Nanotechnology– What’s Getting Attention and Investment
The R&D magazine survey goes on to discuss instrumentation needs. Microscopy/imaging systems top the list at 48.9% of the readers responding, followed by:
Analytical instruments - 40.1%
Thin-film characterization - 30.5%
Electronic measurements – 28.7%
Physical characterization systems – 26.1%
Optical characterization systems – 25.4%
Topographical measurement systems – 15.8%
Mechanical characterization systems – 14.7%
Magnetic measurement systems – 12.9%
Failure analysis systems – 9.9%
Working at the nano-level will require new instrumentation that can detect signals with greater sensitivity given the low level signals that can be generated. The Atomic Force Microscope is one example of this type of instrumentation.
Pacific Nanotech uses LabVIEW to control the positioning of the machine and the movement of the cantilever device for making measurements. Another example is SSI Robotics who uses LabVIEW for nanotech applications. In this one, they wrote LabVIEW drivers to control the positioning of the robotic system.
The instrumentation industry has responded to the growing research and development in the Nanotechnology area. This article describes the need for greater collaboration between instrument vendors and researchers.
A great deal of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) has been cast over the Nanotech industry. In a recent discussion with a customer who provides aerosol systems which can produce droplets at the nano-level, he indicated his company keeps quiet about their ability to work at the nano-level for fear of negative publicity. There’s an interesting blog on these topics from the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is a well-funded sector with over a $1B per year invested by the US government through the National Nanotechnology Initiative. At that level of funding, there will be more innovations and technologies from this sector.
If you are working in Nanotechnology, I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hall T. Martin