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Director Named for National Nanotechnology Coordination Office

November 20, 2014 - 9:44am
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications.“Dr. Meador’s background and experience identifying nanotechnology applications, combined with his long involvement with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), will help us accelerate the NNI’s activities aimed at facilitating the commercialization of nanotechnology research sponsored by the Federal Government over the past decade,” said Dr. Lloyd Whitman, who has been serving as Interim NNCO Director and is now the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Meador, chair of NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap Team, was instrumental in developing the NASA-wide Nanotechnology Project, and has been responsible for project planning and advocacy, overseeing technical progress, developing external partnerships to advance and transfer technology, coordinating with other nanotechnology related activities within NASA, and interacting with program and senior agency management. He has also played a key role in representing NASA in the NNI’s interagency activities, including co-chairing its Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation Working Group. During his long career at NASA, Dr. Meador has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including over twenty years as Chief of the Polymers Branch of the Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he expanded the research portfolio of the branch from research in high-temperature stable polymers and composites for aircraft engines to include work in battery electrolytes, fuel cell membranes, and nonlinear optical and sensor materials. He also initiated the first nanotechnology program at NASA Glenn. Dr. Meador has been recognized as the NASA Glenn Small Disadvantaged Business Program Technical Advocate of the Year and NASA Small Business Program Technical Personnel of the Year. He has also received the NASA Equal Opportunity Employment Medal for his work to increase the involvement of faculty and students from minority serving institutions in NASA materials research, and last month was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for leading NASA's Nanotechnology R D activities and representing the agency as a proactive member of the NNI.Source: NNCO (http://www.nano.gov/node/1246) The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications. - See more at: http://www.nano.gov/node/1246#sthash.LAEDWssg.dpufThe National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications. “Dr. Meador’s background and experience identifying nanotechnology applications, combined with his long involvement with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), will help us accelerate the NNI’s activities aimed at facilitating the commercialization of nanotechnology research sponsored by the Federal Government over the past decade,” said Dr. Lloyd Whitman, who has been serving as Interim NNCO Director and is now the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Meador, chair of NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap Team, was instrumental in developing the NASA-wide Nanotechnology Project, and has been responsible for project planning and advocacy, overseeing technical progress, developing external partnerships to advance and transfer technology, coordinating with other nanotechnology related activities within NASA, and interacting with program and senior agency management. He has also played a key role in representing NASA in the NNI’s interagency activities, including co-chairing its Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation Working Group. During his long career at NASA, Dr. Meador has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including over twenty years as Chief of the Polymers Branch of the Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he expanded the research portfolio of the branch from research in high-temperature stable polymers and composites for aircraft engines to include work in battery electrolytes, fuel cell membranes, and nonlinear optical and sensor materials. He also initiated the first nanotechnology program at NASA Glenn. Dr. Meador has been recognized as the NASA Glenn Small Disadvantaged Business Program Technical Advocate of the Year and NASA Small Business Program Technical Personnel of the Year. He has also received the NASA Equal Opportunity Employment Medal for his work to increase the involvement of faculty and students from minority serving institutions in NASA materials research, and last month was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for leading NASA's Nanotechnology R D activities and representing the agency as a proactive member of the NNI. - See more at: http://www.nano.gov/node/1246#sthash.QpleixbX.dpufhe National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications. “Dr. Meador’s background and experience identifying nanotechnology applications, combined with his long involvement with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), will help us accelerate the NNI’s activities aimed at facilitating the commercialization of nanotechnology research sponsored by the Federal Government over the past decade,” said Dr. Lloyd Whitman, who has been serving as Interim NNCO Director and is now the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Meador, chair of NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap Team, was instrumental in developing the NASA-wide Nanotechnology Project, and has been responsible for project planning and advocacy, overseeing technical progress, developing external partnerships to advance and transfer technology, coordinating with other nanotechnology related activities within NASA, and interacting with program and senior agency management. He has also played a key role in representing NASA in the NNI’s interagency activities, including co-chairing its Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation Working Group. During his long career at NASA, Dr. Meador has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including over twenty years as Chief of the Polymers Branch of the Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he expanded the research portfolio of the branch from research in high-temperature stable polymers and composites for aircraft engines to include work in battery electrolytes, fuel cell membranes, and nonlinear optical and sensor materials. He also initiated the first nanotechnology program at NASA Glenn. Dr. Meador has been recognized as the NASA Glenn Small Disadvantaged Business Program Technical Advocate of the Year and NASA Small Business Program Technical Personnel of the Year. He has also received the NASA Equal Opportunity Employment Medal for his work to increase the involvement of faculty and students from minority serving institutions in NASA materials research, and last month was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for leading NASA's Nanotechnology R D activities and representing the agency as a proactive member of the NNI. - See more at: http://www.nano.gov/node/1246#sthash.QpleixbX.dpufhe National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications. “Dr. Meador’s background and experience identifying nanotechnology applications, combined with his long involvement with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), will help us accelerate the NNI’s activities aimed at facilitating the commercialization of nanotechnology research sponsored by the Federal Government over the past decade,” said Dr. Lloyd Whitman, who has been serving as Interim NNCO Director and is now the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Meador, chair of NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap Team, was instrumental in developing the NASA-wide Nanotechnology Project, and has been responsible for project planning and advocacy, overseeing technical progress, developing external partnerships to advance and transfer technology, coordinating with other nanotechnology related activities within NASA, and interacting with program and senior agency management. He has also played a key role in representing NASA in the NNI’s interagency activities, including co-chairing its Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation Working Group. During his long career at NASA, Dr. Meador has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including over twenty years as Chief of the Polymers Branch of the Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he expanded the research portfolio of the branch from research in high-temperature stable polymers and composites for aircraft engines to include work in battery electrolytes, fuel cell membranes, and nonlinear optical and sensor materials. He also initiated the first nanotechnology program at NASA Glenn. Dr. Meador has been recognized as the NASA Glenn Small Disadvantaged Business Program Technical Advocate of the Year and NASA Small Business Program Technical Personnel of the Year. He has also received the NASA Equal Opportunity Employment Medal for his work to increase the involvement of faculty and students from minority serving institutions in NASA materials research, and last month was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for leading NASA's Nanotechnology R D activities and representing the agency as a proactive member of the NNI. - See more at: http://www.nano.gov/node/1246#sthash.QpleixbX.dpufhe National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael A. Meador as its new Director. Dr. Meador joins NNCO on a detail from NASA, where he has been managing the Nanotechnology Project in the Game Changing Technology Program, a project involving five NASA centers, industry, and universities working to mature nanotechnologies with high potential for impact on NASA missions and to demonstrate them in selected applications. “Dr. Meador’s background and experience identifying nanotechnology applications, combined with his long involvement with the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), will help us accelerate the NNI’s activities aimed at facilitating the commercialization of nanotechnology research sponsored by the Federal Government over the past decade,” said Dr. Lloyd Whitman, who has been serving as Interim NNCO Director and is now the Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Meador, chair of NASA’s Nanotechnology Roadmap Team, was instrumental in developing the NASA-wide Nanotechnology Project, and has been responsible for project planning and advocacy, overseeing technical progress, developing external partnerships to advance and transfer technology, coordinating with other nanotechnology related activities within NASA, and interacting with program and senior agency management. He has also played a key role in representing NASA in the NNI’s interagency activities, including co-chairing its Nanomanufacturing, Industry Liaison, and Innovation Working Group. During his long career at NASA, Dr. Meador has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, including over twenty years as Chief of the Polymers Branch of the Materials Division at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he expanded the research portfolio of the branch from research in high-temperature stable polymers and composites for aircraft engines to include work in battery electrolytes, fuel cell membranes, and nonlinear optical and sensor materials. He also initiated the first nanotechnology program at NASA Glenn. Dr. Meador has been recognized as the NASA Glenn Small Disadvantaged Business Program Technical Advocate of the Year and NASA Small Business Program Technical Personnel of the Year. He has also received the NASA Equal Opportunity Employment Medal for his work to increase the involvement of faculty and students from minority serving institutions in NASA materials research, and last month was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for leading NASA's Nanotechnology R D activities and representing the agency as a proactive member of the NNI. - See more at: http://www.nano.gov/node/1246#sthash.QpleixbX.dpuf

Nanoimprint lithography for the fabrication of efficient low band gap polymer solar cells

