Researchers at the Wiezmann Institute of Science in Israel have created a new molecular switch that, for the first time, uses negative differential resistance (NDR) at room temperature, essentially creating a switch with no moving parts. The NDR phenomenon has been used before at the molecular level, but only at extremely low temperatures; this experiment demonstrated the effect, at the molecular level, can be "stable, reversible and reproducible at room temperature." (Credit: KurzweilAI.net)
Archive for the 'News' Category
Registration is required, but is probably worth the trouble over at NanoMarkets, where they have a series of free white papers on nanotech, including "Thoughts on the Economics of Nanosensors" and "Plastics, Nanotubes and the Mobile Displays of the Future", plus multiple reports on nano-enabled drug delivery and drug discovery. Excerpt on sensors: "NanoMarkets believes that nanosensors are unlikely to dominate the sensor market anytime soon. In fact, our forecast of the nanosensors market indicates that nanosensors will likely not achieve a 10 percent penetration of the total sensors market until early 2010. However, in light of the total size of the sensor market, even minimal penetration means that the nanosensor market will be worth a few billion dollars within just a few years, which makes them a market opportunity well worth pursuing." Of course, if you love the free white papers you can buy the big reports for big bucks ($2K+).
Plan now to apply for a unique two-year master's program in nanotech in Europe: "1. The nanosciences are multidisciplinary: the challenge is to instil in the students the power to communicate and think across the boundaries of the traditional scientific disciplines. Notably, the aim is not to educate 'multispecialists'. Students receive a basic training in all disciplines, and choose a specialization within one of these disciplines. Special courses are designed to offer a multidisciplinary view on this research field…3. The EMM-nano is strongly research-connected: students spend at least one fourth of the programme on their own research project in a research environment of internationally renowned quality; course modules are strongly related to ongoing research and are taught by research professionals." Europeans can still apply this year; others must wait until next year. Courses are in English.
The Nanotech Company has published a white paper titled "Nano-Savvy Journalism – 7 things every reporter should know before writing about nanotechnology and 7 questions to ask every nano company," currently available on request using a button on their homepage. It's good overall but needs at least two key tweaks, one on quantum effects and one on nanoscale robotics. Read more for details.
Physorg.com is reporting that scientists led by Xiang Zhang at UCB have a paper in Science documenting the ability to do "optical" imaging in the range of 40-60nm. They are using 365nm UV radiation and a silver film "superlens" with a negative refractive index to transcend the normal diffraction limits of optical imaging. Their results are nearly an order of magnitude smaller than conventional optical microscopy methods. Optical imaging is faster than electron microscope imaging because you don't have to scan the e-beam across the material being imaged.
One application which may push its development would be the direct imaging of semiconductor chips as the pass through the next two generations of photolithography at 65nm and 45-40nm. It is also worth noting that at these dimensions one could probably make a movie recording the motion of Drexler's classical assembler arm performing assembly processes.
A number of sources are reporting (here, here & here) that a group lead by Prof. Massood Tahib-Azar at Case Western Reserve University has developed faster and cheaper methods for growing (and welding?) carbon nanotubes potentially for the purpose of wiring shrinking Microelectronic circuits.
The only problem I see is that although it is widely reported, there appear to be few details on the method(s) other than the fact that they are "growing" the nanotubes from "seeds". In that respect it sounds similar to the methods used to grow silicon nanobridges which were previously discussed on Nanodot.
Nanobreakthrough or nanohype?
Azonano is pointing out here the award of a series of the 2005 NanoVic prizes for innovative nanoscale research in a variety of areas in Australia. These include such areas as surface treatments for wood products, textile applications and solar cell engineering.
They also discuss the NanoSolveTM additive developed by Zyvex that uses carbon nanotubes for the engineering of stronger epoxy composites as well as a number of other developments in various aspects of nanotechnology R&D.
Many Nanodot readers may be able to make the case to their employers that they need to understand the future of manufacturing. Take a shot at it now, so you can attend "Molecular Nanotechnology and Manufacturing: The Enabling Tools and Applications" on May 4 in Minneapolis, sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Speakers on molecular manufacturing include David Forrest and Chris Phoenix. Jim Von Ehr will speak on "Assembly Pathway to Nanotechnology: Meso to Micro to Nano". Other talks will likely include relevant info, e.g. IBM's Thomas Theis: "Over the next few decades, it should become possible to design and control the structure of an object at all length scales, from the atomic to the macroscopic, and to do so cheaply and reliably in manufacturing." Foresight president Scott Mize will meet with Foresight Senior Associates members that evening; contact the office to sign up.
M. Roessger writes "Schaffhausen/Switzerland, April 15th, 2005
NanoWorld Holding AG announced that it has acquired 100% of Bulgarian based Innovative Solutions Bulgaria Ltd. (ISB) with its AFM Probes division BudgetSensorsô on April 1, 2005.
