X-Message-Number: 19866
From: "Gina Miller" <>
References: <>
Subject: The Nanogirl News~
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 20:02:48 -0700

The Nanogirl News
August 21, 2002

Nanoscale metal deposition eyed for MRAMs. Researchers at the Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory say their new technique for fabricating
magnetic tunnel junctions would enable magnetoresistive random-access
memories (MRAMs) to be economically manufactured. PNNL chief scientist Scott
Chambers was able to form atomically flat crystalline films of metal
measuring only a few atoms thick on sapphire. (EET imes 8/20/02)

Nanotech by the Numbers. It's virtual reality, writ small: atom-by-atom
simulations of new materials could usher in the nanotech future sooner than
anybody imagined. In his cramped cubicle at Nanomix, a nanotechnology
company in Emeryville, CA, just across the bay from San Francisco,
theoretical physicist Seung-Hoon Jhi peers at a computer model of a hydrogen
fuel tank, carefully tracking the movement of individual molecules. As he
raises the temperature of a simulated sheet of boron and nitrogen atoms from
a frigid 50 Kelvin to a slightly less chilly 80 Kelvin, he watches the
reaction of a handful of hydrogen molecules dotting its surface. The boron
nitride sheet undulates, yet the hydrogen molecules hold fast. It's an
encouraging sign in a virtual experiment that may have just saved weeks or
months of painstaking experimental testing in Nanomix's effort to develop
more efficient hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell cars. (The September
issue of Technology Review)

Shrinking toward the Ultimate Transistor. Electronic devices go atomic: Is
this really the end? In the half-century since the transistor was invented,
this workhorse component of almost every electronic device has shrunk from
the size of a pencil eraser to smaller than a bacterium. The miniaturization
of transistors and their sister circuit components has led to an explosion
of machine intelligence in countless types of devices from computers to
greeting cards. Just how much smaller transistors can get is a
multibillion-dollar question. Theorists have long pondered, When will the
shrinkage finally be brought to a screeching halt? If components get too
small, the laws of physics seem to preclude reliable transistor action.
(Science news online 8/10/02)

Discovery could bring widespread uses for 'nanocrystals'. Researchers at
Purdue University have made a surprising discovery that could open up
numerous applications for metal "nanocrystals," or tiny crystals that are
often harder, stronger and more wear resistant than the same materials in
bulk form. The research engineers have discovered that the coveted
nanocrystals are contained in common scrap, the chips that are normally
collected and melted down for reuse. "Imagine, you have all of these bins
full of chips, and they get melted down as scrap," said Srinivasan
Chandrasekar, a professor of industrial engineering. "But, in some sense,
the scrap could be more valuable pound-for-pound than the material out of
which the part is made." (Purdue University 8/16/02)

Hoping for very big, yet extremely small, discoveries. Nobody knows what the
Incredible Shrinking Man saw when he disappeared from view, but the U.S.
Department of Energy wants to find out.The agency is building five
nanoscience facilities across the country that will study the science of the
very small. Nanoscience investigates interactions, reactions and
construction of materials the size of atoms and molecules. And it turns out,
the Incredible Shrinking Man - made famous in a 1957 sci-fi film - would
have been quite surprised by what that tiny world looks like. "Materials
behave very differently on a nano scale," said Don Parkin, associate
director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, which will be
operated by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico.
(KnoxNews 8/19/02)

The next big tiny thing: Nanotechnology runs into new criticism. The great
Gray Goo debate is beginning to matter. The controversy involves the
potential perils of making molecule-size objects and devices - a field known
as nanotechnology. From it's earliest days, nanotechnology has its
fear-mongers, warning of novel and terrifying risks. Who could be sure how
products so small that they would be invisible to the human eye would
behave, particularly when the nanoworld's basic design element - atoms and
small molecules - can only be described by the laws of quantum mechanics
rather than the more familiar Newtonian physics of large objects? (By New
York Times Barnaby J. Feder, on International Herald Tribune 8/20/02) Click
the text to keep scrolling down.

