Nanotechnology news and reviews

Nanotechnology, industry, science and nanotechnology, developments in Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology Answers

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Friday, April 08, 2005

The top ten developments?

Fixing the Road.
Every day I am stunned by the state of roads around this part of the world. Given the coastal situation the low road is completely full of potholes and bad repairs. So here is the thing, given that road surfaces fail so easily why aren't you nanoscientists coming up with a new roadsurface impervious to sea salt and wear and tear???

If manufacturing is entering the "Golden Age" of nanotechnology, then carbon nanotubes are the "Golden Child." These tubes of graphite many times thinner than a human hair have become a emerging technology because of their potential ability to add strength and other important properties to materials. Adding carbon nanotubes to plastics and other polymers has potential to make automobile and airplane bodies stronger and lighter, and textiles more tear-resistant.

A new study by the Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health (CPGGH) at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), a leading international medical ethics think-tank, has listed the top ten Nanotech applications it sees as helping out the poorer nations of the world.
The top 10 nanotechnology applications are:

* Energy storage, production and conversion
* Agricultural productivity enhancement
* Water treatment and remediation
* Disease diagnosis and screening
* Drug delivery systems
* Food processing and storage
* Air pollution and remediation
* Construction
* Health monitoring
* Vector and pest detection and control

The story has been credited to on various sites but I can only find it here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The future is Nano

Just thought you might like to know some of the research going on in Nano at the moment that might have a direct effect on your life.
We may soon be able to paint the TV onto a wall a window or even roll it up and carry it around with us. Imagine how this might be applied to computing. I roll out my screen on the table in the cafe and spill coffee all over it, use the screen to wipe up the mess and settle down to work. When I am finished I can roll it up again and stick it down my pants if I like. Although the article doesn't give us much nformation about how this might happen it does tell us a lot about John Protasiewicz whose brain child it is.

This probably ties in well with Mphase's plans Vice president Phil Thompson thinks, ..."Personal TV will separate the winning operators from the also-rans," Thompson said. "Customization will be the strategy that lets telephone companies change the playing field from bandwidth and price only." Thompson recommended that telcos take advantage of their inherently two-way networks to compete with cable and satellite companies."

Computers will be operating at light speed but not yet in a nano second. PSI recently announced a new material that will help in the development of Optical interconnects. "Optical interconnects will quite literally provide computers with the ability to operate at light-speed."

Now let me mix the computer and the camera. New technology will allow camera technicians to finely adjust and focus any lens without the need for assistants or bulky monitors. If they can get this technology into the film business it will do away with a lot of jobs and also save a few focus pullers, who might have had a bit much the night before. "Kopin's compact, high-resolution CyberDisplay enables installers to configure our cameras and imaging products right at the installation site," said Jim Voss, Pelco senior product manager. "The Pelco CST150 is designed to provide the ultimate in installation ease. An installer simply plugs the tool directly into any Pelco camera featuring a service connector. The integrated microdisplay allows for fine-focus precision and setup flexibility at the installation site - with no more need for a second person back in the control room or for a bulky monitor."

However if neither computers nor TV are your thing, then you can always write a book. Now copywriting a book will be made much simplier by the development of a new ink and GPS. Yes Anyone with the technology will be able to track a book no matter where it goes, not only that, but if you take the book out of the teritorry, then the ink dissappears until you bring it back again. This is just too cool I love the idea.

There are of course plenty of developments happening in anti-ageing creams, imagine nano bots all over your face straightening out your wrinkles, and sunscreen, again imagine millions of little bots holding up sun shades to protect you while you tan. Perhaps it's better if some people don't know what's in the cream that they put on their bodies.
Back soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


PSI-TEC Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSI-TEC Holdings, Inc., a nanotechnology firm, announced recently the completion of the penultimate step in the fabrication process of a revolutionary new nanomaterial. PSI-TEC laboratory's recent breakthrough consists of the fabrication of an electro-optic material constructed atom-by-atom at the molecular level. These patented materials are expected by PSI-TEC scientists to have broad application in civilian and military telecommunication and advanced computational systems

Another major potential application for the nanomaterials are 'optical interconnect technology,' an area of intense interest by many major players in the high-tech arena.

They will quite literally provide computers with the ability to operate at light-speed.

Optical interconnects are the core component in the construction of "optical computers," i.e. computers which integrate the conduction of light (as opposed to electricity) at various stages for extremely high-speed computation. The development of breakthrough electro-optic nanomaterials such as those being developed by PSI-TEC has long been a major obstacle in the creation of optical interconnects.

Optical interconnects, not long ago considered futuristic, are currently the object of aggressive investigation by Intel, IBM, Agilent Technologies and the U.S. Government.

And how might Nanotechnology help in the worlds water shortage in the future. Well it is believed that nano-materials will be able to filter even the most contaminated water supply.

A new system of deliever with microscopic precision for cancer drugs which also minimises pain has been developed by scientists in Singapore.
Drug delivery may be controlled by superficially heating or cooling the environment of the nanoparticles.

HP is now looking at nanotechnology to solve its future computing needs.
After 40-years of relying on silicon and Moore's Law to define its computers and printers, the company has now embarked on a sub-micron path it says will carry it through the next 40 or so years.
According to Stan Williams, HP Senior Fellow and director, the company believe they have a practical and comprehensive strategy for moving into the world fo molecular-scale electronics.

University of Wisconsin-Madison materials chemist Anne Bentley who has been researching nanowires (suspended nickel wires - each 200 times thinner than a human hair) - believes they could one day serve as magneto-optical switches. The switches could aid in fields such as photonics, where light, rather than electricity, relays information. Researchers believe they will one day become critical components in ever-shrinking electronic circuits.

