National Nanomanufacturing Network

2014 NACK Network Nanotechnology Workshops

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 25, 2014 - 10:10am
The Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK) Network (http://nano4me.org/) has announced its late summer and fall 2014 offerings of the NACK Nanotechnolgy Resource and Hands-On Introduction to Nanotechnology Workshops, held at the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) at Penn State University.The Course Resource Workshops series consists of two workshops designed to provide the resources needed to effectively teach undergraduate nanotechnology courses based upon the NACK suite of six nanotechnology courses. They can be attended in any order to meet the needs and schedules of the workshop participants.The next Course Resource Workshop offering will be the August 11-14 offering of Nanotechnology Course Resources II: Patterning, Characterization Applications. This workshop will focus on the second set of courses in the 6 course suite: (4) Patterning for Nanotechnology, (5) Materials Modification for Nanotechnology Applications, and (6) Characterization, Testing of Nanotechnology Structures and Materials. (NOTE: This workshop will be offered again on October 6-9. Their April 2014 Course Resource I workshop was very successful with representatives of educational institutions from 7 states in attendance. This workshop Nanotechnology Course Resources I: Safety, Processing Materials will again be offered September 15-18. This workshop focuses on the first set of courses in the 6 course suite: (1) Materials, Safety, and Equipment Overview, (2) Basic Nanotechnology Processes, and (3) Materials in Nanotechnology. Our Hand-On Introduction to Nanotechnology Workshop will be offered for the second time this year November 11-13, 2014. This workshop presents an overview of the world of nanotechnology. Participants will learn about the growing applications of nano in industry and about nanofabrication processes and tools. All workshops have hands-on lab activities in cleanrooms at Penn State. Financial support to attend the workshops is available! The support covers the registration fee, travel expenses, and lodging. The form to apply for financial support is included with along with the workshop applications. NACK has had some very nice feedback on the workshop from past participants. Below is a sampling of attendee feedback from their recent workshop experiences: “You guys are an inspiration. Penn State is a leader in nanotechnology instruction. Keep up the good work!!!” “The labs were fantastic.” “Overall this workshop is awesome and great!” “The workshop was fantastic. I gained a valuable understanding of nanofabrication and applications.” “Excellent overall. Lecture/Lab format was the best.” “The staff and faculty at this workshop are great and very helpful.” “This was an awesome workshop. I learned so much and hope I can get our students as excited as I am.” “I was very impressed with the workshop. I learned a tremendous amount.” “It was very valuable – learned a lot on the basics of vacuum technology in much more detailed and comprehensive manner… remote sensing and learning to use it was equally valuable.” “This workshop was probably the best I have ever attended! Excellent job.” For more detailed information about the workshops (as well as a word version of the applications) refer to our website at http://nano4me.org/workshops (http://nano4me.org/workshops) Please apply as soon as possible for these upcoming workshops as spaces fill up quickly. The application period for the August workshop closes on June 30, 2014.Source: NACK