November 13, 2014 - 7:55am
In recent years, polymer solar cells have drawn considerable research interest due to their attractive features including flexibility, semi-transparency, and manufacturability using cost-effective continuous printing processes (read more: "The state of nanoimprinted polymer organic solar cell technology (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=28622.php)"). However, one challenge limiting their commercialization is the relatively low power conversion efficiency when compared to inorganic solar cells."One of the causes for polymer solar cells' low performance is the difficulty to simultaneously realize donor-acceptor phase separation within the short exciton diffusion length (∼10 nm) and high charge mobility, especially hole mobility, which are critical for charge separation and transport," Yi Yang, a senior engineer at Globalfoundries, tells Nanowerk. "So far it has been impossible to achieve such a morphology in the most widely used bulk heterojunction structure in which randomly distributed phases cause significant charge recombination." New work, led by Walter Hu (http://www.ee.utdallas.edu/people/facultypages/Hu.html), an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, and Anvar Zakhidov (http://nanotech.utdallas.edu/personnel/staff/zakhidov.html), a professor of physics, both at UT Dallas, shows that nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is an effective technique to solve these issues simultaneously. The results, recently published in ACS Applied Materials Interfaces ("Efficient Low Bandgap Polymer Solar Cell with Ordered Heterojunction Defined by Nanoimprint Lithography" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1021/am505303a)), show that low bandgap polymer solar cells with high efficiency of 5.5% can be fabricated using NIL. "Taking into account the fact that low bandgap polymers are becoming the main stream for this type of solar cell, we believe this technique will increasingly find more applications," says Yang. In a previous study ("How nanostructure geometry affects polymer photovoltaic device efficiency (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=36631.php)"), the researchers focused on nanoimprinted P3HT solar cells. After carefully optimizing the nanostructure geometry, they achieved an efficiency of 3-4%, which is not as high as the efficiency record (over 4%) other groups have achieved with this polymer. In the new study, they extended their technique to low bandgap polymer solar cells and realized a high efficiency up to 5.5%, which is among the best efficiencies for this polymer reported in the literature. This result indicates that nanoimprint fabrication works better for low bandgap polymer solar cells. In the new work, the team demonstrates the feasibility of using nanoimprint lithography to make efficient low bandgap polymer solar cells with well-ordered heterojunction. They fabricate high-quality low bandgap conjugated polymer (PCPDTBT) nanogratings using this technique for the first time. "We found that NIL makes PCPDTBT chains interact more strongly and form an improved structural ordering," says Yang. "Solar cells made with the highest aspect ratio PCPDTBT nanostructures show a high power conversion efficiency of 5.5%. They are the most efficient nanoimprinted polymer solar cells, as well as the best reported solar cells using the same material." Nanoimprint lithography has emerged as an effective fabrication technique to precisely define the nanomorphology in polymer solar cells. Controlled chain ordering as well as a bicontinuous and interdigitized heterojunction can be achieved by imprinting conjugated polymers, where a nanoimprint induced chain alignment is present, followed by infiltrating fullerene into patterned polymer nanostructures. However, as Yang notes, most studies so far have focused on nanoimprinted P3HT/fullerene solar cells. "This material combination is not ideal due to a mismatch between the absorption of P3HT and solar spectrum, which has a maximum photon flux at 1.6-1.8 eV while P3HT has a relatively large bandgap of 1.9-2.0 eV," he explains. "A bandgap of 1.3-1.5 eV is considered to be ideal for polymer-fullerene solar cells." In recent years, many low bandgap polymers have been synthesized with record-breaking efficiencies. However, as Yang points out, it has been proven that the donor and acceptor phase separation for these polymers cannot be realized by thermal or solvent vapor annealing, which is usually carried out on P3HT/fullerene solar cells. Although additives such as 1,8-octanedithiol are added into the solution to help separate donor and acceptor domains, this separation cannot be controlled precisely. Therefore, NIL would provide an effective solution if an ordered active layer morphology could be formed by it. However, so far no results have been published that show that NIL can be applied to a wide variety of materials in the polymer solar cell field. Now, the UT Dallas team has utilized NIL to pattern the low bandgap (1.4 eV) solar cell polymer PCPDTBT. For the first time, they have used NIL to fabricate high quality nanogratings for this polymer. "After carefully optimizing the nanograting geometry, we were able to achieve a high solar cell efficiency of 5.5%," notes Yang. Furthermore, this work demonstrates that NIL is not only limited to solar cells made of the most widely studied polymer P3HT, but also can be applied to a wide variety of materials used in the fabrication of polymer solar cells – low bandgap polymers can also be patterned by this technique to make efficient devices. Despite considerable effort, the highest reported power conversion efficiencies obtained from nanoimprinted P3HT solar cells have been in the 3-4% range. These values are lower than the highest values (∼4-5%) when the same polymer is used in a bulk heterojunction structure. "This indicates that NIL works better for low bandgap polymer solar cells," says Yang. "One possible explanation is that the method of using thermal or solvent vapor annealing to control the phase separation in P3HT based bulk heterojunction solar cells is very effective, as shown by a number of studies; while that of using additives in the low bandgap polymer solar cells is not, as described in literature." "This less effective approach leaves NIL more space to demonstrate its advantage in improving the solar cell performance when compared to the bulk heterojunction structure," he concludes. "This is our preliminary thinking and more studies are required to understand these different behaviors. Also as predicted in our recent study, a larger interface area between polymer and fullerene is preferable for efficient devices. A practical way to further increase it is needed as well. Our future work will focus on these aspects." Source: Nanowerk (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=38076.php)

Call for Presentations for Int'l Conf. on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials

November 13, 2014 - 4:30am
(http://www.tappi.org/15Nano) What’s New for 2015 Two Tracks for Presentations: As the Nano Conference continues to grow, this year there will be two tracks to guide attendees in choosing sessions to attend. The Fundamental Research Track will focus on new technical advances in characterization, isolation, functionalities and other properties of renewable and sustainable nanomaterials. The Industry Applications Track will focus on manufacturing applications, new markets, and other end user issues. The conference organizers have extended the Call for Submissions (https://www.eiseverywhere.com/file_uploads/7a30b75854987d218fd0996b1a0895f6_Nano2015CallForPresentations-Extension.pdf) .Abstracts are due by 1 December 2014. New Technology and Product Showcase: Promote your new products or technologies at this special session. Sponsors and exhibitors will be given priority for available slots. See the Call for Submissions tab for more details. Research Perspectives and Business Acumen Seminar: Designed for academics, this workshop will show how researchers can gain industrial support for their projects. Led by corporate R D directors, this workshop will have limited seating. Check the website for additional details. Plan to AttendExplore a world of possibilities for opening the door to new markets by unlocking the potential of renewable biomaterials. TAPPI’s tenth International Conference on Nanotechnology for Renewable Materials is the only event that explores how nanotechnology can transform biomaterials into high-value products that expand and transcend traditional forest products portfolios. Bringing together leading researchers, industry experts, government representatives and other stakeholders from around the world, this year’s event promises a unique, multi-disciplinary look at the rewards of using nanotechnology – from the forest to marketed products. Whether your focus is new product development, academic study or supplier research, this year’s conference will provide the big picture for unlocking value from this tiny technology. Conference Co-Chairs:Sean Ireland, Verso Paper (USA)Yaman Boluk, University of Alberta (Canada)Alain Dufresne, Grenoble Institute of Technology (France)Celebrating 100 Years of TAPPI!To honor TAPPI's 100th anniversary in 2015, the 2015 Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. TAPPI headquarters are located in Peachtree Corners, a northern suburb of Atlanta.

Haydale Acquires EPL Composite Solutions Ltd to Advance Graphene Commercialization Capabilities