Self-assembly technique emulates nature to build designer polymers from
modular parts
Future designer polymers may be assembled like children's Lego toys using
modular polymer scaffolds programmed to attract building blocks of small
molecules. Weak and easily reversed chemical interactions would
self-assemble those molecules to form complex structures with predictable
physical and chemical properties. In the natural world, self-assembly
techniques produce thousands of varied life forms -- bacteria to human
beings -- based a relatively small set of amino acids and nucleotides
combined in different ways. By emulating this natural system, polymer
chemists at the Georgia Institute of Technology hope to simplify the
synthesis of new materials for light-emitting diodes, optical storage
materials, biosensors, drug-delivery materials and other applications.
(8/18/02) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-08/giot-ste081802.php

Stamps and glue make circuits. Rubber stamps, ink and glue -- tools of
choice for grade school art projects -- are the inspirations for a printing
technique that could rapidly and cheaply produce integrated circuits at
least as small as those in today's computer chips. Researchers at Lucent
Technologies' Bell Laboratories have developed a way of stamping microscopic
circuits onto surfaces such as plastic and silicon. The method calls for
etching circuit patterns into a stamp and using glue to transfer gold from
the stamp to a surface. The circuit patterns can contain features 10 times
smaller than a bacterium. The nanotransfer printing process could eventually
be used to make circuits and connectors for plastic electronics, an emerging
technology used to make electronic paper and flexible displays. (TRN News

From dust to dust ... to a diamond. Process transforms cremated remains into
synthetic gem.  They say diamonds are forever. And now the dearly departed
can be, too. A Chicago company says it has developed a process for turning
cremated human remains into diamonds that can be worn as jewelry.  "We're
building on the simple fact that all living creatures are carbon-based and
diamonds are carbon-based," said Greg Herro, head of LifeGem Memorials.

Duke Chemists Describe Progress At Making 'Buckytubes' Suitable For
Nanoelectronic Devices. Duke University chemists are producing increased
quantities of single walled carbon nanotubes, sometimes called "buckytubes,"
in forms suitable for use in futuristic molecular scale electronic devices.
A team led by Duke assistant professor of chemistry Jie Liu,
http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jliu/labgroup/, is producing nanotubes in larger
numbers by altering their recipes for making the molecules. They also are
growing the molecules on silicon surfaces to guarantee their purity and
favorable electronic properties.
(Duke News Service 8/21/02) http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/nanotubes.html

Blue light special: Kopin Corp. tweaks tiny diodes to create CyberLite, a
nanotech breakthrough. Kopin Corp.'s newest innovation is nothing big. The
Taunton-based technology company announced a breakthrough late last month in
its development of light-emitting diodes, creating blue LEDs that are
smaller than a grain of sand - yet efficient, solid-state sources of
illumination. Kopin, which has a major manufacturing plant in Westborough,
believes it can mass-produce what it calls the CyberLite for use in compact
devices such as wireless phones, video cameras and personal digital
assistants. If CyberLite is successful, this third Kopin product line could
bring big returns and spark a revolution in energy-efficient lighting.
(Metro West Daily news 20/19/02)

(Nanotech webwatch from NanotechPlanet) NanoMagnetics Turns to Protein to
Help Disks Bulk Up. The market for hard disk drives once resembled the
market for computer chips. For chips, which kept up with Moore's Law, the
sizes got smaller and the speeds got faster. For hard disks, areal
densities, the amount of data that can be packed onto a storage medium,
increased every year from their introduction in the mid-1950s. "It pretty
much matched the Moore's Law story in those early years," NanoMagnetics CEO
Brendan Hegarty said of the disk industry. Hegarty spent 20 years in the
industry with IBM and Seagate, retiring as Seagate's Chief Operating Officer
in 1998. While at IBM in 1967, Hegarty recalled, there was one disk that
held 7 Mb and was the size of washing machine. (Boston/Internetnews.com

Genicon brings its molecular-level methods to the research market. Genicon
Sciences and its venture capital investors are hoping that big things really
do come in little packages. The privately held San Diego biotechnology
company in July launched its first product - a way to analyze genes that
Genicon boasts is the first true nanotechnology to make it to the life
sciences market. Nanotechnology, the science of engineering at the molecular
level, comes from the word nanometer - which is a billionth of a meter, the
length of about five atoms. (SignOnSanDiego.com 8/16/02)

Wildlife park to add mammoth attraction. In an eerie recreation of Steven
Spielberg's blockbuster movie "Jurassic Park", scientists are planning to
clone an extinct animal to be the central attraction of a wildlife park. The
Times of London reports that Japanese scientists are planning to use tissue
from the legs and testicles of a dead mammoth to clone the extinct creature
and display it at an Ice Age wildlife park in Siberia. (CNN 8/21/02)