Graphene Flagship initiative doubles in size

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 25, 2014 - 9:50am
To coincide with Graphene Week 2014 (http://graphene-flagship.eu/?page_id=554), the Graphene Flagship (http://graphene-flagship.eu/) is proud to announce that today one of the largest-ever European research initiatives is doubling in size. 66 new partners are being invited to join the consortium following the results of a €9 million competitive call. While most partners are universities and research institutes, the share of companies, mainly SMEs, involved is increasing. This shows the growing interest of economic actors in graphene. The partnership now includes more than 140 organisations from 23 countries. It is fully set to take ‘wonder material’ graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to everyday use. Vice-President of the European Commission @NeelieKroesEU (https://twitter.com/NeelieKroesEU), responsible for the Digital Agenda (http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/), welcomed the extended partnership: “Europe is leading the graphene revolution. This ‘wonder material has the potential dramatically to improve our lives: it stimulates new medical technologies, such as artificial retinas, and more sustainable transport with light and ultra-efficient batteries. The more we can unlock the potential of graphene, the better!” SMEs on the Rise The 66 new partners come from 19 countries, six of which are new to the consortium: Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Israel. With its 16 new partners, Italy now has the highest number of partners in the Graphene Flagship alongside Germany (with 23 each), followed by Spain (18), UK (17) and France (13). The incoming 66 partners will add new capabilities to the scientific and technological scope of the flagship. Over one third of new partners are companies, mainly SMEs, showing the growing interest of economic actors in graphene. In the initial consortium this ratio was 20%. Big Interest in Joining the Initiative The €9 million competitive call of the €54 million ramp-up phase (2014-2015) attracted a total of 218 proposals, representing 738 organisations from 37 countries. The proposals received were evaluated on the basis of their scientific and technological expertise, implementation and impact (further information on the call (http://www.graphenecall.esf.org/)) and ranked by an international panel of leading experts, mostly eminent professors from all over the world. 21 proposals were selected for funding. Prof. Jari Kinaret, Professor of Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology (http://www.chalmers.se/en/Pages/default.aspx), Sweden, and Director of the Graphene Flagship, said: “The response was overwhelming, which is an indicator of the recognition for and trust in the flagship effort throughout Europe. Competition has been extremely tough. I am grateful for the engagement by the applicants and our nearly 60 independent expert reviewers who helped us through this process. I am impressed by the high quality of the proposals we received and looking forward to working with all the new partners to realise the goals of the Graphene Flagship.” Europe in the Driving Seat Graphene was made and tested in Europe, leading to the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester. With the €1 billion Graphene Flagship, Europe will be able to turn cutting-edge scientific research into marketable products. This major initiative places Europe in the driving seat for the global race to develop graphene technologies. Prof. Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre (http://www.graphene.cam.ac.uk/) and Chair of the Executive Board of the Graphene Flagship commented today’s announcement on new partners: “This adds strength to our unprecedented effort to take graphene and related materials from the lab to the factory floor, so that the world-leading position of Europe in graphene science can be translated into technology, creating a new graphene-based industry, with benefits for Europe in terms of job creation and competitiveness”. Background The Graphene Flagship @GrapheneCA (https://twitter.com/GrapheneCA) represents a European investment of €1 billion over the next 10 years. It is part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships (http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/fet-flagships) @FETFlagships (https://twitter.com/search?q=%40FETflagships src=typd) announced by the European Commission in January 2013 (press release (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-54_en.htm)). The goal of the FET Flagships programme is to encourage visionary research with the potential to deliver breakthroughs and major benefits for European society and industry. FET Flagships are highly ambitious initiatives involving close collaboration with national and regional funding agencies, industry and partners from outside the European Union. Research in the next generation of technologies is key for Europe’s competitiveness. This is why €2.7 billion will be invested in Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) (http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/future-emerging-technologies-fet) under the new research programme Horizon 2020 (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en) #H2020 (2014-2020). This represents a nearly threefold increase in budget compared to the previous research programme, FP7. FET actions are part of the Excellent science (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/excellent-science) pillar of Horizon 2020.Source: Graphene Flagship (http://graphene-flagship.eu/?news=graphene-flagship-a-nnoun-ces-huge-new-influx-of-partners-through-competitive-call)

FDA issues guidance to support the responsible development of nanotechnology products

