National Nanomanufacturing Network

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InterNano is an open-source online information clearinghouse for the nanomanufacturing research and development (R&D) community in the United States. It is designed provide this community with an array of tools and collections relevant to its work and to the development of viable nanomanufacturing applications.
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NanoBCA Congratulates Winners of Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

July 24, 2015 - 5:27am
The NanoBusiness Commercialization Association ( (NanoBCA) would like to congratulate the winners of the 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn climate risk and other environmental problems into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development. “From academia to business, we congratulate those who bring innovative solutions that will help solve some of the most critical environmental problems,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “These innovations reduce the use of energy, hazardous chemicals and water, while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments. In some cases they turn pollution into useful products. Ultimately, these manufacturing processes and products are safer for people’s health and the environment. We will continue to work with the 2015 winners as their technologies are adopted in the marketplace.” The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners were honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The winners and their innovative technologies are: Algenol in Fort Myers, Florida, is being recognized for developing a blue-green algae to produce ethanol and other fuels. The algae uses CO2 from air or industrial emitters with sunlight and saltwater to create fuel while dramatically reducing the carbon footprint, costs and water usage, with no reliance on food crops as feedstocks. This is a win-win for the company, the public, and the environment. It has the potential to revolutionize this industry and reduce the carbon footprint of fuel production. Hybrid Coating Technologies/Nanotech Industries of Daly City, California, is being recognized for developing a safer, plant-based polyurethane for use on floors, furniture and in foam insulation. The technology eliminates the use of isocyanates, the number one cause of workplace asthma. This is already in production, is reducing VOC’s and costs, and is safer for people and the environment. LanzaTech in Skokie, Illinois, is being recognized for the development of a process that uses waste gas to produce fuels and chemicals, reducing companies’ carbon footprint. LanzaTech has partnered with Global Fortune 500 Companies and others to use this technology, including facilities that can each produce 100,000 gallons per year of ethanol, and a number of chemical ingredients for the manufacture of plastics. This technology is already a proven winner and has enormous potential for American industry. SOLTEX (Synthetic Oils and Lubricants of Texas) in Houston, Texas, is being recognized for developing a new chemical reaction process that eliminates the use of water and reduces hazardous chemicals in the production of additives for lubricants and gasoline. If widely used, this technology has the potential to eliminate millions of gallons of wastewater per year and reduce the use of a hazardous chemical by 50 percent. Renmatix in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is being recognized for developing a process using supercritical water to more cost effectively break down plant material into sugars used as building blocks for renewable chemicals and fuels. This innovative low-cost process could result in a sizeable increase in the production of plant-based chemicals and fuels, and reduce the dependence on petroleum fuels. Professor Eugene Chen of Colorado State University is being recognized for developing a process that uses plant-based materials in the production of renewable chemicals and liquid fuels. This new technology is waste-free and metal-free. It offers significant potential for the production of renewable chemicals, fuels, and bioplastics that can be used in a wide range of safer industrial and consumer products. During the 20 years of the program, EPA has received more than 1500 nominations and presented awards to 104 technologies. Winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air. An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2015 submissions from among scores of nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2015 winners. The 2015 awards event was held in conjunction with the 2015 Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. Please help us spread the word about the 2015 winners and their innovative technologies within your own communication channels and through social media and web. Feel free to share this message with your contacts and repost the social media content. Share the Twitter post ( 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Award winners blog ( For more information on this year’s winners and those from the last two decades, visit ( Once again, the NanoBCA is proud to congratulate our colleagues in the nanotechnology community.

Plantations of Nanorods on Carpets of Graphene Capture the Sun's Energy

July 17, 2015 - 5:23am
The Sun can be a better chemist, thanks to zinc oxide nanorod arrays grown on a graphene substrate and "decorated" with dots of cadmium sulphide. In the presence of solar radiation, this combination of zero and one-dimensional semiconductor structures with two-dimensional graphene is a great catalyst for many chemical reactions. The innovative photocatalytic material has been developed by a group of scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and Fuzhou University in China (Advanced Functional Materials, "Hierarchically CdS Decorated 1D ZnO Nanorods-2D Graphene Hybrids: Low Temperature Synthesis and Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance ( ").It's a strange forest. Simple, uniformly distributed trunks grow from a flat surface, rising long nanometres upwards to where crowns of semiconductors greedily capture every ray of Sun. That's the view seen through a microscope of the new photocatalytic material, developed by scientists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IPC PAS) in Warsaw, Poland, and State Key Laboratory of Photocatalysis on Energy and Environment, College of Chemistry at Fuzhou University, China. The novel 3D material has been designed so that during the processing of solar energy the best collaboration is achieved between the dots of cadmium sulphide (so-called zero-dimensional structures), the nanorods of zinc oxide (1D structures), and graphene (2D structures).The methods of converting light energy reaching the Earth from the Sun can be divided into two groups. In the photovoltaic group, photons are used for the direct generation of electrical energy. The photocatalytic approach is different: here radiation, both visible and ultraviolet, is used to activate chemical compounds and carry out reactions which store solar energy. In this manner it is possible to e.g. reduce CO2 to methanol, synthesize fuel or produce valuable organic intermediates for the chemical or pharmaceutical industry.The principle of operation of the new, three-dimensional photocatalyst, developed by the group from the IPC PAS and the University of Fuzhou, is simple. When a photon with the appropriate energy falls on the semiconductor - zinc oxide ZnO or cadmium sulphide CdS - an electron-hole pair forms. Under normal circumstances it would almost immediately recombine and the solar energy would be lost. However, in the new material electrons - released in both semiconductors as a result of interaction with the photons - quickly flow down along the nanorods to the graphene base, which is an excellent conductor. Recombination can not occur and the electrons can be used to create new chemical bonds and thus to synthesize new compounds. The actual chemical reaction takes place on the surface of the graphene, previously coated with the organic compounds which are to be processed.Zinc oxide only reacts with ultraviolet radiation, of which there is but a small percentage in sunlight. Therefore, researchers from the IPC PAS and Fuzhou University have also covered the nanorod forests with cadmium sulphide. This reacts primarily with visible light, of which there is approx. 10 times more than the ultraviolet - and this is the main supplier of electrons for the chemical reactions."Our photocatalytic material operates with a high yield. We usually add it to the compounds being processed in a ratio of about 1:10. After exposure to solar radiation within no more than half an hour we process 80% and sometimes even more than 90% of the substrates," stresses Prof. Yi-Jun Xu (FRSC) of Fuzhou University, where the majority of the experiments have been carried out by the research team led by him."The great advantage of our photocatalyst is the ease of its production," in turn notes Prof. Juan Carlos Colmenares of the IPC PAS. "Graphene suitable for applications in photochemistry is now available without any greater problems and is not expensive. In turn, the process invented by us of coating graphene with plantations of zinc oxide nanorods, on which we subsequently deposit cadmium sulphide, is fast, efficient, takes place at a temperature just slightly higher than room temperature, at normal pressure, and does not require any sophisticated substrates."For application on a broader scale it is important that the new photocatalyst is consumed slowly. The experiments carried out to date show that only after the sixth-seventh use does a slight decrease of about 10% in the yield of the reaction occur.Skillfully used, the new 3D photocatalyst may significantly alter the course of chemical reactions. Its use, e.g. in the pharmaceutical industry, could reduce the number of stages of production of certain pharmacological compounds from a dozen to just a few.Reference:”Hierarchically CdS Decorated 1D ZnO Nanorods-2D Graphene Hybrids: Low Temperature Synthesis and Enhanced Photocatalytic Performance ( "; Ch. Han, Z. Chen, N. Zhang, J.C. Colmenares, Y-J. Xu; Advanced Functional Materials 2015, 25, 221–229; DOI:10.1002/adfm.201402443 ( .Source: Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (

IBM Research Alliance Produces Industry’s First 7nm Node Test Chips

July 9, 2015 - 7:29am
An alliance led by IBM Research (NYSE:IBM) today announced that it has produced the semiconductor industry’s first 7nm (nanometer) node test chips with functioning transistors. The breakthrough, accomplished in partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE), could result in the ability to place more than 20 billion tiny switches -- transistors -- on the fingernail-sized chips that power everything from smartphones to spacecraft.To achieve the higher performance, lower power and scaling benefits promised by 7nm technology, researchers had to bypass conventional semiconductor manufacturing approaches. Among the novel processes and techniques pioneered by the IBM Research alliance were a number of industry-first innovations, most notably Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration at multiple levels.Industry experts consider 7nm technology crucial to meeting the anticipated demands of future cloud computing and Big Data systems, cognitive computing, mobile products and other emerging technologies. Part of IBM’s $3 billion, five-year investment in chip R D (announced in 2014), this accomplishment was made possible through a unique public-private partnership with New York State and joint development alliance with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Samsung, and equipment suppliers. The team is based at SUNY Poly’s NanoTech Complex in Albany.“For business and society to get the most out of tomorrow’s computers and devices, scaling to 7nm and beyond is essential,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. “That’s why IBM has remained committed to an aggressive basic research agenda that continually pushes the limits of semiconductor technology. Working with our partners, this milestone builds on decades of research that has set the pace for the microelectronics industry, and positions us to advance our leadership for years to come.”Microprocessors utilizing 22nm and 14nm technology power today’s servers, cloud data centers and mobile devices, and 10nm technology is well on the way to becoming a mature technology. The IBM Research-led alliance achieved close to 50 percent area scaling improvements over today’s most advanced technology, introduced SiGe channel material for transistor performance enhancement at 7nm node geometries, process innovations to stack them below 30nm pitch and full integration of EUV lithography at multiple levels. These techniques and scaling could result in at least a 50 percent power/performance improvement for next generation mainframe and POWER systems that will power the Big Data, cloud and mobile era.“Governor Andrew Cuomo’s trailblazing public-private partnership model is catalyzing historic innovation and advancement. Today’s announcement is just one example of our collaboration with IBM, which furthers New York State’s global leadership in developing next generation technologies,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, SUNY Poly Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology and Vice President of Research. “Enabling the first 7nm node transistors is a significant milestone for the entire semiconductor industry as we continue to push beyond the limitations of our current capabilities.”"Today’s announcement marks the latest achievement in our long history of collaboration to accelerate development of next-generation technology," said Gary Patton, CTO and Head of Worldwide R D at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. "Through this joint collaborative program based at the Albany NanoTech Complex, we are able to maintain our focus on technology leadership for our clients and partners by helping to address the development challenges central to producing a smaller, faster, more cost efficient generation of semiconductors." The 7nm node milestone continues IBM’s legacy of historic contributions to silicon and semiconductor innovation. They include the invention or first implementation of the single cell DRAM, the Dennard Scaling Laws, chemically amplified photoresists, copper interconnect wiring, Silicon on Insulator, strained engineering, multi core microprocessors, immersion lithography, high speed SiGe, High-k gate dielectrics, embedded DRAM, 3D chip stacking and Air gap insulators.IBM and SUNY Poly have built a highly successful, globally recognized partnership at the multi-billion dollar Albany NanoTech Complex, highlighted by the institution's Center for Semiconductor Research (CSR), a $500 million program that also includes the world's leading nanoelectronics companies. The CSR is a long-term, multi-phase, joint R D cooperative program on future computer chip technology. It continues to provide student scholarships and fellowships at the university to help prepare the next generation of nanotechnology scientists, researchers and engineers.For more information about SUNY Polytechnic Institute, visit ( and ( .For more information on IBM Research, visit ( informationChristine VuIBM Media Relations1 (914) (

Philips Introduces Quantum Dot TV with Color IQ™ Technology from QD Vision

July 2, 2015 - 5:06am
Philips has expanded its portfolio of quantum dot displays with the launch of a 55” 4K TV with QD Vision Color IQ™ optics. The superior color performance of Color IQ quantum dots, combined with Philips Ambilight technology, delivers premium picture quality and a truly immersive TV experience. QD Vision leads the industry with the largest number of manufacturers adopting its quantum dot solution for LCD displays.Philips now offers a suite of quantum dot products to consumers using QD Vision’s Color IQ technology, including high-performance 27” LCD monitors. Color IQ optics produce natural, finely-tuned colors that enable better color saturation and color rendering than other technologies. QD Vision’s quantum dots allow displays to reach full-gamut 100% NTSC color performance at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.“Giving consumers an unmatched TV viewing experience is our mission, and QD Vision helps us deliver on that promise with breathtaking, life-like colors and extremely delicate picture effects,” said Tommy Li, Marketing Manager, Philips. “Quantum dots are enabling us to differentiate our suite of LCD displays, and we look forward to continued innovation with QD Vision.”“Philips’ expanded use of our Color IQ technology demonstrates the demand for high-performing, energy efficient and cost-effective quantum dots,” said Matt Mazzuchi, Vice President of Market Business Development, QD Vision. “We’re proud to see TVs with Color IQ optics flooding the Chinese market, and applaud Philips’ leadership in adopting advanced display technology for multiple product lines.”The new Philips quantum dot TV, Model 55PUF6850/T3, is a Smart TV with 4K resolution and proprietary Ambilight technology. It is available now online at and will be sold in retail stores in China starting next month.About QD Vision, Inc.QD Vision, Inc. is a leader in quantum dot display technology for QLED displays. Quantum dot technology is a superior next-generation alternative to OLED displays, providing unparalleled color representation at a highly competitive LCD cost structure. Color IQ™ quantum dot technology from QD Vision provides a unique optical component solution capable of delivering “full-gamut” color to the display industry. Founded in 2004, the company has raised more than $75 million in financing from top-tier venture capital firms and is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts. For more information visit: ( COLOR IQ, QLED, and QD VISION are trademarks of QD Vision, Inc. The COLOR IQ and QD VISION trademarks are registered in one or more countries. Media Contact:Jenna Beaucage (QD Vision)QDV@rainierco.com508.475.0025 x124

Industry’s Response to EPA Proposed Nano Rule

June 25, 2015 - 6:46am
EPA held a public meeting on June 11, 2015 on EPA’s Proposed Rule imposing one-time electronic reporting and recordkeeping requirements on manufacturers and processors of certain nanoscale materials under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA began the meeting by clarifying that the Proposed Rule targets nanoscale versions of substances that had previously been exempt from reporting requirements. New nanoscale materials are already subject to TSCA and over 170 premanufacturing notices have been filed for those new materials, including many for carbon nanotubes. EPA’s goal for the rule is to provide missing information on nanoscale versions of existing substances to evaluate whether further regulation is needed. Commenters Five individuals made comments: Steven Gordon of 3M speaking on behalf of the American Chemistry Council; Dan Russell of Pixelligent New Technologies; Jo Anne Shatkin of Vireo Advisors; Martha Marrapese of Keller and Heckman LLP speaking on behalf of the NanoManufacturing Association; and Vincent Caprio of the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association. Issues Raised Definition of Reportable Chemical Substances. The definition of “reportable chemical substances” uses vague terms like “unique,” “novel,” and “trace,” which will make it difficult to determine whether something is a “reportable chemical substance.” The terms should be better defined and justified. Discrete Forms of Nanomaterials. EPA should provide better guidance on how to measure discrete forms of nanoscale materials because the model used will affect the resulting measurements. One commenter objected to certain properties chosen by EPA to determine whether a discrete form exists, such as dispersion stability and surface reactivity, because they are not sufficiently linked to risk to human health and environment. 135-Day Review Period. Most of the commenters objected to the 135-day review period, which is longer than the 90-day review of reports for new substances, including because of the adverse economic effects of the additional delay. Harmonizing U.S. and Canadian Approaches. EPA should reduce the burden on industry by aligning the forthcoming rule with the Canadian process ( n=1D804F45-1) announced earlier this year. Availability of Required Information. Companies will not have certain of the required information readily available, burdening industry and violating TSCA 8(a), which only authorizes EPA to require information that companies already have or can reasonably ascertain. What Next? Public comments are due on July 6, 2015, but EPA did not specify when it will respond to the comments and what that response will be. One commenter suggested that EPA re-propose the rule for additional comments after it has been revised. During Nanotech 2015, a nanotechnology conference and exposition that occurred the week following the public meeting, it was suggested that the Proposed Rule would likely be finalized in late 2016, requiring reporting in 2017. In the meantime, those potentially subject to the rule can review the proposed form companies would be required to submit under the new rule. Source: National Law Review (

