Dear Café Scientifiquers,

Our next café will happen on March 29th, 7:30pm @ Railway Club (579 Dunsmuir Street). The speaker for the evening will be Mark MacLachlan, an Associate Professor from the Chemistry Department at UBC. His talk that evening will be:

Biomimetic Materials … With a Twist!

Natural materials that have evolved in plants and animals often display spectacular mechanical and optical properties. For example, spider silk is as strong as steel and tougher than Kevlar, which is used in bullet-proof vests.  Inspired by nature, chemists are now synthesizing materials that mimic the structures and properties of shells, bones, muscle, leaves, feathers, and other natural materials. In this talk, I will discuss our recent discovery of a new type of coloured glass that is a mimic of beetle shells. These new materials have intriguing optical properties that arise from their twisted internal structure, and they may be useful for emerging applications.


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