diverse solid-liquid cells for in vitro conditions.

Follow the light in the discovery of the wonders of nano and be amazed with the beauty!

The photos show INL Engineer, Adelaide Carvalho, the author of this post, monitoring ellipsometry tests. The spectroscopic imaging ellipsometer, recently acquired by INL. Testing the equipment has been her main concern for the last couple of months.

December 20, 2010 Posted by | INL Campus, INL Community, INL Project | 1 Comment