Printing with nanomaterials a cost-friendly, eco-friendly alternative

June 25, 2015 - 3:44am
Researchers at Binghamton University are focusing on printed electronics: using inkjet technology to print electronic nanomaterials onto flexible substrates. When compared to traditional methods used in microelectronics fabrication, the new technology conserves material and is more environmentally friendly. Think of inkjet printing and you’ll likely picture an old printer in an office. Not so if you’re Timothy Singler, director of graduate studies and professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University. In the Transport Sciences Core at the Innovative Technologies Complex, Singler is collaborating with Paul Chiarot and Frank Yong, assistant professors of mechanical engineering, to study inkjet printing of functional materials. Functional materials are categorized in terms of the actions they can perform rather than on the basis of their origins. Solution-processed materials may have electrical, optical, chemical, magnetic, thermal or other functionalities. For example, silver is strongly electrically conductive and can be formulated into nanoparticle ink. However, Singler explains that printing with solution-processed nanomaterials instead of traditional inks is significantly more complex. "One really has to study how nanomaterials deposit on a substrate — what structures they form, how you can control them — because you’re dispersing the nanomaterials into a liquid so you can print them, and that liquid volatilizes, leaving only the material on the substrate. But the evaporation process and capillarity cause very complex flows that transport the material you’re trying to deposit in nonintuitive ways," Singler says. "These flows have to be controlled to achieve an optimal functional structure at the end."Source: Binghamton University, State University of New York (

NNI Publishes Workshop Report and Launches Web Portal on Nanosensors

June 25, 2015 - 3:32am
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the launch of a workshop report and a web portal, efforts coordinated through and in support of the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative 'Nanotechnology for Sensors and Sensors for Nanotechnology: Improving and Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment' ( (Sensors NSI). Together, these resources help pave the path forward for the development and commercialization of nanotechnology-enabled sensors and sensors for nanotechnology. The workshop report is a summary of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)-sponsored event held September 11-12, 2014, entitled 'Sensor Fabrication, Integration, and Commercialization Workshop.' The goal of the workshop was to identify and discuss challenges that are faced by the sensor development community during the fabrication, integration, and commercialization of sensors, particularly those employing or addressing issues of nanoscale materials and technologies. Workshop attendees, including sensor developers and representative from Federal agencies, identified ways to help facilitate the commercialization of nanosensors, which include: Enhancing communication among researchers, developers, manufacturers, customers, and the Federal Government agencies that support and regulate sensor development. Leveraging resources by building testbeds for sensor developers. Improving access of university and private researchers to federally supported facilities. Encouraging sensor developers to consider and prepare for market and regulatory requirements early in the development process. In response to discussions at the workshop, the NNI has also launched an NSI Sensors web portal to share information on the sensors development landscape, including funding agencies and opportunities, federally supported facilities, regulatory guidance, and published standards. Ongoing dialogue and collaboration among various stakeholder groups will be critical to effectively transitioning nanosensors to market and to meeting the U.S. need for a reliable and robust sensor infrastructure. On Thursday June 25, 2015, from noon to 1 pm EDT, NNCO will host a webinar to summarize the highlights from the 2014 'Sensor Fabrication, Integration, and Commercialization Workshop' and to introduce the newly developed Sensors NSI Web Portal. The webinar will also feature a Q A segment with members of the public. Questions for the panel can be submitted to from June 18 through the end of the webinar at 1 pm EDT on June 25, 2015. To view the workshop report in our library, visit ( To visit the NSI Sensors web portal, visit ( To sign up for the NSI Sensors webinar, visit ( Source: NNI (

U.S. Government Calls for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges

June 18, 2015 - 4:13am
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office ( (NNCO) is pleased to highlight an important Request for Information ( (RFI) issued today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) seeking suggestions for Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges for the Next Decade: ambitious but achievable goals that harness nanoscience, nanotechnology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and have the potential to capture the public’s imagination. The RFI can be found online ( is discussed in a White House blog post ( . Responses must be received by July 16, 2015, to be considered. As explained by Dr. Michael Meador, Director of the NNCO, the RFI is a key step in responding to the most recent assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). “PCAST specifically recommended that the Federal government launch nanotechnology grand challenges in order to focus and amplify the impact of Federal nanotechnology investments and activities.” The RFI includes a number of potential grand challenges as examples. Federal agencies participating in the NNI (, working with NNCO and OSTP, developed examples in the areas of health care, electronics, materials, sustainability, and product safety in order to illustrate how such grand challenges should be framed and to help stimulate the development of additional grand challenges by the wider community. The RFI seeks input from nanotechnology stakeholders including researchers in academia and industry, non-governmental organizations, scientific and professional societies, and all other interested members of the public. “We strongly encourage everyone to spread the word about this request,” adds Meador. “We are excited about this request and hope to receive suggestions for bold and exciting challenges that nanotechnology can solve.” Source: NNCO (

Carbon Nanotube-Based Water Desalination and Purification Technology Awarded Patent

June 11, 2015 - 4:24am
Somenath Mitra, distinguished professor of chemistry and environmental science, was awarded a patent last month for a next-generation water desalination and purification technology that uses uniquely absorbent carbon nanotubes to remove salt and pollutants from brackish water and industrial effluent for reuse by businesses and households. Mitra’s new carbon nanotube immobilized membrane (CNIM) is an energy-efficient device designed to filter higher concentrations of salt than is currently feasible through reverse osmosis, one of the standard industry processes. It is also used to remove pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – chemicals routinely used in solvents – from water. “There is a huge and growing demand for potable water coming from developing nations that are modernizing their infrastructure to improve living conditions. At the same time, droughts caused by climate change are reducing supply in many regions of the world, including parts of the U.S.,” Mitra said. “Our hope is to expand the supply of water in places that really need it, while also reducing costs for industry.” Mitra’s distillation process runs on energy-efficient fuels such as waste heat, an industrial by-product, and solar energy. Membrane distillation is a water desalination process in which heated salt water passes through a tube-like membrane, called a hollow fiber, which allows only pure water vapor to permeate its walls. Potable water emerges from the net flux of water vapor which moves from the warm to the cool side of the membrane where it condenses. Certain industries such as semiconductor manufacturing and pharmaceutical processing also require ultra-pure water for their operations. Mitra, who has conducted research on carbon nanotubes for the past 15 years, created a novel architecture for the membrane distillation process by immobilizing carbon nanotubes, which are an atom thick and about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair in diameter, in the membrane pores. Ken Gethard, a former doctoral student who helped him develop it, is the co-inventor on the patent. “One of the key characteristics of carbon nanotubes is their capacity to both rapidly absorb water vapor as well as industrial contaminants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and then easily release them,” he notes. In the case of fracking, the fresh water and chemicals that are pumped into the ground to release natural gas trapped beneath rocks absorb high concentrations of salt from the soil they pass through before returning as polluted water in need of treatment. Reverse osmosis, which relies on power-driven pump pressure to force water through a membrane, is not commonly used to treat this so-called produced water because it typically contains very high concentrations of salt, requiring extremely high pressure. The electric power industry, which uses a vast amount of water to cool its generators, is also eager to come up with more efficient processes to treat its wastewater, including the incorporation of waste heat. “Our hope is to dramatically improve overall water and energy utilization,” Mitra said. Source: NJIT News Room ( utm_medium=home utm_content=news utm_campaign=teaser)

Nanoengineers win grant to make smart clothes for personalized cooling and heating

