- Education & Outreach
National Nanomanufacturing Network
If the promise of nanotechnology is to be fulfilled, then research programs must leapfrog to new nanomanufacturing processes. That's the conclusion of a review of the current state of nanoscience and nanotechnology to be published in the International Journal of Nanomanufacturing ("Nanomanufacturing: path to implementing nanotechnology (http://www.inderscience.com/info/inarticle.php?artid=57598)").
Rolith, Inc. Wins the 2013 Best Manufacturing Technology Award from the Printed Electronics Industry
Rolith, Inc., a leader in advanced nanostructured devices, is pleased to announce that Printed Electronics Industry selected Rolith for the Best Manufacturing Technology award based on its production of transparent metal mesh conductors for large touch screen displays, OLED lighting and photovoltaics.
Nano additives can make plastics scratch and flame proof, or give them antibacterial properties. For this to work, the particle distribution within the plastic compound must be absolutely correct. A new device is now able to test the distribution in real time.
The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative requests public comment on the draft 2014 NNI Strategic Plan. Comments may be submitted through http://nano.gov/2014strategy (http://nano.gov/2014strategy) or to 2014NNIStrategy@nnco.nano.gov (mailto:2014NNIStrategy@nnco.nano.gov).
The federal interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) has issued for public comment draft performance metrics and intellectual-property-management guidelines (https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-27157) for President Obama's proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) (http://manufacturing.gov/nnmi.html).
The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) today launched its Regulatory Monitoring Database. This Database is a comprehensive tool (http://www.nanotechia.org/sites/default/files/files/NIA_Reg_Mon_Database_Competencies.pdf) that allows its users to monitor nano-specific regulations and standards around the world.
The purpose of this Request for Information (https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-23916) (RFI) is to enhance the value of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (http://www.nano.gov/) (NNI) and of the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (http://www.nano.gov/signatureinitiatives) (NSI) entitled Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology in particular, by reaching out to the nanotechnology stakeholder community for input regarding specific needs for the accelerated development and commercialization of nanosensors. This RFI is intended to inform planning for a public workshop organized under the auspices of the sensors NSI.
Digital manufacturing and design has experienced significant visibility lately as a means to establish a broad-based infrastructure linking materials properties, supply chain, process, and manufacturing platform technologies for the design and innovation of advanced products. The concept connects the knowledge and information base via a digital thread to enable rapid, “push button” design and production of advanced products of the future, and is expected to impact a range of industries and manufacturing platforms, most notably, additive manufacturing. Present directives in digital manufacturing are targeting well-established manufacturing platforms in which significant benefits will be realized through a reduction in design and prototyping iterations for advanced products thereby enabling acceleration of innovative product design cycles. Future innovations extending to emerging industries must first build up appropriate materials and process information databases to be incorporated within the digital thread. The latter describes the status of digital nanomanufacturing, where the materials can be radically modified through multivariable parameters dictating properties, performance, and environmental implications for a broad range of applications. The challenge faced by the nanomanufacturing community and stakeholders is to coordinate and integrate a diverse range of activities to enable new and unique functionality for digital design at the nanoscale.
In order to expand the range of applications for graphene nanostructures, a number of groups have attempted to introduce dopants via a "bottom-up" approach. For instance, utilizing chemical vapor deposition in the presence of appropriate N- or B-containing precursors, or unzipping N-doped carbon nanotubes to yield doped graphene nanoribbons. The recent precedent of doping graphene sheets directly by low-energy ion bombardment (Nano Lett. 2013, 13(10), 4902-4907 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl402812y) (DOI: 10.1021/nl402812y (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl402812y))) offers a level of doping selectivity that is not possible by other techniques, and would utilize techniques already in place for the microelectronics industry. With such advancements in doping strategies, graphenes are one step closer to being more widely utilized for commercial applications such as electronic devices and rechargeable batteries. Image reprinted with permission from Ion Implantation of GrapheneToward IC Compatible Technologies. U. Bangert, W. Pierce, D. M. Kepaptsoglou, Q. Ramasse, R. Zan, M. H. Gass, J. A. Van den Berg, C. B. Boothroyd, J. Amani, and H. Hofsäss. Nano Letters 2013 13 (10), 4902-4907 10.1021/nl402812y (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl402812y)
A new Department of Energy grant will fund research to advance an additive manufacturing technique for fabricating three-dimensional (3D) nanoscale structures from a variety of materials. Using high-speed, thermally-energized jets to deliver both precursor materials and inert gas, the research will focus on dramatically accelerating growth, improving the purity and increasing the aspect ratio of the 3D structures.
Researchers at Columbia Engineering, led by Chemical Engineering Professors Venkat Venkatasubramanian (http://cheme.columbia.edu/venkat-venkatasubramanian) and Sanat Kumar (http://cheme.columbia.edu/sanat-k-kumar), have developed a new approach to designing novel nanostructured materials through an inverse design framework using genetic algorithms. The study (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/10/24/1316533110.full.pdf+html), published in the October 28 Early Online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is the first to demonstrate the application of this methodology to the design of self-assembled nanostructures, and shows the potential of machine learning and big data approaches embodied in the new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering at Columbia. Our framework can help speed up the materials discovery process, says Venkatasubramanian, Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering, and co-author of the paper. In a sense, we are leveraging how nature discovers new materialsthe Darwinian model of evolutionby suitably marrying it with computational methods. Its Darwin on steroids!
