Scientists and engineers have made significant developments in the field of Nanotechnology in recent years. Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale or in other words “Nanotechnology” refers to the projected ability to construct items from the bottom up using cutting edge techniques and tools to manufacture high performance products. Some of the future trends in Nanotechnology are in the realm of solar cells, Nano-fibres, sensors, ultra light materials (super chips, plastic semiconductors, stronger and lighter jet fighters, amazingly invisible clothing for soldiers, super fuel cells and super batteries).
In 2012, the USPTO published 4,098 Nanotechnology applications (class 977) with an increase of 19.2 % from 2011. In 2008, the USPTO published 827 nanotechnology applications as compared to 1,499 applications in 2009. Hence, the figures have almost tripled in three years from 2009 to 2012. A PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) has reported that “Nanotechnology research, on the heels of coordinated Federal investment, is leading to advances in areas such as new drug delivery systems, more resilient materials and fabrics, safer and more effective industrial catalysts, faster computer chips, and sustainable development in water and energy resources’’.
The PCAST report also suggests inviting budding researchers from abroad to come to the U.S. As of now, Commercialization, patents, and technology transfer are important criterions mentioned throughout in the PCAST report. Nanotechnology is but one of a plurality of “labels” used to describe sectors of research for policy analysis in the coming years. Nanotechnology also integrates closely with many of these other “labels.” Hopefully, its relevance will not be lost in the integration.
News from the nanocleantechblog
Image from NSF
Contributed by Kartik Raju