Successful scholar thinks small. WhILE young people are often urged to
"think big" when making career plans, Harvard University research fellow Dr
Chan Seng Yoot is walking proof that there is much to be said for thinking
small. Her work is in the study and manipulation of materials at molecular
level. In nanotechnology, scientists shrink common materials and study the
kinds of unusual properties they exhibit. "One nanometer is one billionth of
a metre or 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair,'' she
explains. So, how can nanotechnology change our lives? Dr Chan, 29, cites
one commercial possibility in magnetic data storage, namely increas- ing the
capacity of floppy and compact discs.  (The Star 8/18/02)

(Company Profile) NanoInk writes it's own ticket using quills on the
nanoscale. NanoInk Inc., a mere seven months old, has released its first
product: a software-and-supplies package that turns any atomic force
microscope into a Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN) machine. DPN-System-1
retails for $30,000 to $40,000 and is targeted to research labs. Now comes
the hard part - making a bunch of AFM pen tips work in an array large enough
for manufacturing. The company promises an array product by early 2003.
(SmallTimes 8/19/02)

High-speed network connection ties top universities to ORNL. Oak Ridge
National Laboratory's new computer link to Atlanta is 200,000 times faster
than the fastest dial-up connections typical of home computers and is
expected to spur significant advances in science and economic development in
the region and beyond. (Oak Ridge National Laboratory 8/14/02)

Carbon nanotube networks fall into line. Researchers at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, US, have used carbon nanotubes as a template for
growing networks of aligned carbon nanotubes. They reported the two-step
chemical-vapour deposition process in Applied Physics Letters. "We wanted to
explore the possibility of using nanotubes themselves as pattern masks for
growing organized carbon nanotube array patterns of different length
scales," Anyuan Cao of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute told
nanotechweb.org." (Nanotechweb 8/20/02)

Uterus transplant results in live births. The world's first live births from
a transplanted uterus have been achieved, say Swedish researchers. The
procedure, conducted in mice, would be easier to repeat in humans, they
predict. A mouse uterus is V-shaped. The team led by Mats Br nnstr m at
G teborg University, Sweden, grafted one arm of the V from a donor mouse
into another's abdomen, alongside its existing uterus. In a woman, the
procedure would involve removing the existing organ and replacing the whole
donor uterus. (NewScientist 8/21/02)

(Exclusive Feature) Down to the wire -- requirements for nanometer design
implementation. By Ping Chao and Lavi Lev. Implementing nanometer-scale ICs
begins and ends with wires. Wires are so dominant that little is known about
a design's performance or manufacturability without them. In fact, nanometer
design strategies that are not clearly focused on rapid wire creation,
optimization, and analysis are destined to fail.This paper describes the
requirements for an effective, reliable IC implementation platform for the
90 nm process node and beyond. It begins with a description of the central
role wires play in nanometer design and why traditional linear design flows
are insufficient. It then describes a new continuous convergence
methodology, which has proven highly valuable at 0.13 micron and will be
absolutely necessary at 90 nm. (EEDesign.com 8/15/02)

(Feature) Nanotubes speed up. Transistors fabricated from carbon nanotubes
now have electrical characteristics that can rival silicon devices. The idea
of using molecules as electronic components has been around since at least
1974, when Ari Aviram of IBM in New York and Mark Ratner, then at New York
University, showed theoretically that a molecule placed between two metal
electrodes can act as a rectifier. However, it took more than 20 years
before an individual molecule was successfully connected to two
nanofabricated electrodes in an experiment. The difficulties lay in the
manipulation of single molecules and in the ability to build electrodes
separated by only a few nanometres. (Nenotechweb.org 8/16/02)

'Nanoantennas' could bring sensitive detectors, optical circuits.
Researchers have shown how tiny wires and metallic spheres might be arranged
in various shapes to form "nanoantennas" that dramatically increase the
precision of medical diagnostic imaging and devices that detect chemical and
biological warfare agents. Engineers from Purdue University have
demonstrated through mathematical simulations that nanometer-scale antennas
with certain geometric shapes should be able to make possible new sensors
capable of detecting a single molecule of a chemical or biological agent.
Such an innovation could result in detectors that are, in some cases,
millions of times more sensitive than current technology. (Purdue News

Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
Nanotechnology Industries
Personal: http://www.nanogirl.com
Foresight Senior Associate http://www.foresight.org
Extropy member http://www.extropy.org

"Nanotechnology: Solutions for the future."

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