(http://www.udel.edu/iselab/)The University of Delaware's Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (http://www.udel.edu/iselab/) is more than just a new building, UD says it represents the future of education. At Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, University of Delaware President Dr. Patrick Harker recalled the words of French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur. "'These are temples of the future,' [Pasteur] said, 'temples of well-being and happiness, where humanity grows greater, stronger, better.' The ISE Lab is our temple of the future," Harker told the crowd of elected officials, alumni, faculty and students. The $137-million facility includes eight state-of-the-art classrooms, four laboratories, a 10,000 square foot nanofabrication facility and an advanced materials characterization lab. "It's the most complex facility we've ever built at this university and, really, it's one of the most complex facilities built across the country," Harker said in an interview with WHYY (http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/component/flexicontent/item/60957-university-of-delaware-cuts-ribbon-on-new-science-building).
The University of Pennsylvania will officially open the regions premier facility for advanced research, education, and innovative public/private partnerships in nanotechnology on October 4. The 78,000 square-foot Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology will serve as the Universitys focal point for groundbreaking work in the emerging field of nanotechnology, which involves the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The potential benefits of nanotechnology range from regenerative medicine and targeted drug delivery systems, to innovative new approaches in creating and storing electricity that could virtually eliminate the use of fossil fuels, to highly efficient ways of harvesting fresh water from seawater, to everyday commercial products that make clothes last longer, golf balls fly straighter and personal computers operate more efficiently.
A*STARs new Nanoimprint Foundry will bridge the gap between laboratory-based nanotechnologies and real-world products. This is the first time that Singapore nanotechnology suppliers and manufacturers have been brought together to speed up productisation of nanoimprinting, a technology that imbues ordinary surfaces with unique properties for applications in sectors like consumer care, biomedical devices, optics, filtration, displays and maritime.
As the U.S. government addresses the budget allocation for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (http://www.nano.gov/) (NNI) each year, the questions regarding return on investment have become more formidable over the past few years. Complimenting this has been the emerging theme and recommendations by the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast) (PCAST) in their report on the fourth assessment of the NNI (http://eprints.internano.org/1838/) emphasizing increased support of nanomanufacturing and nanotechnology commercialization as part of the NNI investment. As federal agencies are now enacting these recommendations within their respective nanotechnology programs, the overarching question of how to assess the economic impact of nanotechnology remains a central point of discussion both within this country and around the globe. The need for such an assessment evolves from the perspective that governments have a fiscal and social responsibility to ensure that investment of public funds and resources are used wisely and cost-effectively in support of social, economic, and scientific objectives. Through significant public and private investments in nanotechnology during the past decade, the field of nanotechnology has matured to the point where significant potential has been demonstrated to impact a range of economic and societal sectors, including medicine, quality of life, manufacturing, and energy. In order to continue the public investment in promoting the responsible development of nanotechnology will require quantitative data on the economic impact of nanotechnology to guide further investment and policy decisions. The challenge here is that very few widely accepted economic impact assessments have been conducted, and many questions remain regarding the best methodologies, accuracy, and true meaning of such assessments.
Recent materials informatics initiatives are fostering the establishment of open-access, federated databases that catalogue the properties of materials. While an initial emphasis, particularly in the case of nanomaterials, is to understand the toxicological properties of materials, a key goal is to establish model-based materials design methodologies wherein materials properties can be computationally predicted. Such a virtual design approach to materials represents a powerful paradigm in which tools become openly available to design new products, optimize materials performance, and understand the risk associated with human and environmental exposure before the materials has been synthesized. Such an infrastructure will benefit industry, academia, and government agencies alike in providing low cost, rapid turn-around approaches to design, and manufacture materials, incorporate into product designs, and establish the regulatory pathway for workforce and consumer protection.
Nanotechnology is transforming industries from medicine to consumer products, and engineered nanomaterials can now be found in items as diverse as clothing, electronic devices, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. New materials are being produced rapidly. How can their safety be assured? The September edition of the journal ACS Nano features an article that could lay the groundwork for the integration of alternative testing strategies as part of a new approach to effectively and efficiently assessing the safety of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), as well as traditional chemicals.
Making large quantities of reliable, inexpensive nanoparticles for batteries, solar cells, catalysts and other energy applications has proven challenging due to manufacturing limits. A Cornell research team is working to improve such processes with a $1.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support scalable nanomanufacturing and device integration.
I had the opportunity to attend two excellent meetings last Spring – the Nanotech Commercialization Conference (http://www.ncscitech.com/ncc) in Winston-Salem, NC (hosted by the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association (http://www.nanobca.org/)), and the Lux Executive Summit (http://www.luxexecutivesummit.com/) in Boston, MA. The NanoBCA meeting was a rich mix of constituencies including small companies, investors, government (Federal and State), universities and some corporations, whereas the majority of the Lux Summit attendees represented an A to Z of representatives from major international corporations, quite a different audience and perspective. Both were well organized with plenty opportunities for networking.
Washington, DC - The Commission has scheduled an additional public hearing in Inv. No. 332-541, Trade Barriers that U.S. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the European Union, to be held beginning at 9:30 a.m., September 26, 2013, at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, CA. This hearing is in addition to a previously announced public hearing in this investigation to be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on October 8, 2013. Procedures for filing requests to appear have been changed for both hearings to encourage the appearance of small businesses. This field hearing is being scheduled in conjunction with a field hearing to be held on September 25, 2013, also at the NASA Center in Moffett Field, CA in a second Commission investigation, No. 332-540, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 2, requested by the Senate Committee on Finance. Interested persons who wish to present consolidated statements and testimony relevant to both investigations are invited to do so on Wednesday September 25, 2013.