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 25, 2014 - 9:42am
Today, three final guidances and one draft guidance were issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration providing greater regulatory clarity for industry on the use of nanotechnology in FDA-regulated products.One final guidance addresses the agency’s overall approach for all products that it regulates, while the two additional final guidances and the new draft guidance provide specific guidance for the areas of foods, cosmetics and food for animals, respectively. Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that allows scientists to create, explore and manipulate materials on a scale measured in nanometers—particles so small that they cannot be seen with a regular microscope. The technology has a broad range of potential applications, such as improving the packaging of food and altering the look and feel of cosmetics.“Our goal remains to ensure transparent and predictable regulatory pathways, grounded in the best available science, in support of the responsible development of nanotechnology products,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “We are taking a prudent scientific approach to assess each product on its own merits and are not making broad, general assumptions about the safety of nanotechnology products.”The three final guidance documents reflect the FDA’s current thinking on these issues after taking into account public comment received on the corresponding draft guidance documents previously issued (draft agency guidance in 2011; and draft cosmetics and foods guidances in 2012). The FDA does not make a categorical judgment that nanotechnology is inherently safe or harmful, and will continue to consider the specific characteristics of individual products. All four guidance documents encourage manufacturers to consult with the agency before taking their products to market. Consultations with the FDA early in the product development process help to facilitate a mutual understanding about specific scientific and regulatory issues relevant to the nanotechnology product, and help address questions related to safety, effectiveness, public health impact and/or regulatory status of the product.The guidances are: FDA (http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm402499.htm)

Novel nanoparticle production method could lead to better lights, lenses, solar cells

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 18, 2014 - 9:39am
Sandia National Laboratories has come up with an inexpensive way to synthesize titanium-dioxide nanoparticles and is seeking partners who can demonstrate the process at industrial scale for everything from solar cells to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles show great promise as fillers to tune the refractive index of anti-reflective coatings on signs and optical encapsulants for LEDs, solar cells and other optical devices. Optical encapsulants are coverings or coatings, usually made of silicone, that protect a device. Industry has largely shunned TiO2 nanoparticles because they’ve been difficult and expensive to make, and current methods produce particles that are too large. Sandia became interested in TiO2 for optical encapsulants because of its work on LED materials for solid-state lighting.Current production methods for TiO2 often require high-temperature processing or costly surfactants — molecules that bind to something to make it soluble in another material, like dish soap does with fat. Those methods produce less-than-ideal nanoparticles that are very expensive, can vary widely in size and show significant particle clumping, called agglomeration. Sandia’s technique, on the other hand, uses readily available, low-cost materials and results in nanoparticles that are small, roughly uniform in size and don’t clump. “We wanted something that was low cost and scalable, and that made particles that were very small,” said researcher Todd Monson, who along with principal investigator Dale Huber patented the process in mid-2011 as Laboratory Directed Research and Development (http://www.sandia.gov/research/laboratory_directed_research/index.html) project Huber began in 2005. “The original project goals were to investigate the basic science of nanoparticle dispersions, but when this synthesis was developed near the end of the project, the commercial applications were obvious,” Huber said. The researchers subsequently refined the process to make particles easier to manufacture. Existing synthesis methods for TiO2 particles were too costly and difficult to scale up production. In addition, chemical suppliers ship titanium-dioxide nanoparticles dried and without surfactants, so particles clump together and are impossible to break up. “Then you no longer have the properties you want,” Monson said. The researchers tried various types of alcohol as an inexpensive solvent to see if they could get a common titanium source, titanium isopropoxide, to react with water and alcohol. The biggest challenge, Monson said, was figuring out how to control the reaction, since adding water to titanium isopropoxide most often results in a fast reaction that produces large chunks of TiO2, rather than nanoparticles. “So the trick was to control the reaction by controlling the addition of water to that reaction,” he said. Textbooks said making nanoparticles couldn’t be done, Sandia persisted Some textbooks dismissed the titanium isopropoxide-water-alcohol method as a way of making TiO2 nanoparticles. Huber and Monson, however, persisted until they discovered how to add water very slowly by putting it into a dilute solution of alcohol. “As we tweaked the synthesis conditions, we were able to synthesize nanoparticles,” Monson said. The next step is to demonstrate synthesis at an industrial scale, which will require a commercial partner. Monson, who presented the work at Sandia’s fall Science and Technology Showcase (https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/technology_showcase2/#.U1-wesfOO9c), said Sandia has received inquiries from companies interested in commercializing the technology. “Here at Sandia we’re not set up to produce the particles on a commercial scale,” he said. “We want them to pick it up and run with it and start producing these on a wide enough scale to sell to the end user.” Sandia would synthesize a small number of particles, then work with a partner company to form composites and evaluate them to see if they can be used as better encapsulants for LEDs, flexible high-index refraction composites for lenses or solar concentrators. “I think it can meet quite a few needs,” Monson said.Source: Sandia National Laboratories (https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/nanoparticles_production/#.U6Hq8KLlFZI)

