- Education & Outreach
National Nanomanufacturing Network
Simply smart solutions to a complex world of challengesEach New Year is the start of another journey, isn’t it? As 2013 begins, I’m seeing a converging path, one where innovation meets advanced manufacturing meets environmentalism. Best of all, it’s leading across a wide open landscape of a growing economy. Let’s take the indicators one by one.
As spring nears, we are delighted to introduce this year’s NanoBusiness Commercialization Association’s Top Emerging Nanotech Innovators. The 2013 list includes companies developing innovative nano-enabled products in a wide range of areas, including nanomanufactured products, next generation semiconductors and memory devices, quantum computing, pollution removal, solid-state lighting, cancer therapeutics, nutraceuticals, advanced materials, coatings, water treatment and microscopy. We congratulate each company on their achievements in nanotechnology and look forward to watching their progress in the future.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a call for grant proposals for a broad range of potential research projects covering the institute's interests in the physical sciences and engineering.The 2013 NIST Measurement Science and Engineering (MSE) Research Grant Programs (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do? mode=VIEW oppId=218193), announced on Jan. 29, 2013, comprise grant solicitations for eight NIST research units:The Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) Grant Program supports research in the fields of materials science and engineering, materials measurement science, biosystems and biomaterials, biomolecular measurements, chemical sciences and applied chemicals and materials.The Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) Grant Program supports research in the areas of mechanical metrology, semiconductors, ionizing radiation physics, medical physics, biophysics, neutron physics, atomic physics, optical technology, optoelectronics, electromagnetics, time and frequency, quantum physics, weights and measures, quantum electrical metrology, temperature, pressure, flow, far UV physics and metrology with synchrotron radiation.The Engineering Laboratory (EL) Grant Program supports research in the fields of machine tool and machining process metrology; advanced manufacturing; intelligent systems and information systems integration for applications in manufacturing; structures, construction metrology and automation; inorganic materials; polymeric materials; heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC R) equipment performance; mechanical systems and controls; heat transfer and alternative energy systems; computer-integrated building processes; indoor air quality and ventilation; earthquake risk reduction for buildings and infrastructure; smart grid; windstorm impact reduction; applied economics and fire research.The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Grant Program supports research in the areas of advanced network technologies, big data, cloud computing, computer forensics, information access, information processing and understanding, cybersecurity, health information technology, human factors and usability, mathematical and computational sciences, mathematical foundations of measurement science for information systems; a metrology infrastructure for modeling and simulation, smart grid, software testing and statistics for metrology.The NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) Grant Program supports research involving neutron scattering and the development of innovative technologies that advance the state of the art in neutron research.The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) Grant Program supports research in the field of nanotechnology specifically aimed at developing essential measurement and fabrication methods and technology in support of all phases of nanotechnology development, from discovery to production; conducting collaborative research with NIST scientists, including research at the CNST NanoFab, a national shared resource for nanofabrication and measurement; and supporting researchers visiting CNST.The Office of Special Programs (OSP) Grant Program supports research in the broad areas of greenhouse gas and climate science measurements and law enforcement standards.The Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP) Grant Program supports research in chemistry, materials science, physics, engineering, infrastructure, information technology, neutron research and nanotechnology.In fiscal year 2012, the combined MSE grant programs funded a total of 163 new projects with a total of more than $31.5 million. The funding generally goes to support scientific or engineering research, but may also support conferences, workshops or other technical research meetings that are relevant to NIST's work.All NIST MSE Research Grant Programs are subject to the availability of funds. Proposals for all programs except the EL Grant Program will be considered on a continuing/rolling basis. Proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern Time on June 3, 2013 may be processed and considered for funding under this Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) in the current fiscal year or in the next fiscal year, subject to the availability of funds.The primary deadline for applications to the EL Grant Program is Friday, March 1, 2013. EL will continue to accept applications on a continuing/rolling basis in the current fiscal year and the next fiscal year, depending on available funds, according to the schedule published in the formal solicitation posted at Grants.gov (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do? mode=VIEW oppId=218193).Details of scope, anticipated award sizes, requirements and the proposal submission and review process vary with the individual grant programs. The full documentation for this solicitation is available as an Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity at the Grants.gov website www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number 2013-NIST-MSE-01. See http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do? mode=VIEW oppId=218193 (http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do? mode=VIEW oppId=218193)Contact: Michael Baum (email@example.com) 301-975-2763 Source: NIST (http://www.nist.gov/director/mse-020613.cfm)
Remote, wireless monitoring of physiological functions and structural performance in real time has long been a goal of many manufacturing industries. Achievement of that goal is now a step closer to reality with the announcement today of an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) award to FlexTech Alliance of San Jose, Calif. The Alliance has been selected to launch a new manufacturing consortium which will operate at the junction of nanotechnology, biotechnology, additive manufacturing, and flexible electronics. Bringing together world-class researchers and building prototype monitoring devices are the new nano-bio manufacturing consortium’s primary goals.
