Innovative R&D and Computational Nanoscience Redefines Nanophase Materials

Sep 27, 2004, 01:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

    PALO ALTO, California, September 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Groundbreaking
 progress in nanotechnology is giving rise to heightened interest among
 investors, manufacturers, and other market participants. With progress comes
 new issues and challenges for theoretical scientists and, accordingly,
 increased demand for high-end research procedures and tools.
     "Most of the research happening now is focused on improving upon existing
 materials properties or developing new materials," says Technical Insights
 Research Analyst Hrishikesh Bidwe. "These materials will initially find use
 in various high performance industries, such as aerospace and defense. If
 price can be significantly reduced, consumer applications will probably
 become the major market for nanophase materials."
     Besides aerospace and defense, nanomaterials also will find increasing
 use in a variety of applications in various industries, including the
 automotive, healthcare, medicine, and electronics industries. The dimensional
 advantages offered by ultra-thin nanoscale films, for example, are optimal
 for their large-scale integration into micro- and nano-devices, and for
 device scaling.
     In thin film applications, nanotechnology circumvents the disadvantages
 of having to perform thickness reduction in coatings and thin film materials.
 Further, the incorporation of nanophase materials has promoted thin film
 adhesion, providing significant performance advantages.
     However, the economic fabrication of ultra-thin film coatings on a large
 scale poses a significant challenge. It requires precise and strict
 requirements and extremely clean conditions, since even the most miniature
 contaminant can adversely affect performance.
     "New procedures are also necessary to measure and characterize the
 mechanical and electrical properties of ultra-thin films," says Bidwe.
 "Nanoindentation tests have proven valuable, yet the scope for improvement
 and introduction of new methods remains vast."
     Nanotech-based quantum dots impart special optical and electrical
 properties to materials that are significant from fundamental and
 technological perspectives. Quantum dots are able to emit a wide range of
 wavelengths of light with changes in size. This property may allow the
 incorporation of quantum dots into applications such as tunable lasers and
 other optical components.
     Still, much work must be done to reach viable applications. Since even a
 slight change in its properties can radically alter a quantum dot's
 performance, the control of properties often creates difficulties in device
 applications. In grown quantum dot arrays, quantum dots frequently tend to
 clump, causing unwanted size variations. This offsets a quantum effect that
 is critical for optoelectronics.
     Researchers have recently developed a technique that allows nanocrystals
 to self-assemble into sturdy and orderly arrangements, each insulated from
 the other by a layer of silicon dioxide. This method, which is both
 inexpensive and potentially commercially viable, prevents quantum dots from
     Research in quantum dots has progressed from continuous improvement of
 synthesis and manipulation of individual quantum dots to creation of
 high-density quantum dot assemblies and preliminary fabrication of real-life
 optoelectronic and biomedical devices.
     Other potential applications include the production of lasers, detectors,
 optical amplifiers, transistors, tunneling diodes, and other devices, and
 quantum dots may find use in forgery prevention and quantum computing.
     "Pioneering developments in fundamental nanotechnology and innovative
 techniques such computational nanoscience are improving the ability to
 fabricate materials and incorporate them into devices," says Bidwe. "With
 this, the emerging field of nanotechnology is moving out of laboratories
 toward real-world applications and commercialization."
     Nanophase Materials, part of the Automation and Electronics Vertical
 Subscription Service, underscores new and influential developments in
 nanotechnology. The research analyzes technological advances in quantum dots,
 ultra-thin films, and computational nanoscience, among other nanomaterials
 innovations. It also identifies key companies and developers, and provides
 estimates of timelines for commercialization of the technology. Executive
 summaries and interviews are available to the press.
     If you are interested in an analysis overview which provides
 manufacturers, end-users and other industry participants an overview,
 summary, challenges and latest coverage of Nanophase Materials - then send an
 email to Kristina Menzefricke - European Corporate Communications at with the following information: Full name,
 Company Name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Contact Fax Number, Email. Upon
 receipt of the above information, an overview will be emailed to you.
     Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that
 produces a variety of technical news alert, newsletter, and report services.
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 supporting clients' expansion for more than four decades. Our market
 expertise covers a broad spectrum of industries, while our portfolio of
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     Kristina Menzefricke
     Frost & Sullivan
     Corporate Communications
     Tel. +44-(0)207-343-8376

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan