From structure and topology, to mechanical and electronic properties, a seemingly simple change in bonding between carbon atoms can conceive a plethora of material types. With diamond and graphite known since antiquity, better understanding of the synthesis, particularly over a large area, has enabled bottom-up design of thin films. Coupled with the discoveries of fullerenes, nanotubes and graphene, this has led to a renaissance in the study of carbon as an electronic material. With novel synthesis routes for nano-carbon production now available, the next chapter in the story of carbon is ready to be written.
S Ravi P Silva is Director of the Advanced Technology Institute and heads the Nanoelectronics Centre at the University of Surrey. In 2003 he was awarded the Albert Einstein Silver Medal by UNESCO. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka. The 2011 Clifford Paterson Prize Lecture will be given by Professor S. Ravi P. Silva FREng for his outstanding contributions to basic science and engineering in the field of carbon nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The Clifford Paterson Prize Lecture is given annually on any aspect of engineering. The General Electric Company Limited endowed the lecture in 1975 in honour of Clifford Paterson. Clifford Copland Paterson FRS undertook the creation of the GEC Research Laboratories in 1919. This followed a career at NPL, Teddington where he became a world expert in the measurement of photometric units. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1942.