Graphene has been the subject of an explosion of technical research in recent years as a result of its unique combination of superior properties. It has become the starting point for disruptive technologies in a wide range of fields including high performance computing, transparent conductors, printed electronics, displays, solar photovoltaics, and sensors. Pathways to large area, high throughput production of graphene materials have been established, and key cases emerging from research labs around the globe have demonstrated the advantages of graphene for the applications noted above. The European Commission recently announced graphene as one of the EU’s first 10-year, 1 Billion euro Future Emerging Technology (FET) flagships. The goal of the Graphene Flagship is to accelerate the path of graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratory research to scaled commercialization. The resulting societal benefit and subsequent revolutionizing of multiple industry sectors should create substantial economic growth and new jobs in the EU. The recent announcement is noteworthy as it is launching a coordinated public-private partnership research initiative of unprecedented scale. The Graphene Flagship assembles an academic-industrial consortium which aims to create an innovation pipeline extending across the value chain, targeting specific technological breakthroughs in order to fuel the innovation cycle. The research effort will cover the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and it targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. The NNN applauds this announcement as a timely example of the potential impact of public-private partnerships related to critical, game changing technology developments in with specific relevance to nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing. The recent announcement is included below:
Many researchers are investigating the development of flexible solar cells in hopes of improving efficiency and lowering manufacturing costs. As an important member of the organic photovoltaics (OPV) family, polymer solar cells draw the most research interest, due to the relatively high power conversion efficiency achieved. However, compared to the high efficiencies (>10%) of inorganic solar cells, the best polymer solar cells (6-7%) still show a lower efficiency.
A team of researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has shown that by bringing gold nanoparticles close to the dots and using a DNA template to control the distances, the intensity of a quantum dot's fluorescence can be predictably increased or decreased.* This breakthrough opens a potential path to using quantum dots as a component in better photodetectors, chemical sensors and nanoscale lasers.
Researchers from Greece demonstrated a groundbreaking methodology (http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201202713) for controlled in-situ reduction of spin-casted graphene oxide (GO) nanometric films on flexible substrates and the subsequent realization of highly conductive and transparent electrodes for flexible organic photovoltaics (OPV). This technique is the first reported to be compatible with temperature sensitive substrates in the sense that it achieves reduction of films on flexible substrates in a single step, in contrast to the approaches utilized so far. Furthermore the featured work provides a new insight in the relevant scientific community considering that it is experimentally clarified that efficient photoreduction of GO can be achieved by exploiting non-thermal processes occurring upon ultrafast laser treatment. This suggests that there is no need for high temperature treatments that potentially destroy the integrity of the graphene lattice as well as the flexibility of the underlying substrate. The in-situ non-thermal photoreduction of spin-coated GO films creates a novel way to produce functional graphene electrodes for a variety of applications in a process that carries substantial promise for potential implementation in organic electronics industry. By employing the optical schemes and translation systems that have already been developed for industrial lasers, rapid large area processing can be realized that makes this technique easily adaptable to a roll-to-roll manufacturing line for the mass production of OPVs.