Nanotubes as seen on TV

Nanotubes as seen on TV

POLICY NEWS California looks to spintronics NEW FACILITIES Four Californian universities have teamed up to establish a research program in spintronic...

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POLICY NEWS

California looks to spintronics NEW FACILITIES Four Californian universities have teamed up to establish a research program in spintronics with support from the semiconductor industry. The Western Institute of Nanoelectronics will bring together Stanford University and the University of California campuses at Los Angeles (UCLA), Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Berkeley (UCB). The new institute will receive a total of $18.2 million in funding over four years. The Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, which includes Intel, IBM, Texas Instruments, AMD, Freescale, and MICRON, is providing $2.38 million, with another $12 million coming from Intel through two separate grants. On top of this industrial support, $3.84 million is being provided by the University of California Industry-University Cooperative Research Program.

NIST announces new nano lab NEW FACILITIES

A state-of-the-art center for nanotechnology has been launched at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Scientists from US companies, universities, and government laboratories will be able to use the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) for measurement and manufacturing at The CNST will be located in NIST’s the nanoscale. Advanced Measurement Laboratory. “CNST will help the private sector (Courtesy of HDR Architecture/Steve develop innovative products like Hall. © Hedrich Blessing.) more efficient batteries, lighter weight and higher performing materials for aircraft and autos, and smaller computer chips to power digital devices,” explained US Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez in his announcement. CNST is based in NIST’s Advanced Measurement Laboratory, which was completed in 2004. Nanotechnology research can be carried out in this facility with maximal control over environmental influences like vibration or temperature variation. The CNST research staff is growing and an inhouse research program has now begun. A large cleanroom or Nanofab has been installed with an array of tools for making, testing, and characterizing materials and devices, which will now become available to outside users. Jonathan Wood

Kang Wang, an engineering professor at UCLA, will be director of the new institute, working with David

Nanotubes as seen on TV

Awschalom at UCSB, Jeff Bokor at

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UCB, and Philip Wong at Stanford. The

TVs based on carbon nanotube (CNT) technology may soon be challenging liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and plasmas for the large, flat-screen TV market, thanks to a letter of intent signed by Applied Nanotech, a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary, in Texas, USA and Da Ling of Taiwan. Flat-screen TVs could be worth $100 billion each year by 2010, according to one market estimate. The companies will now enter negotiations to construct a pilot line for CNT TVs with the joint venture owned 50% by Da Ling and 50% by Applied Nanotech. Applied Nanotech will provide expertise on the application of its CNT technology. The company believes CNTs are ideal for screens with 60-100” diagonals and compare favorably with other display technologies, visually and technically. Da Ling has operations in several industries including electronics, and has previously organized a consortium of companies that invested $100 million in a pilot line for displays using polymer LEDs. “We are excited about this new technology,” says Sunny Tsai, president of Da Ling. “Taiwan is one of the world’s leading manufacturing centers for LCD monitors and TVs, and we are determined that Taiwan will hold that position in the coming transition to the next generation of large flat-panel displays.” Once a joint venture agreement is signed, Da Ling will pay $1 million for Applied Nanotech’s technical expertise. The agreement will include negotiated terms for a license agreement, should the pilot line turn out to be successful.

four universities will co-manage the program involving around 30 researchers with up to ten scientists from the funding companies working alongside. The institute will use laboratories at all the universities, including a new 275 m2 lab at the California NanoSystems Institute currently under construction at UCLA. “Today’s devices can’t get much smaller and still function properly and effectively. That’s where spintronics comes in,” explains Wang. “With this new institute, we are talking about an unprecedented opportunity to help define a technology that can exploit the idiosyncrasies of the quantum world to provide key improvements over existing technologies.”

Jonathan Wood

Jonathan Wood

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MAY 2006 | VOLUME 9 | NUMBER 5

Georgia Tech chooses Ireland for research NEW FACILITIES The applied research arm of Georgia Institute of Technology, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), has chosen Ireland to site its first research facility outside the US. Over the next five years, the research enterprise in Athlone will build up a portfolio of research programs and collaborations with industry. GTRI Ireland will focus on four technology areas that match research strengths in the region: digital media, radio frequency identification, biotechnology, and energy. The effort is valued at $24 million and 50 researchers will be employed when in full operation. The institute will receive support from IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for industrial development and overseas investment in the region. “Ireland has the resources of a nation and the agility of a start-up,” says David Parekh, deputy director of GTRI.

Jonathan Wood

Composites intelligence COMPOSITES A web platform, www.compositesIQ.com, has been launched to provide European composites businesses with access to universities, research institutes, manufacturers, and business support organizations. Composites IQ has been developed over three years with funding from the European Commission’s 5th Framework Programme. This means that the site has research and resource information already in place from its 28 partners. Developed by the UK’s Isle of Wight Economic Partnership, the website is subscription based with members paying an annual fee.

Jonathan Wood