November 6, 2014 - 5:03am
Haydale (http://www.internano.org/index.php?option=com_internanodirectory task=vieworg id=777 Itemid=179) , the company focused on the commercialisation of graphenes and other nanomaterials, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire EPL Composite Solutions (EPL), a specialist in the design, development and commercialisation of advanced composite polymer materials both in the UK and overseas. This acquisition will maximise EPL’s access to the nano-enhanced composites market and is expected to significantly boost Haydale’s sales potential. Haydale and EPL have already collaborated on a number of projects, and the acquisition of EPL is a significant step towards monetising Haydale’s proprietary technology for incorporating graphene and other nano-enhancing fillers into composites. The introduction of nanofillers to EPL’s product range will produce the added benefits of impermeable barriers, conductivity and reduced weight with improved strength and stiffness. These benefits are set to have a great impact on the development of future composite structures, with significant potential for the aerospace and automotive industries. Haydale’s tailored functionalisation capability allows solutions to be customised on three levels – raw material, functional group and level of functionalisation – which adds a powerful addition to the features and benefits of the products EPL produce for their clients. With recent estimates from market research firm IDTechEx forecasting a market value of $80m for nano-enhanced composites by 2018, graphene functionalisation promises to generate significant revenues as nano-reinforcement is adopted by greater numbers of composites manufacturers. Over the past 22 years, EPL has worked with global companies and has developed a reputation for delivering innovative solutions for commercial applications of advanced polymer composite materials. With customers spanning the oil and gas, water and energy sectors as well as the marine and transportation markets, EPL provides an entire development cycle from applied research, product design, process development, product testing and certification, to setting up manufacturing plants. EPL also works with OEMs and end-users to develop and provide composite solutions which show demonstrable clear technical, economic and environmental benefits over existing structures currently manufactured using traditional materials such as steel, aluminium, wood or concrete. Ray Gibbs, CEO at Haydale, commented; “This acquisition is a major step towards securing sales in the global composites market. The rapidly growing composites industry is known for the early adoption of new technologies and is one of the major markets known for its willingness to embrace disruptive technology and introduce innovative new materials. The Aerospace Corporation in the USA, has already independently verified that graphene functionalised using our patented applied-for process can enable the development of lighter, stronger composite materials – the acquisition of EPL gives us direct access to this emerging, growing market. The credibility of our plasma process has been further boosted by the UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which has recently confirmed the capability of our process to add compatible chemical groups on the surface of GNPs: known as functionalisation. ” He continued; “We have acquired EPL because it provides us with an immediate route into the fast moving and dynamic composites market together with a substantial R D resource and dedicated composite and polymer expertise to boost our current in-house capability. Our solution’s capability, when added to the technical competence and credibility of EPL, is set to be a powerful force in the composites market. Our strategy is to provide solutions that enable the commercialisation of graphene in key strategic markets, and our recent collaboration with the speciality inks and coatings solutions provider, the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC), addresses one of these key strategic markets. The acquisition of EPL, together with our WCPC association, gives us entry into the two substantial industries known for the early adoption of new technologies. This offers us exciting opportunities for securing revenues and consolidating our position as a leader in the commercialisation of graphene.” Gerry Boyce, Managing Director of EPL added; “We have been working closely with Haydale since the beginning of 2014 testing their materials and have been very impressed with their technology. The composite industry is always looking for innovative technology and has long recognised the benefits of using nano materials in composites. Haydale’s proprietary technology, as verified by Aerospace Corp and NPL, opens up a range of opportunities in the composites world not previously available to EPL”. Based in Loughborough, EPL has 17 scientists and technicians providing Haydale with access to a well-regarded and recognised R D operation. Recent work conducted by Haydale in collaboration with EPL using a standard epoxy resin mixed with Haydale functionalised GNPs achieved over a 200% improvement in ultimate tensile strength, using just 2% loading of Haydale’s GNPs. Due to the brittle nature of unreinforced composites, these results could have significant implications for the development of future composite structures, demonstrating the potential in future aircraft design for weight saving and the consequent environmental benefits such as reductions in CO2 emissions. Having demonstrated these excellent results Haydale can take advantage of EPLs high profile client list, to provide high-performance composite solutions to major players in the composites industry including , National Grid, SSE, Eirgrid, Chevron, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water and 3M. Source: Haydale News Stories (http://www.haydale.com/media/news-stories/haydale-acquires-epl-composite-solutions/)

NanoInformatics 2015: Enabling successful discovery and applications

October 30, 2014 - 10:24am
The Nanoinformatics 2015 workshop (http://nanoinformatics.org/2015/overview) will bring together stakeholders in order to assess the state of informatics relevant to the all aspects of the nanotechnology enterprise and to set priority targets for the future formation of a community of practice rather than an aggregation of individual research interests. From materials to processes to products; accessible data, information, models, and simulations will enable innovators to optimize performance and accelerate the innovation cycle from concept to product. Scientists and engineers will be able to efficiently assess the safety of new nanomaterials and quantitatively implement best practices of safe manufacturing and usage of nanomaterials throughout product lifecycles. Scientists will share predictive models and data that enable the design and discovery of nanomaterials and the resulting performance of systems that use them. This years event being sponsored by the NNN will be held January 26-28, 2015 (http://www.internano.org/component/option,com_jcalpro/Itemid,100/extmode,view/extid,1731/) at the Holiday Inn National Airport Hotel in Arlington, VA (http://www.hinationalairport.com/) . The workshop will additionally include a pre-workshop half-day tutorial on Nanoinformatics. Nanoinformatics encompasses aspects of data collection, tools, and sharing, along with associated applications that are becoming a key element of nanotechnology research, nanotechnology environmental health and safety (nanoEHS), product development and sustainable manufacturing. The organization of nanomaterial data into interoperable databases will provide the necessary tools/platforms for companies to quantify liability threats; comply with regulations; minimize materials usage, energy consumption, and overall cost; while ensuring safety to people and the environment. Nanoinformatics will enable the digital thread throughout the value chain and accelerate innovations through expanded resources and capabilities. Building upon the growing base of manufacturing resources and intellectual infrastructure, Nanoinformatics 2015 will provide overviews on present database development projects, tools, and resources currently being leveraged; discuss gaps and challenges with establishing an open access informatics infrastructure; facilitate synergistic discussions of emerging applications; and provide ample opportunities for collaboration amongst the community stakeholders. Nanoinformatics 2015 will review the state of the art in methods for collecting, archiving, modeling, visualizing, and sharing data and identify opportunities and gaps for expanding the roadmap for nanoinformatics. Workshop topics will include: Process modeling and control Materials supply chain Life cycle inventory data System scale-up methodology NanoEHS data and models Data workflow processes Nanomaterials properties data Data mining tools and opportunities Database design and accessibility Design for manufacturability Minimal data sets Interlaboratory studies Materials modeling and characterization Uncertainty quantification Sharing practices and incentives

Targeted Grand Challenges: A Turning Point for the National Nanotechnology Initiative

October 30, 2014 - 10:12am
The conclusions and recommendations by the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science Technology (PCAST) in the fifth assessment (http://eprints.internano.org/2223/) of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) (http://www.nano.gov/) has determined that a turning point has been reached. In a future vision wherein the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale enables a revolution in technology providing significant societal and economic benefit, the Federal Government must transition its activities toward facilitating commercialization. As such, PCAST recommends a strategy of targeting specific nanotechnology Grand Challenges though a framework partnership between the public and private sector that would effectively drive scientific advances to revolutionary commercialized products. Capturing excerpts of the strongly focused language in the report; …the primary conclusion of the 2014 PCAST review is that the U.S. will only be able to claim the rewards that come from investing in nanotechnology research and sustaining an overarching Federal initiative if the Federal interagency process, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the agencies themselves transition their nanotechnology programmatic efforts beyond supporting and reporting on basic and applied research and toward building program, coordination, and leadership frameworks for translating the technologies into commercial products. These observations and recommendations are highly welcomed throughout the nanomanufacturing community as stakeholders seek to develop new approaches and models to transition the gap for translating the discoveries of S T investments to commercially viable nano-enabled products to realize the NNI’s vision. Grand Challenges target specific technical goals while incorporating the active management needed to accomplish them, such an approach can provide the necessary framework for commercialization opportunities to mature. The report cited example Grand Challenges for nanotechnology including nano-enabled desalination of seawater to solve the emerging water crisis, reducing global greenhouse emissions with nano-enabled solid-state refrigeration, creating a forefront of manufacturing through nano-3D printing, and developing a nanoscale therapeutic for at least one major cancer. The PCAST emphasized their belief that the recommendation contained in the 2014 review, in particular the enhanced focus on the transition to commercialization, the implementation of the Grand Challenges framework, and more aggressive leadership, were essential for a successful NNI 2.0 for the coming decade. In further support of the nanomanufacturing community, the PCAST report recommended at least one Grand Challenge should contain program elements aimed at manufacturing challenges specific to that focus area. In particular, the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee should work with the Federal agencies to define potential Manufacturing Innovation Institutes dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) program. As the challenges in manufacturing are likely to impede commercializing advanced nanomaterials, nanomedicine, and other nanotechnologies unless the Federal Government addresses the valley of death, which involves the need for nanofabrication facilities to create high volumes of nanotechnology product. Citing the lack of progress against the recommendations from the 2012 assessment (http://eprints.internano.org/1838/) , the 2014 provides directed recommendations towards achieving the NNI’s vision, including creating and executing a process to engage research, development, and industrial stakeholders in the identification and selection of Grand Challenges on an ongoing basis. Additional recommendations in the report targeted alleviating key constraints on nanotechnology commercialization with particular on enhancement of the nanotechnology ecosystem. One primary constraint, which the NNN has supported for some time, is Investment in nanofabrication facilities. As the commercialization of nanotechnology innovations depends heavily on the successful development of nanofabrication and nanomanufacturing procedures, few nanomanufacturing user facilities are accessible for developing production procedures, scaling up volumes of nanomaterial for research, or generating commercial supply. The lack of such an ecosystem in the absence of these facilities requires start‐ups to assume significant up‐front financial risk in developing in‐house facilities to support company operations. A versatile network of facilities employing both established and emerging nanomanufacturing tools and expertise would accelerate the innovation pipeline for translational nanotechnology R D. The second key constraint cited was the need for Comprehensive nanotechnology EHS standards, which additionally would provide clear protocols with respect to risk assessment and regulatory landscape for nano-enabled product development. Along with the key constraints cited above, the report discussed several general constraints to nanotechnology commercialization including: The need to train first-time academic entrepreneurs in moving a technical innovation out of the research laboratory into a small company; Communication among stakeholders-Successful academic investigators understand the technical landscape and the potential value of their work, but they may not know how their innovations might address strategic gaps at a large technology company or could be translated into a commercial success. A company R D director, conversely, might know little about a high-value technology being developed in an academic laboratory. Additional venues are needed to bring together academic entrepreneurs, VCs, industry, relevant Government agencies, and other stakeholders; Venture capital for new entrepreneurs Peer review of high-risk, high-return ideas In support of NNI activities addressing these constraints, the PCAST report cited the efforts of the National Nanomanufacturing Network, emphasizing the NSF funding of the four Nano Science and Engineering Research Centers (NSECs) that focus on nanomanufacturing (two centers will retire in 2014 and the other two will retire in 2015 and 2016), which with our National Lab partners at NIST and DOE, along with other affiliates and stakeholders, share information, organize annual nanomanufacturing conferences and workshops, and establish a cross cutting community of practice.