Although there is much talk about the wonders of nanoparticles, there is little about what side effects if any can be expereinced by the human undergoing any treatment based on nanotechnology. Scientists at the University of Michigan are addressing those concerns by investigating how certain kinds of nanoparticles damage cell membranes enough to cause cell death in some cases and how the damage can be prevented.

Monday, March 14, 2005

It is not all Hot Air

Well over the flu, wonder if any nano scientists are working on a cure for it.
What they have been doing is putty tiny crystals inside containers to increase the amount of gas they hold. Because the crystals have such a large surface area with nano size pores, the gas sticks better really. Actually its absorbed. And its all down to those guys who used to give us tape cassettes. Actually they started off making dyes but hey BASF are right up there. Who would have thought it was worthwhile to try to put more gas into an already empty space by filling the thing up with something other than space or gas? ERM maybe the scuba divers will appreciate being able to stay down longer and I know quite a few around here who would love to get their hands on the new tanks once they come out.

On the medical front NEC announce they have developed a high speed protien analysis technology which is vital to the prompt diagnosis of diseases like cancer. The technology uses nanobiochips.
Here's what they do "

1) By carrying out separation of the isoelectric point and molecular weight (two inherent characteristics of protein) on a nanobiochip and mass spectrometer respectively, short-time analysis of approximately one hour is achieved. This improves the analysis speed by 20 times that of the conventional method (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis).
2) As a compact chip is used in place of large amounts of gel, the size of the sample amount required for analysis is cut to one twentieth that of the conventional method.
3) Comparison with the conventional method is easily enabled as a two-dimensional map can be acquired from the two axes, the isoelectric point and molecular weight. "

Now you know by know I can only explain so much mumbo jumbo science talk but if you don't understand this don't worry. Just be thankful.

Coupled with that discovery some Brits have been given a huge wad of cash to develop the ‘Snomipede’. Basically the ability to manufacture and see things as small as 13nm. This is good because just now it can't be done. Machines of this size could do anything from manufacturing very cheap circuits and chips to repairing human tissue damage
Graham Legget says " “This research grant will allow my team in Sheffield, together with teams at Glasgow, Nottingham and Manchester universities, to pioneer faster, smaller and more efficient methods of manipulating and building molecular structures.

“The development of Snomipede technology represents the coming together of nanotechnology, molecular and cell biology, microsystems engineering and synthetic and surface chemistry."

Now just to let you know I am letting the business, money, investment side of things go for a while as there are already lots of people doing it out there. I will update you from time to time but this blog is supposed to let you know what is happening, not what might happening or who is getting a job when you are sitting here reading. So onwards and upwards. Don't forget to email or post a comment if you want anything explained, covered, or disscussed.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Global Dialogue on Nanotechnology

Global Dialogue on Nanotechnology and the Poor: Opportunities and Risks –
on-line consultation.

The second session of this consultation is now open.

The Paper developed by the Meridian Institute to raise awareness about the implications of nanotechnology for poor people, and participants' responses to the accompanying questions, are now available on the website.

You can also post your feedback on this consultation in the evaluation section of the website.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Nanotechnology in Use

Here is a fairly exhaustive list of products that either have already been part of the revolution or very soon will be.
This list is provided by the Meridian Institute that I spoke about earlier.

In the automotive industry,
Ligthweight construction / Paining / Catalysts/ Tires(fillers) / Sensors / Coatings for windshields and auto bodies.

Chemical Industry,
Fillers for paints/ Composite materials / Impregnation of papers / Adhesives/ Magnetic Fluids

Protective coatings for tools and machines / lubricant free bearings, (I guess it follows)

Displays/ Data memory/ Laser diodes/ Fiber optics / Optical Switches / Filters / Conductive antistatic coatings/ (no more shocks from the TV perhaps?)

Materials / Insulation / Flame retardants/ Surface coatings for wood floors, stone etc; (look to the paint business as in Chemical above) Mortar

Drug Delivery systems/ Contrast medium / Rapid testing systems/ Prostheses and implants / Antimicrobial agents/ Diagnostic systems (inbody)

Smart textiles (that tells us a lot doesn't it?) Surface coatings again

Fuel cells / Solar Power/ Batteries / Capacitors

Sunscreens/ Lipsticks / Skin creams / Toopaste

Food and Drink,
sensors for life storage/ additives/ Clarifiers (for drinks)

House hold.
Cleaning agents/ Odour removers/ Ceramic coatings for Irons

Ski wax/ Rackets and clubs/ tennis balls/ antifogging coatings for goggles and glasses / Antifouling coatings for boats

The one thing that surprises me and that we already know is there is no mention of water treatment. Given that ceramic is already used as a filter and that it can be nanoised (to coin a word)I am a little surprised that Meridian et al haven't alluded to it in their list.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Developing Countries Developing Business

A conference called by the International Centre for Science and High Technology of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (ICS-UNIDO), has concluded that developing countries will need to build their capacity for transforming research into commercial ventures.
While it appears the research is going well there seems to be a need for a forum whereby entrepreneurs in the South and compaines from the North could meet. Unless these contacts are developed it would seem the developing countries will be inventing in a vacum.
The challenge for many developing countries lies in their lack of infrastructure or a tradition of partnerships between research and industry. As Nanotechnology offers a wide range of applications, some countries could focus, for example, on the problem of contaminated water, like Bangladesh.
Argentina has developed a selective approach in the hope of becoming a leading player on a few applications.
In South Africa, government, industry and academia are all trying to determine which applications to focus on. Generally they are striving to work in an area like water purification where people will see the benefit.
It would seem that the coming revolution in science and business is a perfect way for the developing nations to put themselves on a par with the rest of the world. However with the Americans able to invest almost four billion dollars, you can begin to see where the problems might arise.