June 5, 2015 - 3:56am
Imagine a fabric that will keep your body at a comfortable temperature—regardless of how hot or cold it actually is. That’s the goal of an engineering project at the University of California, San Diego, funded with a $2.6M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). Wearing this smart fabric could potentially reduce heating and air conditioning bills for buildings and homes. The project, named ATTACH (Adaptive Textiles Technology with Active Cooling and Heating), is led by Joseph Wang, distinguished professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego. By regulating the temperature around an individual person, rather than a large room, the smart fabric could potentially cut the energy use of buildings and homes by at least 15 percent, Wang noted. “In cases where there are only one or two people in a large room, it’s not cost-effective to heat or cool the entire room,” said Wang. “If you can do it locally, like you can in a car by heating just the car seat instead of the entire car, then you can save a lot of energy.” The smart fabric will be designed to regulate the temperature of the wearer’s skin—keeping it at 93° F—by adapting to temperature changes in the room. When the room gets cooler, the fabric will become thicker. When the room gets hotter, the fabric will become thinner. To accomplish this feat, the researchers will insert polymers that expand in the cold and shrink in the heat inside the smart fabric. “Regardless if the surrounding temperature increases or decreases, the user will still feel the same without having to adjust the thermostat,” said Wang. “93° F is the average comfortable skin temperature for most people,” added Renkun Chen, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC San Diego, and one of the collaborators on this project. Chen’s contribution to ATTACH is to develop supplemental heating and cooling devices, called thermoelectrics, that are printable and will be incorporated into specific spots of the smart fabric. The thermoelectrics will regulate the temperature on “hot spots”—such as areas on the back and underneath the feet—that tend to get hotter than other parts of the body when a person is active. “This is like a personalized air-conditioner and heater,” said Chen. Saving energy “With the smart fabric, you won’t need to heat the room as much in the winter, and you won’t need to cool the room down as much in the summer. That means less energy is consumed. Plus, you will still feel comfortable within a wider temperature range,” said Chen. The researchers are also designing the smart fabric to power itself. The fabric will include rechargeable batteries, which will power the thermoelectrics, as well as biofuel cells that can harvest electrical power from human sweat. Plus, all of these parts—batteries, thermoelectrics and biofuel cells—will be printed using the technology developed in Wang’s lab to make printable wearable devices. These parts will also be thin, stretchable and flexible to ensure that the smart fabric is not bulky or heavy. “We are aiming to make the smart clothing look and feel as much like the clothes that people regularly wear. It will be washable, stretchable, bendable and lightweight. We also hope to make it look attractive and fashionable to wear,” said Wang. In terms of price, the team has not yet concluded how much the smart clothing will cost. This will depend on the scale of production, but the printing technology in Wang’s lab will offer a low-cost method to produce the parts. Keeping the costs down is a major goal, the researchers said. The research team Professor Joseph Wang, Department of NanoEngineering Wang, the lead principal investigator of ATTACH, has pioneered the development of wearable printable devices, such as electrochemical sensors and temporary tattoo-based biofuel cells. He is the chair of the nanoengineering department and the director for the Center for Wearable Sensors ( at UC San Diego. His extensive expertise in printable, stretchable and wearable devices will be used here to make the proposed flexible biofuel cells, batteries and thermoelectrics. Assistant Professor Renkun Chen, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Chen specializes in heat transfer and thermoelectrics. His research group works on physics, materials and devices related to thermal energy transport, conversion and management. His specialty in these areas will be used to develop the thermal models and the thermoelectric devices. Associate Professor Shirley Meng, Department of NanoEngineering Meng’s research focuses on energy storage and conversion, particularly on battery cell design and testing. At UC San Diego, she established the Laboratory for Energy Storage and Conversion ( and is the inaugural director for the Sustainable Power and Energy Center ( Meng will develop the rechargeable batteries and will work on power integration throughout the smart fabric system. Professor Sungho Jin, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Jin specializes in functional materials for applications in nanotechnology, magnetism, energy and biomedicine. He will design the self-responsive polymers that change in thickness based on changes in the surrounding temperature. Dr. Joshua Windmiller, CEO of Electrozyme LLC Windmiller, former Ph.D. student and postdoc in Wang’s nanoengineering lab, is an expert in printed biosensors, bioelectronics and biofuel cells. He co-founded Electrozyme LLC (, a startup devoted to the development of novel biosensors for application in the personal wellness and healthcare domains. Electrozyme will serve as the industrial partner for ATTACH and will lead the efforts to test the smart fabric prototype and bring the technology into the market. Source: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering (

New 'designer carbon' from Stanford boosts battery performance

May 29, 2015 - 8:02am
Stanford University scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies. Their results are featured on the cover of the journal ACS Central Science ("We have developed a 'designer carbon' that is both versatile and controllable," said Zhenan Bao (, the senior author of the study and a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford. "Our study shows that this material has exceptional energy-storage capacity, enabling unprecedented performance in lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors."According to Bao, the new designer carbon represents a dramatic improvement over conventional activated carbon, an inexpensive material widely used in products ranging from water filters and air deodorizers to energy-storage devices."A lot of cheap activated carbon is made from coconut shells," Bao said. "To activate the carbon, manufacturers burn the coconut at high temperatures and then chemically treat it."The activation process creates nanosized holes, or pores, that increase the surface area of the carbon, allowing it to catalyze more chemical reactions and store more electrical charges.But activated carbon has serious drawbacks, Bao said. For example, there is little interconnectivity between the pores, which limits their ability to transport electricity."With activated carbon, there's no way to control pore connectivity," Bao said. "Also, lots of impurities from the coconut shells and other raw starting materials get carried into the carbon. As a refrigerator deodorant, conventional activated carbon is fine, but it doesn't provide high enough performance for electronic devices and energy-storage applications."3-D networksInstead of using coconut shells, Bao and her colleagues developed a new way to synthesize high-quality carbon using inexpensive – and uncontaminated – chemicals and polymers.The process begins with conducting hydrogel, a water-based polymer with a spongy texture similar to soft contact lenses."Hydrogel polymers form an interconnected, three-dimensional framework that's ideal for conducting electricity," Bao said. "This framework also contains organic molecules and functional atoms, such as nitrogen, which allow us to tune the electronic properties of the carbon."For the study, the Stanford team used a mild carbonization and activation process to convert the polymer organic frameworks into nanometer-thick sheets of carbon."The carbon sheets form a 3-D network that has good pore connectivity and high electronic conductivity," said graduate student John To, a co-lead author of the study. "We also added potassium hydroxide to chemically activate the carbon sheets and increase their surface area."The result: designer carbon that can be fine-tuned for a variety of applications."We call it designer carbon because we can control its chemical composition, pore size and surface area simply by changing the type of polymers and organic linkers we use, or by adjusting the amount of heat we apply during the fabrication process," To said.For example, raising the processing temperature from 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius) to 1,650 F (900 C) resulted in a 10-fold increase in pore volume.Subsequent processing produced carbon material with a record-high surface area of 4,073 square meters per gram – the equivalent of three American football fields packed into an ounce of carbon. The maximum surface area achieved with conventional activated carbon is about 3,000 square meters per gram."High surface area is essential for many applications, including electrocatalysis, storing energy and capturing carbon dioxide emissions from factories and power plants," Bao said.SupercapacitorsTo see how the new material performed in real-world conditions, the Stanford team fabricated carbon-coated electrodes and installed them in lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors."Supercapacitors are energy-storage devices widely used in transportation and electronics because of their ultra-fast charging and discharging capability," said postdoctoral scholar Zheng Chen, a co-lead author. "For supercapacitors, the ideal carbon material has a high surface area for storing electrical charges, high conductivity for transporting electrons and a suitable pore architecture that allows for the rapid movement of ions from the electrolyte solution to the carbon surface."In the experiment, a current was applied to supercapacitors equipped with designer-carbon electrodes.The results were dramatic. Electrical conductivity improved threefold compared to supercapacitor electrodes made of conventional activated carbon."We also found that our designer carbon improved the rate of power delivery and the stability of the electrodes," Bao added.BatteriesTests were also conducted on lithium-sulfur batteries, a promising technology with a serious flaw: When lithium and sulfur react, they produce molecules of lithium polysulfide, which can leak from the electrode into the electrolyte and cause the battery to fail.The Stanford team discovered that electrodes made with designer carbon can trap those pesky polysulfides and improve the battery's performance."We can easily design electrodes with very small pores that allow lithium ions to diffuse through the carbon but prevent the polysulfides from leaching out," Bao said. "Our designer carbon is simple to make, relatively cheap and meets all of the critical requirements for high-performance electrodes."Other Stanford co-authors of the study are graduate student Jiajun He; postdoctoral scholars Hongbin Yao, Kwanpyo Kim and Ho-Hsiu Chou; visiting scholar Lijia Pan, and professors Jennifer Wilcox and Yi Cui.The study was partially funded by the Global Climate and Energy Project and the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford. Additional support was provided by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis at Stanford.Media ContactZhenan Bao, Chemical Engineering: (650) 723-2419, zbao@stanford.eduMark Shwartz, Precourt Institute for Energy: (650) 723-9296, mshwartz@stanford.eduDan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965, dstober@stanford.eduSource: Stanford News Service (

Global Nano-Enabled Packaging Market For Food and Beverages Will Reach $15.0 billion in 2020