Graphene Frontiers Secures Patent for Commercial-Scale Material Production

October 28, 2014 - 7:42am
Graphene Frontiers LLC (http://www.internano.org/index.php?option=com_internanodirectory task=vieworg id=776 Itemid=179), a prominent developer of graphene materials and device technology, announces the issuance of a key industry patent. U.S. Patent 8,822,308, titled “Methods and Apparatus for Transfer of Films among Substrates,” covers the transfer of graphene films between surfaces using roll-to-roll manufacturing processes. “We were aggressively pursuing this patent and securing it is a testament to the hard work and resiliency of the entire team,” Graphene Frontiers’ CEO Mike Patterson said.This was the final hurdle in creating a cost-effective production process for graphene. With Graphene Frontiers’ etch-free transfer solution, manufacturers now have the option of not dissolving or consuming the substrate metal. The approach is also compatible with other materials, and is particularly useful for nanomaterials, which are often difficult to develop.“Graphene is a remarkable material, but it is only a building block,” Chief Science Officer Bruce Willner said. “The ability to handle graphene and place it among other materials – where and how we want – is critical to taking advantage of this technology.” Recently, the company entered into an agreement to ramp-up production with The Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany NY. It’s an alliance that will increase the amount of employees working at the company, as well as form relationships with potential buyers. About Graphene Frontiers Graphene Frontiers is a leading nanotechnology materials and device company based in Philadelphia. Graphene Frontiers has developed innovative and exclusive manufacturing processes that makes it economically viable for companies to begin using graphene, the revolutionary nanomaterial with potential for disrupting numerous industries with its unique sensitivity and mechanical properties. Graphene Frontiers is building on its core strengths in graphene growth, transfer, device fabrication, and functionalization by developing specific products and solutions for industry. Graphene Frontiers’ flagship product is the Six™ Sensor platform, which offers distinct performance advantages in medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring and scalable, low-cost production. The company will capture value by licensing, spinning out, and selling application specific technologies. For more information, please visit graphenefrontiers.com (http://www.internano.org/graphenefrontiers.com) .Source: Graphene Frontiers

New nanodevice to improve cancer treatment monitoring

October 28, 2014 - 7:28am
In less than a minute, a miniature device developed at the University of Montreal can measure a patient's blood for methotrexate, a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug. Just as accurate and ten times less expensive than equipment currently used in hospitals, this nanoscale device has an optical system that can rapidly gauge the optimal dose of methotrexate a patient needs, while minimizing the drug's adverse effects. The research was led by Jean-François Masson and Joelle Pelletier of the university's Department of Chemistry.

Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium Selects Project Proposed by Arizona Center for Integrative ...

October 23, 2014 - 6:48am
The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC), an industry-academia partnership with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has chosen a project proposed by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, to receive research funding. The AzCIM project’s goal is to assess different sweat collection methods and devices for their ability to collect different volumes of sweat under a variety of human-body conditions, the results of which will help determine the best method for integrating into a wearable sensor system. Funding for the one year program will total $200,000. As part of the project, at least one analytical method, including offline immunoassay or mass spectrometry-based, will be developed to determine the levels of each of several AFRL-preferred biomarkers in sweat samples collected from multiple skin regions. Two molecules, one small and one large protein, will be selected for analysis from the following biomarkers: Orexin-A (impacts arousal and alertness); Neuropeptide Y (associated functions include stress reduction and lowering pain perception); Interleukin 6 (stimulates immune response); cortisol (released in response to stress); and Oxytocin (associated with various reproductive and bonding functions). Because the biomarker levels may be low and thus more difficult to detect by some analytical techniques, different methods for sweat concentration and purification will also be assessed. The various sweat collection methods will then be assessed for the desired volume, under a variety of conditions, including whole-body hyperthermia. Esther Sternberg, M.D., project technical lead and AzCIM director of research, noted, “Participating in this program is a natural extension of AzCIM’s research focus on mind-body science. Brain-immune connections are critical in decision-making and alertness, which can be greatly compromised by stress and fatigue, particularly for military personnel and others in high-pressure situations. Trauma related immune activation can also directly compromise performance and brain function. Devising a way to accurately detect these parameters in real time before problems set in, is essential to helping ensure physical and mental wellness for these individuals.” In addition to Dr. Sternberg, the AzCIM project team includes Min Jia, Ph.D., AzCIM research assistant professor, as alternate technical representative. The AFRL program manager for the project is Laura Rea. “Reproducibly collecting and analyzing sweat in a range of conditions and scenarios is a central challenge of enabling human performance monitoring,” said Dr. Benjamin Leever, AFRL Lead for Additive Manufacturing of Functional Materials. “This capability could significantly impact a large variety of Air Force missions.” “AzCIM and Dr. Sternberg possess a sterling reputation for successful collaboration on initiatives that investigate the relationship between wellness and one’s environment,” said NBMC CEO Malcolm Thompson. “Ensuring that we are looking at the right biomarkers and collecting samples in the most optimal manner provides a crucial foundation for helping achieve NBMC’s objective to develop a technology platform for a lightweight, low-cost, wearable biosensor patch.” About NBMC The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC) was formed by the FlexTech Alliance, in collaboration with a nationwide group of partners, for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The mission of the partnership is to bring together leading scientists, engineers, and business development professionals from industry and universities in order to work collaboratively in a consortium, and to mature an integrated suite of nano-bio manufacturing technologies to transition to industrial manufacturing. Initial activities focus on AFRL/ DoD priorities, e.g., physiological readiness and human performance monitoring. Specifically, NBMC matures nano-bio manufacturing technologies to create an integrated suite of reconfigurable and digitized fabrication methods that are compatible with biological and nanoparticle materials and to transition thin film, mechanically compliant device concepts through a foundry-like manufacturing flow. The long-term vision is that NBMC operates at the confluence of four core emerging disciplines: nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced (additive) manufacturing, and flexible electronics. The convergence of these disparate fields enables advanced sensor architectures for real-time, remote physiological and health/medical monitoring. CONTACT: Lisa Gillette-Martin, MCA Public Relations, Phone: 650-968-8900, ext. 115, Email: lgmartin@mcapr.comSource: Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (http://www.nbmc.org/nano-bio-manufacturing-consortium-selects-project-proposed-by-arizona-center-for-integrative-medicine-to-optimize-human-performance-monitoring-techniques/)

Nanoenhanced 'smart' lithium-ion battery warns of potential fire hazard

October 15, 2014 - 3:47am
Stanford University scientists have developed a "smart" lithium-ion battery that gives ample warning before it overheats and bursts into flames. The new technology is designed for conventional lithium-ion batteries now used in billions of cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices, as well as a growing number of cars and airplanes. "Our goal is to create an early-warning system that saves lives and property," said Yi Cui (http://web.stanford.edu/group/cui_group/), an associate professor of materials science and engineering. "The system can detect problems that occur during the normal operation of a battery, but it does not apply to batteries damaged in a collision or other accident." Cui and his colleagues describe the new technology in a study published in the Oct. 13 issue of the journal Nature Communications (http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/NCOMMS6193). Lowering the odds A series of well-publicized incidents in recent years has raised concern over the safety of lithium-ion batteries. In 2013, the Boeing aircraft company temporarily grounded its new 787 Dreamliner (http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/boeing_787/boeing_787.html) fleet after battery packs in two airplanes caught fire. The cause of the fires has yet to be determined. In 2006, Sony Corp. recalled millions of lithium-ion batteries after reports of more than a dozen consumer-laptop fires. The company said that during the manufacturing process, tiny metal impurities had gotten inside the batteries, causing them to short-circuit. "The likelihood of a bad thing like that happening is maybe one in a million," Cui said. "That's still a big problem, considering that hundreds of millions of computers and cellphones are sold each year. We want to lower the odds of a battery fire to one in a billion or even to zero." A typical lithium-ion battery consists of two tightly packed electrodes – a carbon anode and a lithium metal-oxide cathode – with an ultrathin polymer separator in between. The separator keeps the electrodes apart. If it's damaged, the battery could short-circuit and ignite the flammable electrolyte solution that shuttles lithium ions back and forth. "The separator is made of the same material used in plastic bottles," said graduate student Denys Zhuo, co-lead author of the study. "It's porous so that lithium ions can flow between the electrodes as the battery charges and discharges." Manufacturing defects, such as particles of metal and dust, can pierce the separator and trigger shorting, as Sony discovered in 2006. Shorting can also occur if the battery is charged too fast or when the temperature is too low – a phenomenon known as overcharge. "Overcharging causes lithium ions to get stuck on the anode and pile up, forming chains of lithium metal called dendrites," Cui explained. "The dendrites can penetrate the porous separator and eventually make contact with the cathode, causing the battery to short." Smart separator "In the last couple of years we've been thinking about building a smart separator that can detect shorting before the dendrites reach the cathode," said Cui, a member of the photon science faculty at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (https://www6.slac.stanford.edu/) at Stanford. To address the problem, Cui and his colleagues applied a nanolayer of copper onto one side of a polymer separator, creating a novel third electrode halfway between the anode and the cathode. "The copper layer acts like a sensor that allows you to measure the voltage difference between the anode and the separator," Zhuo said. "When the dendrites grow long enough to reach the copper coating, the voltage drops to zero. That lets you know that the dendrites have grown halfway across the battery. It's a warning that the battery should be removed before the dendrites reach the cathode and cause a short circuit." The buildup of dendrites is most likely to occur during charging, not during the discharge phase when the battery is being used. "You might get a message on your phone telling you that the voltage has dropped to zero, so the battery needs to be replaced," Zhuo said. "That would give you plenty of lead time. But when you see smoke or a fire, you have to shut down immediately. You might not have time to escape. If you wanted to err on the side of being safer, you could put the copper layer closer to the anode. That would let you know even sooner when a battery is likely to fail." Locating defects In addition to observing a drop in voltage, co-lead author Hui Wu was able to pinpoint where the dendrites had punctured the copper conductor simply by measuring the electrical resistance between the separator and the cathode. He confirmed the location of the tiny puncture holes by actually watching the dendrites grow under a microscope. "The copper coating on the polymer separator is only 50 nanometers thick, about 500 times thinner than the separator itself," said Wu, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cui group. "The coated separator is quite flexible and porous, like a conventional polymer separator, so it has negligible effect on the flow of lithium ions between the cathode and the anode. Adding this thin conducting layer doesn't change the battery's performance, but it can make a huge difference as far as safety." Most lithium-ion batteries are used in small electronic devices. "But as the electric vehicle market expands and we start to replace on-board electronics on airplanes, this will become a much larger problem," Zhuo said. "The bigger the battery pack, the more important this becomes," Cui added. "Some electric cars today are equipped with thousands of lithium-ion battery cells. If one battery explodes, the whole pack can potentially explode." The early-warning technology can also be used in zinc, aluminum and other metal batteries. "It will work in any battery that would require you to detect a short before it explodes," Cui said. Stanford graduate student Desheng Kong also co-authored the study. Support was provided by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Source: Stanford University (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/october/smart-battery-cui-101314.html)

Nanotechnology process makes heat-resistant dyes

October 9, 2014 - 4:34am
You may have heard about the hazards posed by pranksters who shine laser pointers at airplanes during takeoff or landing. One way to keep those beams of concentrated light from blinding pilots is to incorporate a special dye in the cockpit windows, one that blocks the wavelengths of laser light while letting other wavelengths through. Optical dyes can be used to control color and light in applications ranging from laser welding to production of sunglasses and plasma TVs. The dyes used for this purpose are often expensive; others are cheap but apt to decompose when exposed to heat. A better set of options — optical dyes that are both economical and stable — is about to hit the market, thanks to researchers at Binghamton University. Wayne Jones, professor of chemistry and chair of Binghamton’s chemistry department, received a $50,000 investment from SUNY’s Technology Accelerator Fund (TAF) for a new process to bind organic dyes to metal oxides. The investment will help Jones and his lab further develop the process and scale up for commercial production. Jones made the discovery in collaboration with Bill Bernier, a research professor in the chemistry department, and graduate student Kenneth Skorenko. The organic dyes that form the focus of their research are small organic molecules. “In the presence of high temperature, they tend to react with oxygen and water in the atmosphere,” Jones says. The reaction causes the dyes to break down. That makes them a poor choice to use, for example, in plastics that are melted for extrusion or molding. The new process runs an electric current through a metal electrode to create charged nanoparticles of metal oxide, which bind to molecules of the dye. The bound molecular composite is stable at temperatures higher than needed in most industrial applications. Jones and his collaborators have used a prototype of this process to make polymer pellets infused with a light-controlling dye. “We hope the TAF investment is going to allow us to take this to full-scale manufacturing,” he says. Jones’ lab has patented the binding process. To commercialize the invention, the researchers formed a small company, ChromaNanoTech, with Bernier as chief executive officer and Skorenko as chief technology officer. The company will operate in Binghamton University’s business incubator. One potential customer has already sent ChromaNanoTech a purchase order for a large quantity of dye, Jones says. But there’s a catch. “The purchase order doesn’t become effective until we can produce a kilogram a week,” he says. “In a research lab like mine, typically we’re delighted if we produce one gram a week. So we have to scale up a thousand fold.” The TAF investment will help the company do just that, allowing the startup to buy new equipment and hire Skorenko, who will work on technologies to make the process run faster. Jones and his team also plan to develop and commercialize additional processes for stabilizing dyes. ChromaNanoTech has formed a partnership with a dye manufacturer that has hundreds of dyes in its portfolio, none of them currently suitable for applications involving high temperature plastics. “We can potentially convert all of them,” Jones says, “and have a wide series of these dyes.”Source: Binghampton University (http://discovere.binghamton.edu/news/dye-5865.html)

$18-million NSF investment aims to take flat materials to new heights

October 1, 2014 - 8:34am
2-D alternatives to graphene may enable exciting advances in electronics, photonics, sensors and other applications. Graphene, a form of carbon in which a single layer of atoms forms a two-dimensional, honeycomb crystal lattice, conducts electricity and heat efficiently and interacts with light in unusual ways. These properties have led to worldwide efforts in exploring its use in electronics, photonics and many other applications.

Nanomanufacturing Goals for the National Nanotechnology Initiative: Breaking Down the NNI ...

September 25, 2014 - 11:06am
As we review the various reports that have been made available to the public over the past few years regarding the federal investment in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (http://nano.gov) (NNI), we continue to observe key language that supports the nanomanufacturing community broadly. An example is the Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), which in their 2012 Assessment of the NNI (http://eprints.internano.org/1838/) cited the need for increased investment for nanomanufacturing and commercialization related activities. More recently, the 2014 NNI Strategic Plan (http://eprints.internano.org/1921/) provides a roadmap for key steps to support and foster these activities. Excerpts from this report describe the key goals relevant to nanomanufacturing as follows;

New oxide nanoparticle extreme-UV photoresists achieve high sensitivity

September 25, 2014 - 4:04am
High-performance photoresists made from metal oxide nanoparticles offer high-sensitivity lithography at extreme-UV wavelengths by using a new ligand-based patterning mechanism.