New nanocomposite protects from corrosion at high mechanical stress

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 11, 2014 - 5:48am
Material researchers at the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials will be presenting a composite material which prevents metal corrosion in an environmentally friendly way, even under extreme conditions. It can be used wherever metals are exposed to severe weather conditions, aggressive gases, media containing salt, heavy wear or high pressures.The INM from Saarbruecken will be one of the few German research institutions at the TechConnect World trade fair on 16 and 17 June in Washington DC, USA, where it will be presenting this and other results. Working in cooperation with the VDI Association of German Engineers it will be showcasing its latest developments at Stand 301 in the German Area.“This patented composite exhibits its action by spray application”, explains Carsten Becker-Willinger, Head of the Nanomers Program Division. “The key is the structuring of this layer - the protective particles arrange themselves like roof tiles. As in a wall, several layers of particles are placed on top of each other in an offset arrangement; the result is a self-organized, highly structured barrier”, says the chemical nanotechnology expert. The protective layer is just a few micrometers thick and prevents penetration by gases and electrolytes. It provides protection against corrosion caused by aggressive aqueous solutions, including for example salt solutions such as salt spray on roads and seawater, or aqueous acids such as acid rain. The protective layer is an effective barrier, even against corrosive gases or under pressure. After thermal curing, the composite adheres to the metal substrate, is abrasion-stable and impact-resistant. As a result, it can withstand high mechanical stress. The coating passes the falling ball test with a steel hemispherical ball weighing 1.5 kg from a height of one meter without chipping or breaking and exhibits only slight deformation, which means that the new material can be used even in the presence of sand or mineral dust without wear and tear.The composite can be applied by spraying or other commonly used wet chemistry processes and cures at 150-200°C. It is suitable for steels, metal alloys and metals such as aluminum, magnesium and copper, and can be used to coat any shape of plates, pipes, gear wheels, tools or machine parts. The specially formulated mixture contains a solvent, a binder and nanoscale and platelet-like particles; it does not contain chromium VI or other heavy metals.Source: INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien

NanoBCA Interview with Nanotech Pioneer Dr. Malcolm Gillis

National Nanomanufacturing Network - June 4, 2014 - 7:57am
Dr. Malcolm Gillis, a distinguished economist, served as President of Rice University from 1993 to 2004 and has been at the forefront of international research collaboration, working with Lord David Sainsbury when he was Minister for Science, to pioneer a truly international approach between the leading research academics working in nano science in the U.S., U.K. and Europe at leading research institutions. His upcoming lecture, “Convergences in Technologies: Nano Bio and Info” on June 3, 2014, will be held at The Royal Institution of Great Britain (http://www.rigb.org/), 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS, starting at 7:00 pm. To reserve tickets, please submit request to nrai@broadgatemainland.com (mailto:nrai@broadgatemainland.com). NanoBCA Please tell us about the genesis of your upcoming lecture concerning the convergence of Nano, Bio and Info. Dr. Gillis This will be the latest in a long series of lectures I have given over the last two decades about the promise of nanotechnology. My involvement in nano at Rice during that exciting time when Dr. Richard Smalley’s team was conducting extraordinary work, and my subsequent involvement in the nano community has afforded me the ability to observe progress and trends not only in the U.S. but worldwide. During that time, I have had the good opportunity to engage with leaders in the field in Germany, Ireland, Scotland and England, among others. It’s been an enlightening and inspiring journey for me. The goal of the upcoming lecture is to educate the general public, and to start a dialogue with a broader array of stakeholders, of the extraordinary possibilities that are borne at the intersection nano, bio, and information technologies. NanoBCA How did you come to work with Lord Sainsbury and what are the specific outcomes for the U.K. and Texas nano communities? Dr. Gillis I first met Lord Sainsbury in the late 1990s on a trip to the U.K. to give a lecture at the Royal Academy in Edinburgh, after which Lord Sainsbury and I met in London to explore potential collaborations in the field of nanotechnology. I remember being struck by how extremely well prepared he was on the subject. In just thirty minutes time, we were able to agree and establish the Nano Bio Collaborative on Research which involved eight British universities and ten Texas research universities. The Collaborative launched in 2002. Lord Sainsbury provided several million pounds to the effort. The Collaborative was extremely successful and lasted for ten years. NanoBCA The 21st Century Nanotechnology R D Act was signed into law by President Bush in December of 2003. Since then, the U.S. Government has spent approximately $20 billion on nanotechnology R D. This investment was spread over 9 major U.S. agencies. What do you believe are some of the major accomplishments as they relate to nanobio? Dr. Gillis There have been so many notable achievements. Too many to cover here but let me mention a few that stand out in my mind. There was a $2.9 million grant from NIH to fund research at Rice and Baylor College of Medicine for neuro-vascular regeneration which has generated great results in that field. Another grant was provided in the amount of £6.7 million from BPSRC for research at University College London and Swansea for research in interactive medical devices. The Center of Nano Health was established in Wales with a£1.9 million grant from BPSRC. And there were another eight or so grants in the range of $30 million for funding other areas of research. You mention the signing of the 21st Century Nanotechnology R D Act in 2003. Neal Lane, who is at Rice with me, and was the former Provost at Rice and former head of the NSF was very instrumental in getting that legislation passed. That legislation set in motion four generations of evolution in nano: first, the immediate effect of moving from prior-2000 (buckeyballs and nanotubes) to 2nd generation (2000-2005) of more active nanoparticles, and 3rd and now 4th. The National Nanotechnology Initiative was absolutely instrumental. According a recent article in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, there are now some 507 nanotech firms worldwide. Two-thirds of those are small firms, which is where a lot of truly great innovation occurs. NanoBCA Often we hear a variety of different opinions about the definition of “nanotechnology.” What’s your opinion? Dr. Gillis From my perspective, the definition of nanotechnology is broad and includes many biological innovations, because most anything that goes on in a human cell is “nature’s nanotechnology.” NanoBCA One of the participating agencies of the NNI is the NIH. What are some breakthroughs we can expect from NIH in the next 5-10 years? Dr. Gillis There have been some very significant advances in therapy and diagnostics which will continue to deliver tremendous results in the years ahead. For instance, novel techniques developed at Rice and other places that allow for the use of gold nanoshells to kill cancer cells. Also, advances that allow targeted delivery of cancer drugs to a single cell. Breakthroughs in early cancer cell detection will have a profound impact. Unfortunately, due to woes in the federal budget, prospects for increased funding for NIH are not bright and will limit the possibility of breakthroughs. However, we will certainly continue to see breakthroughs in cancer treatment, biomarkers and tissue engineering. Lab-on-a-chip is also coming close to a reality. Human tissues married with nanowires create a type of cyborg tissue that might enable doctors to monitor changes in human tissue not imagined before. And, there are remarkable developments in building living tissue with 3D printing technologies. Genomics has already given us a complete parts list for humans. New advances in nano-bio-IT provide us with the extensive capability to manmake these parts. In conclusion, the big picture for future breakthroughs is that most of these advances are the product of the convergence of nano, bio and information technologies. That convergence is a powerful force for innovation. That will be the focus of my lecture in London on June 3rd. NanoBCA Dr. Gillis, thank you for your time and tremendous insight. Good luck in London! Thank you Dr. Gillis for your contributions to the nano community over the last decade.