May 28, 2015 - 10:37am
According to a new market report published by Persistence Market Research “Global Market Study on Nano-Enabled Packaging For Food and Beverages: Intelligent Packaging to Witness Highest Growth by 2020”, the global nano enabled packaging market for food and beverages industry was worth USD 6.5 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% during 2014 to 2020, to reach an estimated value of USD 15.0 billion in 2020.The global progress in technologies is making lives simpler and safer. Nanotechnology is one such field which is dynamically progressing and is contributing to the development of several industries, including food and beverages packaging. Nano-enabled packaging gives longer shelf life to food and beverages as compared to traditional plastic packaging. Food and beverages packaging is done through two different technologies under nano-enabled packaging-active and intelligent packaging. Active packaging has a comparativelylarger market than intelligent packaging.Intelligent packaging is growing at a faster rate as compared to the active packaging. Customers prefer traceable food and beverages packaging, since it offers information such as expiry date and best use period, present state of the consumables. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags keep customers informed about the state of the food within the packaging. Intelligent packaging is mostly used for fruits and vegetables, meat products, and beverages. Stricter regulations associated with active packaging have been stimulating the use of intelligent packaging in Europe and North America.Intelligent packaging in the U.S. is growing mainly due to the increasing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. Americans are shifting their breakfast preference from junk foods to fresh alternatives. The U.S. is one of the largest producers and exporters of cherries globally. With the ease in trade regulations, fruit exports of the U.S. have increased. In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that after ten years of negotiations, U.S. cherries can be exported to Western Australia, one of the most important markets for cherries. The increasing demand for intelligent packaging in international trade (especially in fruits) is laying out opportunities for this technology in food packaging.The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed by FDA in 2011 is another growth indicator for intelligent packaging wherein the fresh produce, including fruits and vegetables, are required to be scientifically grown, harvested, packaged, and stored. The farm products that come in the act’s domain are lettuce, spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, sprouts, mushrooms, onions, peppers, cabbage, citrus produce, strawberries, and walnuts.Nano-enabled packaging finds its application in several industries, including bakery, meat, beverages, fruit and vegetables, prepared foods, and others. The increasing demand for meat products, beverages, vegetables, and prepared foods is expected to drive their respective nano-enabled packaging markets, while the market share of bakery products is expected to decline on account of the rapid growth of other application segments.Nanotechnology is at a nascent stage and, therefore, usage of nano-enabled packaging is low in the food and beverages industry. Limited numbers of buyers have more leverage to negotiate with nanotechnology companies. On the other hand, there is a plethora of companies providing nano-enabled packaging solutions to the food and beverages industry.Nano-enabled packaging market for food and beverage is very competitive with a large number of players offering an array of patented products. The major players in this industry include Amcor Limited, Bemis Company, Inc., Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, L.L.C., Klöckner Pentaplast, Sealed Air, and Tetra Pak International S.A.Browse the full Global Market Study on Nano-Enabled Packaging For Food and Beverages: Intelligent Packaging to Witness Highest Growth by 2020 report at is the segmentation done by Persistence Market Research for global market study on nano-enabled packaging for food and beverages:Market Size and Forecast by TechnologyMarket Size and Forecast (by value)Active PackagingIntelligent PackagingMarket Size and Forecast by ApplicationMarket Size and Forecast (by value)Bakery ProductsMeat ProductsBeveragesFruit and VegetablesPrepared FoodsOthersFor more information, please click here ( Contacts:Glen HarePhone: +1-646-568-7751sales@persistencemarketresearch.comCopyright © Persistence Market Research

New Initiatives to Accelerate the Commercialization of Nanotechnology

May 28, 2015 - 10:21am
On May 20th, the National Economic Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy held a forum at the White House to discuss opportunities to accelerate the commercialization of nanotechnology. Over the last fifteen years, the Federal government has invested over $20 billion in nanotechnology R D as part of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) (, working towards breakthroughs such as smart anticancer therapeutics that will destroy tumors while leaving healthy cells untouched, and lighter, thinner body armor that could save the lives of America’s soldiers.A recent review ( of the NNI by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) concluded that: “…the nanotechnology field is at a critical transition point and has entered its second era, which we call NNI 2.0. This next technological generation will see the evolution from nanoscale components to interdisciplinary nano‐systems and the movement from a foundational research‐based initiative to one that also provides the necessary focus to ensure rapid commercialization of nanotechnology.” In recognition of the importance of nanotechnology R D, representatives from companies, government agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profits are announcing a series of new and expanded public and private initiatives that complement the Administration’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization of nanotechnology and expand the nanotechnology workforce: The Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, NY and the Nano Health Safety Consortium ( to advance research and guidance for occupational safety and health in the nanoelectronics and other nanomanufacturing industry settings. Raytheon has brought together a group of representatives from the defense industry and the Department of Defense to identify collaborative opportunities to advance nanotechnology product development, manufacturing, and supply-chain support with a goal of helping the U.S. optimize development, foster innovation, and take more rapid advantage of new commercial nanotechnologies. BASF Corporation is taking a new approach to finding solutions to nanomanufacturing challenges. In March, BASF launched a prize-based “NanoChallenge” designed to drive new levels of collaborative innovation in nanotechnology while connecting with potential partners to co-create solutions that address industry challenges. OCSiAl is expanding the eligibility of its “iNanoComm” matching grant program that provides low-cost, single-walled carbon nanotubes to include more exploratory research proposals, especially proposals for projects that could result in the creation of startups and technology transfers. The NanoBusiness Commercialization Association (NanoBCA) is partnering with Venture for America and working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote entrepreneurship in nanotechnology. Three companies (PEN, NanoMech, and SouthWest NanoTechnologies), are offering to support NSF’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) ( program with mentorship for entrepreneurs-in-training and, along with three other companies (NanoViricides, mPhase Technologies, and Eikos), will partner with Venture for America to hire recent graduates into nanotechnology jobs, thereby strengthening new nanotech businesses while providing needed experience for future entrepreneurs. TechConnect is establishing a Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Leaders Conference to bring together the leaders of nanotechnology student groups from across the country. The conference will highlight undergraduate research and connect students with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. Five universities have already committed to participating, led by the University of Virginia Nano and Emerging Technologies Club. Brewer Science, through its Global Intern Program, is providing more than 30 students from high schools, colleges, and graduate schools across the country with hands-on experience in a wide range of functions within the company. Brewer Science plans to increase the number of its science and engineering interns by 50% next year and has committed to sharing best practices with other nanotechnology businesses interested in how internship programs can contribute to a small company’s success. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology ( is expanding its partnership with the Advanced Technology Education ( program. The partnership will now run year-round and will include opportunities for students at Hudson Valley Community College and the University of the District of Columbia Community College. Federal agencies participating in the NNI, supported by the ( of nanoscale science and engineering resources for teachers and professors. As the President observed in his most recent State of the Union (, “Twenty-first century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development.” We call on all sectors of the nanotechnology community to identify additional ways to work together and make sure more of those businesses are built on nanoscience and nanotechnology. Learn More: Report to the President and Congress on The Fifth Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative ( (October 2014) National Nanotechnology Initiative ( White House Forum on Small Business Challenges to Commercializing Nanotechnology ( Lloyd Whitman is Assistant Director for Nanotechnology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. JJ Raynor is Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council.Source: The White House - Office of Science and Technology Policy (

From Lab to Fab: Pioneers in Nano-Manufacturing

May 28, 2015 - 9:44am
How can we mass-produce sophisticated products from materials too small to see? "From Lab to Fab" follows the story of two nanotech entrepreneurs navigating the rocky road from discovery to commercialization, with products ranging from tiny implantable body sensors to bullet-proof vests and aircraft flooring. Produced by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, headquartered at Northeastern University, with funding from the National Science Foundation (EEC-0832785, CMMI-1344567). Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Alpert. For Lawrence Klein Productions LLC, Director: Lawrence Klein; Editor: Sam Green; Cinematography: Gary Henoch; Animation: James Sullivan. Inquiries: ©2015 Museum of Science. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.Source: (