Startup scales up graphene production, develops biosensors and supercapacitors

September 24, 2014 - 4:29am
An official of a materials technology and manufacturing startup based on a Purdue University innovation says his company is addressing the challenge of scaling graphene production for commercial applications. Glenn Johnson, CEO of BlueVine Graphene Industries Inc. (http://www.bluevinegraphene.com/), said many of the methodologies being utilized to produce graphene today are not easily scalable and require numerous post-processing steps to use it in functional applications. He said the company's product development team has developed a way to scale the production of graphene to meet commercial volumes and many different applications. "Our graphene electrodes are created using a roll-to-roll chemical vapor deposition process, and then they are combined with other materials utilizing a different roll-to-roll process," he said. "We can give the same foundational graphene electrodes entirely different properties, utilizing standard or custom materials that we are developing for our own commercial products. In essence what we've done is developed scalable graphene electrodes that are foundational pieces and can be easily customized to unique customer applications." Timothy Fisher, founder and Chief Technology Officer of BlueVine Graphene Industries, developed the technology. He also is the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. The patented technology has been exclusively licensed to BlueVine Graphene Industries through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. "We're moving up to roll-to-roll, large-scale manufacturing capabilities. These roll-to-roll systems allow us to increase output by a thousand-fold over the original research-scale processes," Fisher said. "These state-of-the-art systems allow us to leverage the game-changing properties of graphene and, in particular, our graphene petal technology, called Folium™, at production scales that provide tremendous pricing advantages." BlueVine Graphene Industries already is developing and testing two commercial applications for its Folium technology: biosensors and supercapacitors. Johnson said the company's first-generation glucose monitoring technology could impact the use of traditional testing systems like lancets, which are made with gold and other precious metals. The second-generation technology could allow people to use non-invasive methods to test their glucose levels through saliva, tears or urine. "Patient non-compliance with doctor-recommended glucose testing frequency can be a problem. By making lancets more affordable and potentially non-invasive, we are addressing a critical global need," he said. "More frequent tests could lead to better control of the disease, which could lead to an associated reduction in health risks." Supercapacitors are BlueVine Graphene Industries' second application under development for its Folium graphene. Johnson said the company's graphene supercapacitors are reaching the energy density of lithium-ion batteries without a similar energy fade over time. "Our graphene-based supercapacitors charge in just a fraction of the time needed to charge lithium-ion batteries. There are many consumer, industrial and military applications," he said. "Wouldn't it be great if mobile phones could be fully recharged in only a matter of minutes, and if they kept working like new, year after year?" Johnson said the company will refine its production and quality assurance processes to produce commercial volumes of the Folium graphene. "We also are focused on working with potential customers to continue to develop baseline products for both our biosensor and supercapacitor applications," he said. BlueVine Graphene Industries is one of more than 20 startups based on Purdue intellectual property that were launched in the 2014 fiscal year. For information about leadership positions, investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit http://www.purduefoundry.com (http://www.purduefoundry.com ) Source: Purdue University (http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2014/Q3/purdue-based-startup-scales-up-graphene-production,-develops-biosensors-and-supercapacitors.html)

EPA Requests Comments on Nanomaterials Manufacturing and Formulating for Effluent Guidelines ...

September 24, 2014 - 4:19am
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the combined Final 2012 and Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plans (http://eprints.internano.org/cgi/users/home?screen=EPrint::View eprintid=2215). EPA requests comments (http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/304m/index.cfm) on its Preliminary 2014 Plan, including the data and information used to support the findings, actions, and conclusions as stated in the Preliminary 2014 Plan. EPA seeks public comment and stakeholder input, data, and information on several topics, including nanomaterials manufacturing and formulating. The notice states: EPA is collecting data and information on the potential industrial wastewater discharge hazards associated with nanomaterials manufacturing and formulating. EPA requests public comment and stakeholder input relating to any information or data available on the wastewater hazards and discharges associated with the manufacture of nanomaterials and their use in manufacturing or formulating products, as well as any other information believed to be relevant. Comments are due November 17, 2014.Source: EPA (http://water.epa.gov/scitech/wastetech/guide/304m/index.cfm)

New process allows fully additive roll-to-roll printing of flexible electrochromic devices

September 17, 2014 - 5:26am
Electrochromic materials exhibit reversible optical change in the visible region when they are subjected to an electric charge. These switchable materials can be used for 'smart' windows in buildings, cars and airplanes as well as in information displays and eye wear. An electrochromic device is one of the most attractive candidates for paper-like displays, so called electronic paper, which will be the next generation display, owing to attributes such as thin and flexible materials, low-power consumption, and fast switching times. Electrochromic devices (ECDs) generally consist of a structure where certain material layers, among them an electrolyte, are sandwiched together. A major limitation until now has been the necessity to use the very expensive indium tin oxide (ITO) as transparent electrodes. ITO's brittleness makes it unsuitable for flexible device applications and its fabrication process – vacuum-coating, high-temperature annealing – is incompatible with plastic-based substrates. "ECD structure and manufacturing is to a wide extent challenged by the electrolyte component," Frederik C. Krebs (http://www.dtu.dk/english/Service/Phonebook/Person?id=3454), a professor and head of section of Energy Conversion and Storage at the Technical University of Denmark, tells Nanowerk. "As it remains common practice to employ a semisolid adhesive gel electrolyte, fabrication of devices is limited to separately coating of the two electrodes before finalizing the device in a lamination step; a technical challenge in a simple roll-to-roll (R2R) process and an impossibility in advanced R2R processes with 2D registration requirements." In new work, reported in the September 5, 2014 online edition of Advanced Materials ("From the Bottom Up – Flexible Solid State Electrochromic Devices" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1002/adma.201402771)), Krebs and first author Dr. Jacob Jensen describe solid state electrochromic devices, manufactured by sequentially stacking layers in one direction using flexographic printing and slot-die coating methods. The novelty of this bottom-up printing process for electrochromic device fabrication is the use of printed grid structures in combination with printable electrolytes that can be crosslinked in such a way that many layers can be printed on top of each other. Whereas previous processes have employed the lamination of two separately prepared films, this new method provides the ability to constitute multilayer structures with functionality through printing layers consecutively on top of each other. "We show how – using a specially developed 'curing chamber' mounted on a mini roll coater – solid state electrochromic devices can be manufactured continuously in one direction, i.e., from the bottom and up, using slot-die coating and flexographic printing," says Krebs. "This technique eliminates the need for a lamination step and enables fully additive roll-to-roll processes." This considerably simplified process constitutes an important step towards R2R manufacturing of ECDs without having to employ brittle materials such as ITO. This new paper extends the team's previous reports on ECD manufacture such as "Fast Switching ITO Free Electrochromic Devices" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1002/adfm.201302320) in Advanced Functional Materials and "Manufacture and Demonstration of Organic Photovoltaic-Powered Electrochromic Displays Using Roll Coating Methods and Printable Electrolytes" (http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1002/polb.23038) in the Journal of Polymer Science. The ability to cheaply mass-produce ECDs will find applications ranging from light management and shading to large area/low cost displays such as billboards. Basically, it is a simple way of printing thin, very low cost and low power consumption display devices. The compromises that need to be made with this process are slow switching speed and relatively poor contrast. Both can be improved, notes Krebs, but since these devices rely on a chemical reaction taking place when changing color there are limits to the switching speed that can be reached. Krebs points out that the current version of his team's ITO- and vacuum-free grid electrodes still require further optimization to achieve the same optical transmission as the brittle ITO. Source: Nanowerk (http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=37388.php)

Nanoscale Offset Printing System (NanoOPS) Offers Potentially Transformative Nanomanufacturing ...

September 10, 2014 - 9:53am
The Northeastern University’s NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN) has developed a fully-automated system that uses offset-type printing technologies at the nanoscale to make products that fully take advantage of the superior properties of nanomaterials. In minutes, the system can print metals, organic and inorganic materials, polymers, and nanoscale structures and circuits (down to 25 nanometers) onto flexible or inflexible substrates. The Nanoscale Offset Printing System (NanoOPS) is a new system that has the potential to transform nanomanufacturing and spur innovation. Because of its relative simplicity, NanoOPS is expected to eliminate some of the high cost entry barriers to the fabrication of nanoscale devices for electronics, energy, medical, and functional materials applications. Current nanofabrication facilities cost billions of dollars to build, and their operation requires massive quantities of water and power. NanoOPS could operate at a fraction of the cost, making nanomanufacturing accessible to innovators and entrepreneurs, and creating the potential for a wave of creativity, perhaps similar to what the PC did for computing and what the 3D printer is doing for design. In addition to reducing manufacturing costs, NanoOPS will go beyond current fabrication capabilities by enabling the commercialization of products enabled by the properties of nanoscale materials, such as nanotubes, that have been demonstrated in laboratory settings. This will enable critical manufacturing in areas such as new and more affordable medicines; stronger, lighter building materials; or faster, cheaper electronics. NanoOPS was designed jointly by the CHN team and Milara, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of specialized equipment for the semiconductor industry, and subsequently built by Milara. This enables industry and innovators access to unique, emerging nanoscale process tools transitioning directly from a NSF NSEC. This exciting development provides a prime example of the new emphasis on science and technology investments by the federal government effectively transitioning to impact the commercial sector. The CHN will be hosting a NanoOPS Demonstration to be held on September 17, 2014 at Northeastern University’s Burlington, MA campus. Please contact Eric Howard, eric.howard@neu.edu (mailto:eric.howard@neu.edu) or check out http://nano.server281.com/nanoops-day/ (http://nano.server281.com/nanoops-day/) for more details or to RSVP to this event.