A belated story from The Register: "The [British] government has handed £1m in grants and awards to a nanotech company that has developed a new way of detecting a bioterror attack. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) both contributed to the funding package. The company concerned, Nanosight, is cagey about explaining its technology because its patents are all still under review. What it will say is that it has developed a way of replicating viral antibodies using non-biological means, specifically 'computer and microelectronics technology'." The submittor of this item commented: "The story centers around a bio-weapon detector, however, I feel the promise of non-biological production of viral/bacterial antibodies is much more interesting."
Roland Piquepaille writes "Even if researchers are routinely building all kinds of nanodevices in their labs, the current production process of nanowires or nanosensors is similar to the car manufacturing process before Henry Ford. These nanostructures are almost handmade. Now, researchers at University of California Davis (UC Davis) have adapted a technology developed for Hewlett-Packard Laboratories. And they came with two new ways to massively produce nanowires of precise length. Their 'nanobridges' and 'nanocolonnades' are totally compatible with existing microelectronics fabrication processes. This opens the way for to a wide range of industrial-strength applications, such as bio-chemical sensing, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, memory and logic devices for future computing. [See also] other details and references."
The original 2004 provisional patent application describing the "Freitas process" proposed for building a working carbon dimer placement tool (DCB6Ge) for diamond mechanosynthesis experimentally — apparently the first patent ever filed on diamond mechanosynthesis — is now available online. In February 2005, a full utility patent was filed with the USPTO on this process. Freitas' 2004 Foresight Conference lecture describing a near-term pathway leading directly to diamond mechanosynthesis, which included a summary of this now patent-pending process, is also online here.
Judy Conner brings our attention to a story in Medical News Today: "According to a new study by the Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health (CPGGH) at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), a leading international medical ethics think-tank, several nanotechnology applications will help people in developing countries tackle their most urgent problems – extreme poverty and hunger, child mortality, environmental degradation and diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. The study is the first ranking of nanotechnology applications relative to their impact on development; it was published today by the prestigious, open-access, US-based Public Library of Science journal." Foresight participated in the international panel of experts surveyed.
The current issue of NanoNews-Now offers the results of two expert surveys, one on nanotech business and one on nanotech education, both focusing on what kind of training is most in demand. Pamela Bailey of tinytechjobs offers advice on how to get employed in nanotech: Read More for excerpt. (Site is paid subscription, but there's a 90-day free trial.)
euspen vision online writes " Vision on-line ñ Wish List
A Virtual Institute Supporting Industry On-line in precision engineering, micro engineering, microsystems and Nanotechnology
Coordinated by euspen.
VisionOnline is providing a free web-based partnering service enabling companies and research organisations/universities worldwide to share their knowledge in the fields of precision engineering, microsystems and nanotechnology.
firstname.lastname@example.org writes "Applications are now being accepted to exhibit at Taiwan NanoTech 2005 — Taiwan's first ever nano-technology event that will lead the 4th wave across Asia this September 23 to September 25."
This event brings together years of development of nanotechnology by private, institutional, and government. It underscores the integration of nanotechnology, biotechnology and other high tech industry currently underway at scores of nanotech science parks throughout Taiwan and around the world."
Those of us needing a quick intro to the topic of protein nanomachines can check out Michael Strong's summary in PLoS Biology: "The work of Yan et al. (2003) has opened up exciting new avenues in the field of nanotechnology and has provided the molecular framework for the construction of dynamic protein-based assemblies. It is foreseeable that variations of these same DNA scaffolds will eventually be used for the design and construction of more complex protein-based assemblies, such as nanoscale ìassembly linesî or periodic arrays of dynamic motor proteins." Unfortunately, though the first two references are available free online, the links in the article do not lead to free versions (try Google).
Nanopolis writes "Nanopolis announces the upcoming second edition of the ìExploring matter with Neutronsî encyclopedia (http://neutrons.nanopolis.net). This huge interactive multimedia volume expands its e-Learning content on the matter exploration at the subatomic scale with valuable new topics: Phase Transitions of matter, the study of matter at High temperatures, High pressures and High Magnetic Fields, Neutrons Detection and Optics and various fields of neutron applications. The 2000 computer animated pages represent the most outstanding information of the world research institutes participating to the Nanopolis challenging consortium. You, as a scientific research institute, industrialist or university representative investing nanoscale science and engineering, are invited to join us at www.nanopolis.net Enjoy the Nanopolis Knowledge World !"
Tomorrow I'm serving on one panel and moderating another at Stanford Law School's event featuring nanotechnology. One issue we'll be examining with panelist Susan Kovarovics of Foley & Lardner is the potential for nanotech export controls: "Nanotechnologies that are likely to come under scrutiny include products that could be used to further or counter chemical and biological warfare and other weapons, Kovarovics said. The broad capabilities of nanotechnology could present problems for regulators or their advisers, she said. The challenge will be ensuring national security while avoiding undue regulation." This is going to be a huge issue, eventually. And it's being looked at now: "A panel that advises President Bush on export issues will explore whether nanotechnology needs regulating…The scope could range from restrictions on international trade to rules on staffing foreign nationals."