SUNY Poly CNSE and NIOSH Launch Federal Nano Health and Safety Consortium

May 20, 2015 - 8:58am
SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today announced the launch of the Nano Health Safety Consortium (NHSC). The initiative enables expanded collaboration in advancing research and guidance for occupational safety and health in the nanoelectronics and other nanomanufacturing industry settings. The consortium will be anchored at the SUNY Poly CNSE Nanotech Megaplex in Albany and extend across the full 10-campus SUNY Poly network throughout New York. “Governor Andrew Cuomo’s successful high tech blueprint for New York State is setting a global standard for next generation technology development, and that is why SUNY Poly has the opportunity to lead this consortium with a federal agency like NIOSH,” said Dr. Michael Liehr, SUNY Poly Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology and Vice President of Research. “Anchoring the consortium at our world class facilities and leveraging the combined expertise of SUNY Poly and NIOSH will further the development of the highest health and safety standards, as the nanotechnology industry continues its rapid growth.” “Realizing the full potential societal benefit of nanotechnology depends in great measure on effective health and safety practices for workers who produce and use nanomaterials,” said NIOSH Associate Director for Nanotechnology and Nanotechnology Research Center Manager, Dr. Charles Geraci. “Because of the strong partnership we’ve established, NIOSH’s health and safety experts and the world-class scientists and partners at SUNY Poly are poised to make great strides in safeguarding workers as nanotechnology applications and uses continue to expand at an amazingly rapid pace.” The NHSC will build upon the existing partnership between SUNY Poly and NIOSH and link government, academia and industry leaders to advance health and safety for the nanotechnology workforce by aligning research efforts, expertise, and resources through the existing and rapidly expanding infrastructure of the SUNY Poly network. In addition to advancing worker health and safety research, the consortium will provide training and education for students, faculty, researchers, and private sector members of the network. The leadership and success of the SUNY Poly CNSE-NIOSH partnership in Nano Health Safety was discussed this morning at a meeting of select invitees at the White House hosted by the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Economic Council (NEC). SUNY Poly CNSE Assistant Vice President for NanoHealth Initiatives and Assistant Professor of Nanobioscience, Dr. Sara Brenner, detailed the leadership and success of the SUNY Poly-NIOSH partnership and the opportunities presented by SUNY Poly’s statewide network of innovation hubs at today’s White House Forum on Small Business Challenges to Commercializing Nanotechnology in Washington, DC. “SUNY Poly CNSE is a global resource for nanotechnology R D. As more and more businesses, both large and small, incorporate the benefits of nanotechnology applications in their goods and services, it is critical that we understand their needs, as well as the latest materials, tools, methods, and workplace environments, to develop effective nano health and safety guidelines and recommendations,” said Dr. Brenner. “The collaborative work to be done by SUNY Poly, NIOSH, and NHSC will facilitate and accelerate commercialization, help strengthen and protect our workforce, and clear the path for innovation and enable the continued advancement of the field of nanotechnology.” SUNY Poly and NIOSH, as founding members of the consortium, have created a one-of-a-kind opportunity for academia, government, and industry to propel proactive research that will enable and accelerate the responsible development of nanotechnology. The NHSC is poised to lead the nation in the development and implementation of innovative protocols and procedures to conserve resources and safeguard occupational and environmental health and safety in nanotechnology-enabled industries. At the White House forum today, Dr. Brenner and Dr. Geraci, along with other national leaders, discussed how the SUNY Poly CNSE-anchored network and NIOSH will provide the premier public-private framework that will play a critical, enabling role in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) 2.0. The NHSC has identified that occupational and environmental health and safety is an essential and enabling component of forward progress in nanotechnology research and development and commercialization. SUNY Poly and NIOSH are in the process of engaging private partners and Federal Agencies participating in the NNI to join and contribute to missions of the consortium. The framework being built will facilitate not only health and safety, but also advanced manufacturing, commercialization, entrepreneurship, workforce development, training, and education. Source: SUNY Polytechnic Institute (

Carbon Sciences Develops Low Cost CVD Process to Produce Quality Graphene

May 15, 2015 - 4:09am
Company funded research project at UCSB completes initial development of a graphene fabrication process and system Carbon Sciences, Inc. (CABN ( msgid=0 act=11111 c=144987, focused on the development of a breakthrough technology to mass-produce graphene, today announced that the research project funded by the company at the University of California, Santa Barbara (“UCSB”), has successfully demonstrated the production of high quality graphene using a low cost chemical vapor deposition (“CVD”) process. Due to its breakthrough natural properties, many experts believe that graphene is the miracle material that will power the next generation of electronics, communication and composites. However, the key obstacle to the widespread use of graphene today is the high manufacturing cost of high quality graphene. The least expensive method, CVD, currently used in the electronics industry is still too expensive for enabling mass-market graphene applications such as flexible electronics, unbreakable touchscreens, sensors, and energy. The UCSB research team led by, Dr. Kaustav Banerjee, has successfully engineered a low cost CVD system that is optimized for graphene production using proprietary processes, catalysts and techniques. By fully optimizing and innovating various steps in the process the team has produced very high quality graphene. The system can also be used to customize doping to create application specific graphene. Bill Beifuss, CEO of Carbon Sciences, commented, “After a very intense and highly focused development effort by Dr. Banerjee’s team, we are finally seeing very promising results. Now that the team has demonstrated a low cost laboratory method with proprietary processes, we can begin to look at transforming that into a viable commercial technology. Some of the steps in the process are truly innovative and are very likely to dramatically reduce the cost of making large quantities of graphene.” Carbon Sciences is currently funding a year long sponsored research program at UCSB for the development of a low cost graphene manufacturing process. About Carbon Sciences, Inc. Carbon Sciences is focused on the development of a breakthrough technology to mass-produce graphene, the new miracle material. Graphene, a sheet of pure carbon that is only one atom thick, is flexible, transparent, impermeable to moisture, stronger than diamonds and more conductive than gold. Ever since the Nobel Prize was awarded for its discovery, experts believe graphene to be the miracle material that will enable revolutionary applications such as bendable touchscreen displays, rapid charge batteries, super-capacitors, low cost solar cells, extreme high-speed semiconductors, biosensors, as well as water purification. While the raw materials to make graphene are readily available, the lack of an industrial scale manufacturing process has hindered its commercial use. Carbon Sciences has targeted the development of a breakthrough process that will transform natural gas into commercial size sheets of graphene that can be fine-tuned with application-specific electrical and materials properties. Source: Carbon Sciences (

NanoBCA Interview: Harry Bushong, President, Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd.

May 7, 2015 - 4:50am
The NanoBCA is pleased to share the following interview with Harry Bushong, a long-time member of our community and a pioneer and staunch advocate for nanosafety. The NanoBCA has always kept the topic of nanotech EHS (Environment Health Safety) at the forefront of its agenda and has strived to keep the community informed and engaged on this very important topic. NanoBCA Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd. was the first risk assessment firm focused on nanosafety. Can you tell us how your business has evolved over the years and describe its focus today as well as that of the sister companies that it is affiliated with? Mr. Bushong Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd. was indeed the first firm dedicated to providing nanosafety services. It’s hard to believe, but we’ve just marked our tenth anniversary. It’s been quite a ride and the landscape has changed dramatically over that time. To answer your question, I’ll describe briefly how we’ve evolved as a company, or rather I should say “a group of companies”, and what our focus is today. We started in Texas as a single company, nanoTox, Inc., focused on providing safety consulting services to nanomaterials companies in the U.S. Our headquarters remains in Texas to this day. However, as the demands for our services have evolved and the needs of our customers changed, we gradually expanded to be a group of companies with a worldwide reach and a more diversified array of services which include customized research support, government compliance, safety data design and collection, IP assessment, insurance assessment, and manufacturing scale-up. Along the way, we’ve established or acquired several business units that all now fall under our international umbrella organization, Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd., (“nRai”) which is incorporated in the UK. We continue to provide nanosafety services to clients worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, smaller to midscale companies, and universities. We have a division in Dublin, Ireland, nTI, which is affiliated with the Center for BioNano Interactions at the University College Dublin. nTI develops proprietary analytical procedures and kits for safety assessment of nanomaterials optimized according to the “Corona Patent”. We also assist nanomaterials manufacturing companies to scale-up their production capacities through Nano-PM, Inc. In addition to these, we have a few other business units in development which we hope to announce publicly in the near future. NanoBCA You have been a pioneer in the area of nanotech safety; what inspired you to go into this field? Mr. Bushong Early on as a businessman based in Houston, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact with world-class nanotechnologists at Rice University. These were very exciting and inspirational times led by the preeminent work of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Richard Smalley. From this exposure we quickly realized that it was inevitable that nanosafety would become a cornerstone of the successful development of commercialization of nanotechnologies. So, we rolled up our sleeves and started to put together a team, and a group of companies, that could provide valuable counsel in this burgeoning sector. NanoBCA You have built one the most impressive boards that I have seen in our nanotech community. How did you attract such an esteemed group? Mr. Bushong Thank you for saying that, and I agree. We have been blessed to have some of the forefathers of nanotechnology, and other very prominent and capable businessmen, statesman and leaders join us. For instance: Dr. Malcolm Gillis (President Emeritus of Rice University) who funded Dr. Smalley’s Noble Prize lab, the Texas UK Collaborative with Lord Sainsbury, and helped form the Nano Health Alliance; former Governor of Virginia George Allen; and our Chairman, now retired Honorary Consul General Jan Dryselius are just a few of the elite caliber of leaders who have helped us develop this business. When he was the U.S. Senator from Virginia, Gov. Allen, as you very well know, was the Lead Co-Sponsor of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research Development Act, which your organization, the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association, was instrumental in developing widespread support for through your advocacy. I’d also like to mention Allen Gelwick who is one of the thought leaders and visionaries in the insurance industry with regard to the importance of standards for potential insurance risk assessment and underwriting pertaining to nanomaterial use. NanoBCA Thank you Harry. We at the NanoBCA have been in the trenches with you every step along the way. In your opinion, how have things changed regarding perception of safety issues from when you started this journey? Mr. Bushong That’s a great question. Things have changed so much from the early days. Ten years ago, as a society we were still very much in the research and development days of nanotechnology. At that time, safety beyond the lab space was not of major concern to most stakeholders for a variety of reasons. We simply did not have the data or the standardization needed to establish significant regulatory oversight, and frankly the very early days of commercialization were just beginning. This makes me think of our good friend Dr. Mihail Roco, whom I was with just a month or so ago in London where we facilitated his presentation at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. His predictions (and well-known chart) regarding the timeline of nanotechnology development and commercialization, as you also know, highlights this year, 2015, as the year that global market impact of nanotechnologies will reach $1 Trillion. That represents a very slow but steady growth from $200 Million in 2000. So, it took 15 years to grow from $200 Million to $1 Trillion. What is most interesting to me is that Dr. Roco predicts a jump from $1 Trillion to $3 Trillion in just five years time, from 2015 to 2020. That’s an exponential leap. Dr. Roco’s predictions have been exceptionally accurate. So, it’s fair to say that we are now truly in the midst of a rapid growth phase of nanotechnology commercialization. And with that, we see rapidly increasing interest in issues of nanosafety across the lifecycle of nanomaterials from research to development to commercialization and with regard to worker safety on the manufacturing floor to the consumer and right through to the environmental disposal of these materials. NanoBCA You mentioned Dr. Roco’s presentation in London. Can you tell us more about that? Mr. Bushong Last year we started a Leadership Series in London at the Royal Institution of Great Britain where we showcase nanotechnology leaders from across the world. It’s been very successful and continues to grow. We wanted a nanotechnology event that engaged the business community, and especially the insurance industry. Without insurance, there would be no nano-enabled products. We’ve attempted to engage all insurers and reinsurers, helping to educate the insurance and risk management community. This included support for a not-for-profit organization known as the "Nano Insurance Forum" that was well received, but a limited number of markets were willing to support with a preference to each company developing their own approach to address this emerging risk. The number of insurance companies with underwriting questions or hazard classifications relating to engineered nanomaterials produced by insured or are part of the supply chain, but not disclosed remains limited. Our main benefactor for the Leadership Series is Lockton Companies, and we also have a number of nano industry corporate leaders who support the events. Our first event at The Royal Institution of Great Britain included presentations by both Dr. Malcolm Gillis and Royal Commissioner Michael Depledge. Our second event featured Dr. Mihail Roco. We are excited to announce that Dr. Michael A. Meador, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, has agreed to be our next presenter in the series, on Tuesday October 20, 2015 in London. The Royal Institution of Great Britain has been a perfect venue for the Leadership Series. As you know, it is also the home of the highly regarded Faraday Museum, which focuses on the history of science. I highly encourage everyone to join us for Dr. Meador’s presentation in October. NanoBCA What are your impressions of the regulatory environment in the U.S. as compared to abroad? Mr. Bushong After a few years, our company was quickly drawn to the European Union because the EU was a few years ahead of the U.S. with regard to formal oversight of nanosafety. We encountered a great amount of interest and demand for our expertise in Europe. And while we were not intentionally looking for business in Europe (we were focused in the U.S. at the time), it really turned out to be a godsend for us because it introduced us to so many important players and truly allowed us to globalize our team and our markets. Now, the U.S. regulatory environment is very rapidly catching up with the EU as you can see in the ramped up activities of the EPA and FDA over the past year or so. NanoBCA How do you see the regulatory environment developing over the coming 5 years? Mr. Bushong Given the truth of Dr. Roco’s predictions which we can all see evolving before our eyes, there is no doubt that the massive increase of nanomaterials in the marketplace will coincide with a similar increase in interest and oversight of their safety, not only by regulators but by other interested parties. The truth of the matter is that all Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies that manufacturer anything, are utilizing nanomaterials, either directly or through their supply chain. Increased regulatory oversight is bound to occur. The Japanese and Koreans are implementing rules as well. The bottom line is that industry needs to be responsible and test the safety of their engineered nanoparticles before they scale-up production and expose either their employees, consumers or the environment to unknown risks. Industry leaders that are proactive on Health and Safety will have a competitive advantage in the market place. We are starting to see it now. NanoBCA What other “interested parties” are you referring to? Mr. Bushong Well, there have been some very significant developments in the last year or so outside the realm of just the regulatory agencies. First, the class action litigation against Johnson Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics which involved alleged damage done to patients related to a nanocoating on their hip implants has caused a significant increase in interest to better understand safety data of nanomaterials in products. Johnson Johnson’s settlements in that case are at around $3 Billion and still growing. Secondly, Dunkin’ Donuts, as you know, just acquiesced to pressure from an advocacy group to remove titanium dioxide nanoparticles from its powdered donuts. This development just scratches the surface of nanomaterials that are currently in the marketplace in food, food packaging and cosmetics, not to mention many other products. The visibility and broad media coverage of the Dunkin’ Donuts decision has put a spotlight on the issue of nanosafety and has greatly increased interest among a broad spectrum of stakeholders. And finally, in light of these developments, the insurance sector has taken a much more focused approach to issues of nanosafety. And so, there are a lot of forces at work outside of the regulatory agencies that are driving serious interest in the services that we provide at Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd. and our affiliated companies. NanoBCA Harry, can you provide us with a little more technical detail of why companies should engage with Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd. Mr. Bushong Great question. Let me start with the basic summary and we can expand from there. As we all know, the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials are particles known to be significantly unique from materials having larger crystallites but with the same chemical composition. This allows for optimal business applications of these unique nanoparticle properties that companies engineer into their products which function better than the commonly used micro-scaled materials of the 20th Century. Characterization of these nanomaterials is possible, and highly recommended by us, with analytical chemical methods in typical environments, from a life-cycle management perspective, recognizing the cost of ownership perspective from cradle-to-grave. This is very important for responsible advanced material development. By “responsible”, I mean that companies that engage in this effort will greatly reduce the risks that they potentially adverse action by regulatory agency action, consumer legal action, or that they fall short of requirements demanded by sought after investors, or insurers. In the long run, adherence to these emerging national standards for safety, also reduces regulatory burden and oversight, thus creating a total cost of ownership savings not just a business cost. At Nano Risk Assessment International, Ltd., we have the team and knowhow to assist and we are seeing that a growing number of companies are finding value in making strategic and smart decisions regarding their safety program. NanoBCA Thank you for inviting the NanoBCA to serve on the judges’ panel for your NanoArt Contest. It’s a terrific program and an honor for us to be involved. How did the NanoArt Contest get started? Mr. Bushong The contest has exceeded our expectations and continues to engage great young minds across the world. The first year we focused on French PhD students in STEM education fields. In Year 2, we expanded to include students across Europe. This year, we’ve included U.S. PhD students. You can learn more at: ( . I encourage everyone to spread the word. We have great prizes: a monthly $200 winner, and our top 3 annual prizes are $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000. Our contest organizer is the Foundation Nanoscience based in Grenoble, France. NanoBCA Harry, thank you for your time and thoughtful responses. We wish you luck and look forward to seeing you and your team at the 2015 NanoBCA DC Roundtable (, May 19-20th, in Washington, DC.

Three-Dimensional Printing/Additive Manufacturing Incorporating Nanomaterials

April 30, 2015 - 5:39am
Additive manufacturing for the creation of complex three-dimensional (3D) structures has gained significant attention in recent years as a means to manufacture enhanced structural and functional architectures that retain the properties of the materials utilized, for example mechanical strength and thermal properties. 3D printing has emerged as a versatile approach to build such structures from ink formulations incorporating nanomaterials dispersions that have been engineered to provide the necessary properties desired within the physical structure. While 3D printing of a range of nanomaterials has been demonstrated, graphene has recently been explored for the printing of 3D structures of various dimensions having controlled properties. Example applications include printed electronics, biosensors, strain sensors, battery electrodes and separators, or filtration wherein the electrical, physical, chemical, or mechanical properties of the structures are controlled to provide targeted functionality by design. Utilizing processes such as inkjet or nanoimprint lithography, structures have been realized for printed electronics and sensors. More recently, a 3D printing strategy has been demonstrated for the fabrication of 3D graphene aerogels with designed macroscopic architectures, enabling a method to further control the mechanical and surface area properties of complex macroscale structures. This technique reported by Zhu, et. al. employs a three-axis motion stage to assemble 3D structures by robotically extruding a continuous ‘ink’ filament through a micronozzle at room temperature in a layer-by-layer scheme to create 3D periodic graphene aerogel macroarchitectures. This approach, based on the precise deposition of grapheme oxide (GO) ink filaments on a pre-defined tool path to create architected 3D structures, first addresses the challenge of tailoring the composition and rheology of the inks in order to readily flow through the nozzle while maintaining sufficient viscosity to support the shape after deposition. The authors added a fused silica powder to the ink suspension as a means to increase its’ viscosity and enhance the printability of the GO ink. The use of the silica filler in the ink provided several benefits including longer pot life, better control over viscosity, and GO density in the resulting aerogel matrix which tend to have high porosity and therefore low density of GO nanostructures within the porous structure. The authors demonstrated 3D printed aerogel microlattices printed having properties that met or exceeded those of bulk aerogel materials. These graphene microlattices, constructed in a log-pile configuration, possess large surface areas, good electrical conductivity, low relative densities and supercompressibility, and are much stiffer than bulk graphene of comparable geometric density. The authors demonstrated that the microstructure and density of the graphene aerogel can be modified by changing the ink formulation, while the mechanical properties of the microlattices can be tuned. Thus work demonstrates a manufacturing method for creating periodic or engineered structures using this novel material which will further expand the range of applications where graphene can be utilized, opening up the possibility to explore the properties and applications of graphene in a self-supporting, structurally tunable and 3D macroscopic form, and could further lead to new types of graphene-based electronics. Reference: Zhu C, Han YJT, Duoss EB, Golobic AM, Kuntz JD, Spadaccini CM, Worsley MA. Highly Compressible 3D Periodic Graphese Aerogel Microlattices. Nature Communications. 2015; 6: 6962 doi: 10.1038/ncomms7962 (

3D-printed graphene for electronic and biomedical applications

April 30, 2015 - 3:56am
Exploiting graphene's exceptional electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties for practical devices requires fabrication techniques that allow the direct manipulation of graphene on micro- and macroscopic scales. Finding the ideal technique to achieve the desired graphene patterning remains a major challenge. One manufacturing route that researchers have been exploring with increased intensity is inkjet printing where liquid-phase graphene dispersions are used to print conductive thin films. Inkjet printing, however, doesn't help much when trying to build three-dimensional (3D) graphene structures. This is where 3D-printing comes in. Applying 3D printing concepts to nanotechnology could bring similar advantages to nanofabrication – speed, less waste, economic viability – than it is expected to bring to manufacturing technologies. These 3D printing techniques are reaching a stage where desired products and structures can be made independent of the complexity of their shapes – even bioprinting tissue and entire organs is now in the realm of the possible. "From a 3D printing perspective, graphene has been previously incorporated into 3D printed materials, but most of these constructs comprise no greater than about 20 volume % of the total solid of the composite, resulting in electrical properties that are significantly less than what we describe in our recent work," says Ramille N. Shah (, Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and Assistant Professor, Surgery (Transplant Division), Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology at Northwestern University. In new work, Shah and her team, who worked with Mark Hersam's group ( at Northwestern, show that high volume fraction graphene composite constructs can be formed from an easily extrudable liquid ink into multi-centimeter scaled objects. The results have been published in a paper in the April 10, 2015 online edition of ACS Nano ("Three-Dimensional Printing of High-Content Graphene Scaffolds for Electronic and Biomedical Applications" ( The researchers developed a solution-based, scalable graphene ink (3DG) that can be 3D-printed under ambient conditions via simple extrusion into arbitrarily shaped, electrically conductive, mechanically resilient, and biocompatible scaffolds with filaments ranging in diameter from 100 to 1000 µm. Despite being comprised primarily of graphene (60 vol % of solid), which is stiff and brittle, the resulting material is very flexible and can be easily printed into small or large scale (multiple centimeters) objects. "Our resulting 3D printed constructs contains majority graphene while maintaining structural integrity and handability, which is enabled by the particular biocompatible elastomer binder – PLG – that we chose in combination with the solvent system," explains Shah. She notes that a significant motivating factor behind this work was the need for more innovative biomaterials for nervous tissue regeneration, and also biomaterials that are translatable – i.e. scalable and not so expensive to produce. Theses novel 3D printable graphene inks are relatively easy to produce in a scalable fashion, can be rapidly fabricated into an infinite variety of forms (including patient specific implants), and are also surgically friendly (can be trimmed to size and sutured to surrounding tissue). It was known previously that graphene and conductive materials could influence cell behavior, particularly those related to neurogenic stem cell lines. Many previous studies, however, used neural stem cells, which are already predisposed to become neuron-like cells but are difficult to translate clinically. A highly interesting result for stem cell researchers is the demonstration of neurogenic differentiation of adult mesenchymal stem cells without added biological factors – such as nerve growth factor – or electrical stimulation (unlike neural stem cells, adult mesenchymal stem cells are a more translatable cell source since they can be easily obtained from patients). "In our experiments, we have shown the ability of 3DG scaffolds to induce neurogenic differentiation of adult mesenchymal stem cells without the need for any other neurogenic growth factors or external stimuli," Shah points out. "This is a major finding that supports the use of materials themselves for inducing specific cellular responses that can be leveraged for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications." The researchers' results suggest that the unique physical, electrical, and biological properties of 3DG could open the door to addressing a variety of medical problems requiring the regeneration of damaged, degenerated, or otherwise non-functional electrogenic tissues such as nerves, bone, or skeletal and cardiac muscle. Beyond regenerative medicine applications, there are a number of other potential medical applications including using 3DG in implantable biosensors and/or electrical devices. Outside of medicine, there is potential for 3DG to be used for biodegradable electronics or sensors in consumer products. This work is an excellent example of how 3D printing can aid in developing entirely new kinds of functional material systems, with unique, and highly advantageous properties, such as those exhibited by 3DG. Particular challenges to realize this include the creation of 3D printable functional material inks that are also scalable and translatable. Another challenge is the ability to 3D print multiple types of materials to create functioning devices. Last but not least, innovations in 3D printers themselves are still needed to be able to easily scale and multi-material print at a commercial manufacturing level. Source: Nanowerk (

NIST and NSF Partner to Launch Industry-University Consortium to Provide Input on National ...

April 30, 2015 - 3:44am
The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today that they will establish a consortium to provide private‐sector input on national advanced manufacturing research and development priorities. NSF has released a solicitation (, calling for applications from organizations to administer the consortium through a cooperative agreement. The consortium is being established in response to one of the primary recommendations published in Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office ( and the Advanced Manufacturing Subcommittee of the President's National Science and Technology Council. The solicitation ( issued today by NSF explains that the agencies will provide funding of up to $6 million total (up to $2 million per year for up to three years), with no cost share required. Applications are due July 20, 2015. NSF will have primary administrative responsibility for the consortium. NIST will have responsibility for consortium-organized conferences and outreach activities. NSF and NIST also are collaborating with NASA and the departments of Defense, Education and Energy to build the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (, a network of research and development centers aimed at scaling up cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to enable the rapid commercialization of made-in-America products. The Obama Administration has made investing in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies a priority, increasing federal manufacturing research and development investment by a third to nearly $2 billion annually. U.S. leadership in transformative emerging manufacturing technologies anchors U.S. competitiveness for advanced manufacturing jobs and investment. The new consortium will play an important role in informing these critical investments in the future of U.S. advanced manufacturing. As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit ( Source: NIST (