NanoBCA Interview with Allen Gelwick, Executive VP, Lockton Companies

September 3, 2014 - 5:46am
The NanoBCA conducted an interview on August 27, 2014 with Allen Gelwick, Executive VP of Lockton Companies. Mr. Gelwick is one of America’s leading insurance experts and has been an active participant in the nano community for over a decade. NanoBCA: Historically, how has the insurance sector dealt with nanotechnology? Mr. Gelwick: The insurance industry thus far has essentially dealt with nanotechnology by taking a “wait and see” approach. This is not unusual as the nature of insurance is to look retrospectively at events to determine how to set policies and rates. The challenge here is that nanotechnology is an emerging technology with little or no history. Thus, insurers cannot use the past to accurately predict future events. A basic tenant of the insurance sector is to rely on accurate predictive capabilities, which simply do yet not exist for nanotechnology. NanoBCA: Are there any steps that the insurance sector can take while waiting for data? Mr. Gelwick: Without the benefit of adequate historical data, the insurance sector has done its best to try to develop an understanding of risks associated with nanotechnology. To that end, risk control experts and actuaries from the major insurance carriers have engaged in nanotech specific conferences and meetings for over a decade with the intention to better understand risks associated with this emerging technology. They have also looked to government agencies for guidance. NanoBCA: Why can’t an insurer just make an educated guess and then revise rates as the data become available? Mr. Gelwick: Actuarial science is the discipline used by insurance companies to establish pricing. It’s a data driven discipline that does not lend itself to the flexibility you suggest. However, there are some actuaries who believe that emerging risk can and should be quantified. This creates somewhat of double-edge sword for insurers which could result in increases in reserves by the insurer, adversely impacting the insurers ability to remain competitive, in order to cover the risk. NanoBCA: If my nanotech company today has a standard policy, am I not already covered to some extent regarding risks arising from nanotechnology? Mr. Gelwick: There has been growing discussion in the insurance sector regarding the potential coverage implications due to specific existing coverages such as Products Liability, Workers Compensation, Health, Professional liability and Environmental liability. While there is not a specific “nanotechnology” exclusion written into the policy, Products, Liabilities, and Professional Liability (D O, Medical Malpractice, EPO, etc) should raise a serious concern to the insurers as well as the company and their investors. Health coverages are likely to assume a majority of the emerging health risks. The good news is our health plans and workers compensation policies should continue to respond. Some of the insurance industry articles have discussed products recall as an exposure, but this exposure is not generally covered by insurance and instead remains a specialty coverage. Perhaps most surprising is that neither health insurers nor state-funded Workers Compensation carriers have become vocal yet on the implications of this emerging technology. Those two will likely have the greatest share of liability. NanoBCA: Risks that are akin to those contemplated with a nanomaterial have been around for a long time, say for instance in the chemicals sector. Are there not established mechanisms in the insurance sector to deal with such risks? Mr. Gelwick: This is a good segue into why coverage should be reviewed. Unlike most professional liability and environmental policies that generally incorporate a "claims-made" coverage trigger, most U.S. products liability policies currently use an "occurrence" coverage trigger.We are now getting into some nuances that I am happy to discuss with anyone who is interested to dig deeper on this topic. Suffice it to say that there are significant pricing and potential liability dollar amounts that result from the type of coverage trigger. I will be covering this topic in more detail in some upcoming publications. NanoBCA: One last question on this topic: you mentioned “U.S.” policies; are European policies different? Mr. Gelwick: To some extent, yes. “Claims-made” coverage for products and completed operations is common in Europe, but not in the U.S. NanoBCA: What, if anything, is being reported in the insurance sector literature on the topic of nanotechnology? Mr. Gelwick: Articles on the topic of nanotechnology risk generally convey that a steep learning curve is underway and that the regulatory framework, which will govern nanotechnology, is still a work in progress. There are excellent high level and introductory articles offering views on this promising technology that, to date, come mostly from global insurers such as Allianz, ACE, Chubb, Gen Re, Lloyds, Swiss Re, and Zurich etc. However, very few of these publications have yet to discuss potential coverage issues. NanoBCA: Does a nano-specific policy exist yet in the marketplace? Mr. Gelwick: AIG's licensed non-admitted carrier, Lexington Insurance, is the first carrier to offer a nano-specific coverage, known as “LexNano Shield.” Another surplus lines carrier (a licensed non-admitted carrier in the U.S. - meaning they operate outside of any state guarantee funds and are essentially unregulated as it relates to coverage), James River, is also willing to underwrite and cover some nanotechnology related risks. Aspen currently incorporates nanotechnology questions that if addressed can affirm coverage. And finally, Zurich developed its “ZNEPtm” protocol to underwrite nanotechnology exposures. NanoBCA: Sounds like progress is being made to address some of the concerns you mentioned above? Mr. Gelwick: Yes, but as an aside, Lexington continues to advise companies in the nano space save the $5,000 or more per year by rolling the dice that there are no nano specific coverage exclusions (and perceive that retaining “Occurrence” coverage will protect them.) This is a bet, that if wrong, could impair an exit strategy or otherwise adversely impact your investors. No doubt that entrepreneurs will take risks. And, when it works out, we tend to romanticize this behavior. When it does not work out, however, investors and the public are at risk. A difference between Europe and the U.S. is that regulations are already being implemented in Europe and the public demands that risks are assessed before products are introduced to the marketplace. Regulations in the U.S. are inevitably coming, but as stated previously, the sector is largely unregulated currently and insurers are in a reactive mode rather than a proactive mode. NanoBCA: Do insurers use “nanotechnology” as a classification for coverage analysis, or do they look at more distint categorization? Mr. Gelwick: The insurance industry, like regulators and scientists, continue to argue over the definition of nanotechnology. While this discussion focuses on nanotechnology, we should note that chemicals also remain largely uncharacterized. Insurers therefore usually require a “Claims-made” coverage trigger to address their inability to assess the risks of long-term exposures to certain chemicals. From an underwriting standpoint, and with a lack of an adequate regulatory framework, insurers are applying protocols often adapted from the chemical, medical and environmental exposures to underwrite emerging technologies. An example of how underwriters can underwrite in the absence of specific classifications is Zurich's “ZNEPtm”. NanoBCA: What specific questions about nanomaterials are insurers most concerned about? Mr. Gelwick: Every article that I have seen suggests that toxicological assessments of nanomaterials are broadly needed. And although a tremendous amount of funding has been expended to develop nanomaterials, the smallest portion of that funding has been assigned to understanding risk. For instance, we find that very few nanomaterials have been characterized for EHS purposes. Further, a smaller percentage of those have been independently evaluated by toxicologists for impacts on workers, consumers and the environment. Without such evaluation, I believe there exists a false sense of security for us all. NanoBCA: Can you sum this up for us more in layman’s terms? Mr. Gelwick: Keep in mind that insurance is simply a method to finance business risk. Insurance carriers and risk practices use risk identification as a necessary first step, then they measure the risks identified, as best they can, to determine the cost of risk transfer through insurance. Any business should use a similar process to decide whether to transfer the risk to a qualified insurer, or alternatively to retain the risk. NanoBCA: So, it sounds like you are saying that many companies do not do this? Mr. Gelwick: Well, we can start by acknowledging that less than 100 nanomaterials have been characterized, yet there are in active development. Universities, where a majority of the research is conducted, have proven to be very reluctant to allow independent safety assessments of their nanomaterial laboratory activities. Small companies tend to not have the funds necessary to properly assess nanosafety, or at least they perceive the cost as too expensive. And, larger companies, like Johnson Johnson, tend to be self-insured and may or may not have an understanding of the risks including risks to supply chains upon which they rely. NanoBCA: As you mentioned previously though, insurance policies do, to some extent, currently cover risks associated with nanotechnologies? Mr. Gelwick: Generally, the structure of the policies relevant here are classified as “occurrence” policies which means that if you have a policy for year 2014, then any claim in future years (say, in 2018) that points to an event in 2014, will be covered by the terms of the policy as it existed in 2014. (Note: every state has different laws in this regard which creates a level of complexity). So, for illustration sake, if an “occurrence” policy does not exclude nano, then in many states, plaintiffs’ attorneys would be able to sue for every single year, under a separate policy for each year, that a suspect material was produced. This creates a scenario where multiple claims are possible. That is why the “occurrence” coverage trigger vs. the “claims made” coverage trigger presents such significantly different financial consequences. NanoBCA: So, is this scenario bad for the insured, or the insurer, or both? Mr. Gelwick: Any ambiguity usually works to the benefit of the insured. Thus, it is commonly believed that this is ultimately a problem for the insurer. However, the reality is that this scenario will likely hurt the insured more because the company may end up in a situation, post claim, that it can not find an insurer that will provide coverage at an acceptable costmoving forward from any claims which, as mentioned above, could also impact exit strategies for investors. As claims increase, insurers will predictably evolve to either limiting coverage or creating exclusions. NanoBCA: You make a good point. But, what “claims” are out there currently? Mr. Gelwick: Of current significance is the recent hip replacement claims against Johnson Johnson and its subsidiaries. These claims account for over $4 billion in offered settlements by Johnson Johnson. You can bet that plaintiff attorneys are considering this as a template for future litigation on other products. NanoBCA: Aren’t the insurers incentivized to figure out a way to create a market to sell nano specific policies, and to control risks associated therewith? Mr. Gelwick: Yes, and they are working on it. For starters, the reinsurance sector will likely begin inserting and requiring answers to nanomaterial specific questions to assist with the underwriting process. This will force the applicant to answer difficult risk questions associated with nanomaterials. Since nanomaterials are rarely disclosed, yet are commonly incorporated into products, it is currently almost impossible for insureds to answer these questions completely. Failure to do so, however, will likely create coverage gaps, particularly as it relates to supply chain risk. This process will, in some instances, evolve to create insurance exclusions. However, where enough understanding and data is available, buy-back policies or endorsements will likely become available. NanoBCA: Is there a precedent for this seemingly awkward point in time that we are in with regard to nanotech and insurance? Mr. Gelwick: Most would cite asbestos and the evolution of pollution exclusions, but this in my view this is too narrow a focus and assumes the worst when it is more likely that only a limited percentage of nanotechnology will equate to this level of risk. In fact, nanotechnology will likely help reduce risks in the future, as evidenced by nano enabled products that can clean-up pollution. However, I agree with some observers who believe that we are in unchartered territory as the number of new and innovative chemicals, not to even mention nanomaterials,that have recently been introduced into commerce is growing at a steep exponential rate. Risks are not yet known as to most of these. Michael Depledge, the former Chief Scientific Advisor of the UK Government’s Environment Agency, gave a presentation on point this June in London at the Royal Institute for EMTECH, an emerging fund being created to invest in emerging technologies. He offered two slides that from an insurance standpoint help us consider emerging risk from a historical standpoint. Those slides illustrated that the lag time from the introduction of any new technology to the adequate recognition and understanding of associated risks is generally about 10 years. The number of new chemicals and materials has experienced truly “off-the-charts” exponential growth in the 21st Century. What the future holds in terms of risk is literally growing faster than we can possibly fathom. NanoBCA: So, how do you manage this increase of unknown risks? Mr. Gelwick: Insurance companies will simply have to increase the size of their reserve funds to offset incurred and unknown risks on these new materials because they may likely have to pay claims on them down the line. NanoBCA: Any other observations to share regarding the future of nanotechnology risk insurance? Mr. Gelwick: People often ask me if insurers will simply exclude nanotechnology. Nanotechnologies have been in the stream of commerce now for over ten years and, to date, only one insurance company that we know of has put an exclusion on nanotechnology. But things are changing rapidly. Most insurance companies are starting to consider nanotechnology through their underwriting groups already supporting high hazard classes of business such as chemical companies or environmental exposures. The analysis of insuring consumable products will follow except to the extent the exposures are covered by regulatory agencies such as the FDA. Ultimately, nanotechnology will be incorporated into all realms of insurance risk assessment and coverage. NanoBCA: What do you see as the toughest questions emerging in the arena of nanotechnology risk and liability? Mr. Gelwick: How do you exclude something from a policy if even the applicant doesn’t know that the risk exists? There are many risks that we just simply do not know yet. How does that play out in court? Can those risks legally be excluded? Probably not, but these things will play out in court. And that will take some time. NanoBCA: So, what conclusions, if any, can we make about the future course of insurance for nano? Mr. Gelwick: I would conclude that there will continue to be a lot of confusion in the future, at least the near future – 5 to 10 years. It seems logical to me that insurers might shift Products, Liability from the “occurrence coverage” model to a “claims made coverage” model as discussed earlier. The advantage of the “claims made” model is to limit the cost of distracting and expensive litigation. This model really appears to be best suited for an emerging technology with unknown risks, such as nanotechnology. Insurers will need to broaden tail coverage to be able to offer reasonable pre-agreed pricing for tail coverage and to structure these policies to reflect the different statute of repose for different states providing confidence to the insured. This enables a more sustainable economic model for all stakeholders. NanoBCA: What role will the pending hip replacement class action products liability lawsuits have on the insurance sector? Mr. Gelwick: Frankly, I see the hip replacement litigation serving as a roadmap for more claims from the plaintiffs’ bar. They will not only look prospectively at new products and new claims, but will also look retrospectively at the possibility of adding nanotech specific claims to products produced over the past ten or so years. Each day that we as a nanotech business community fail to address issues we have discussed today, simply benefits those who make their livings from litigation. NanoBCA: Do you attach any historical significance to this hip replacement litigation? Mr. Gelwick: Yes, I think we are indeed at a watershed moment. Previously there have not been any claims against insurance policies, or allegations contained in lawsuits, that specifically cite “nano” anything. This hip replacement litigation, which is resulting in settlements in the billions of dollars, is the first to identify “nano” as a specific allegation of causation. Note that only the surface of the hip incorporated nanotechnology, yet it appears to be the proximate cause of loss. This is significant because it serves to educate the plaintiffs’ bar that nanomaterials exist and may be a component of causation, and thus liability, of other products in the future (and the past). Also, given what we know about the huge volume of products in the flow of commerce that include nanomaterials, it is reasonable to assume that this hip replacement litigation is the first of many to come that will implicate nanomaterials. NanoBCA: This is all very enlightening and confusing at the same time. As you say, confusion is likely to reign for a while longer. With that in mind, should nanomaterials companies seek insurance coverage today? And, how would they get it? Mr. Gelwick: Yes, nanomaterials companies should absolutely seek coverage. If anything, the hip replacement litigation shows us that liability is very real and that it can be extremely expensive to find yourself as a defendant in a products liability and recall action without coverage to the point that it could easily destroy companies that do not have a good risk strategy plan in place. I hope and suspect that the nanomaterial producer, or producers, for Johnson Johnson had a contract(s) holding them harmless, or their business(es) could be in jeopardy. So, use of contracts to mitigate its risks become critical. We also now know that taking the approach of “putting your head in the sand” to feign ignorance will be no match in a court of law against the reasonableness standard of independently assessing safety. From an insurance standpoint this will trigger a common coverage exclusion “expected or intended” creating grounds for an insurance carrier to deny coverage. A more prudent approach, in my estimation, would be for companies to pursue “Claims-made” coverage, broadened from traditional offerings as we discussed, to affirm there is coverage for nanomaterials that are known and to include those materials the insured can be reasonably held to have known contained nanomaterials. And, companies should make efforts to fully understand, to the extent possible, the nano risks associated with their business and products. This would include toxicological analysis and data regarding risks to their workers, consumers, and the environment. Ultimately this understanding and data will be very useful because insurers (as well as current shareholders and future investors) are going to demand answers to these questions. Moreover, EPA requires this data for approval of manufacturing and sales of nanomaterials in the U.S. Larger companies that utilize nanomaterials from third parties are also at risk. They are likely not aware of whether a supply chain risk exists that may seriously disrupt their production schedules. These large companies may want to consider purchasing aggregate stops on their large retention cash flow programs.

Advanced Nanomanufacturing at the Core of Potential New DARPA Program

August 28, 2014 - 5:03am
The benefits of nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing include significantly improved properties of many common materials when fabricated at nanoscale or molecular dimensions. Examples of these properties include quantized electrical characteristics, enhanced adhesion and surface properties, superior thermal, mechanical, and chemical properties, and tunable light absorption and scattering. Scaling these properties for nano-enabled products and systems, could offer potentially revolutionary performance and capabilities for defense, security, and commercial applications while providing significant societal and economic impact. Key challenges and barriers remain to realizing such nano-enabled technologies that are central to emerging nanomanufacturing techniques, including retaining the nanoscale properties in materials at larger scales, and the maturity of assembly techniques for structures between the nanoscale and 100 microns. Recently, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has created the Atoms to Product (A2P) program to address and help overcome these challenges. The program seeks to develop enhanced technologies for assembling nanoscale elements coupled with integration and scale-up of these components into materials and systems to product scale in ways that preserve and exploit the distinctive nanoscale properties of the core element. “We want to explore new ways of putting incredibly tiny things together, with the goal of developing new miniaturization and assembly methods that would work at scales 100,000 times smaller than current state-of-the-art technology,” said John Main (http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/DSO/Personnel/Dr__John_Main.aspx), DARPA program manager, quoted from the DARPA website announcement (http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2014/08/22.aspx). “If successful, A2P could help enable creation of entirely new classes of materials that exhibit nanoscale properties at all scales. It could lead to the ability to miniaturize materials, processes and devices that can’t be miniaturized with current technology, as well as build three-dimensional products and systems at much smaller sizes.” The A2P program supports the emphasis on key challenges of nanomanufacturing for given applications extending previous investments in fundamental science and materials research. In this case, several emerging nanomanufacturing approaches and platforms are likely to contribute to such a program concept, including nanoimprint lithography, directed self-assembly (DSA), layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly, additive driven assembly, and hybrid processes incorporating solution-based and vacuum-based processing approaches. Further scalability through adaptation to existing manufacturing infrastructure such as roll-to-roll and print, additive manufacturing, or semiconductor “batch” type processing is likely to accelerate the pathway to commercialization, and further position these emerging nanomanufacturing processes for the eventual Factory of the Future. To familiarize potential participants with the technical objectives of the A2P program, DARPA has scheduled identical Proposers Day webinars. Participants must register through the registration website: DARPA (http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2014/08/22.aspx)