IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium – Day One (Sessions 1 – 3)

Here are today’s highlights from the IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council 6th Annual Symposium“Nanotechnology: State of the Art & Applications”

Presentation archive for talks not linked below. Updated as the council receives the presentations.

Dr. Michael Liehr, VP Strategy CNSE Albany, “State of US Nanotech.

  • College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CSNE).  Not organized around traditional degrees (ME, EE, Chem-E, etc.) but around nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, & nanofinance.
  • Due to R&D increasing as a percentage of revenue, very few companies will be able to continue making the investments in process development on their own.  Therefore, over time there will be a migration to 2 or 3 technology clusters (or “camps”) worldwide.
  • SUNY (State University of New York) has spent $5.5B to build a 300 mm prototype fab which allows companies to do proprietary research on leading edge tools.  Currently at 65 nm but fab is 32 nm capable.
  • Biggest tenants are IBM, Sematech (which is moving to Albany) & TEL

Dr. Shuichi Tahara, General Manager Nanoelectronics Research Labs, NEC Electronics, “State of Pacific Rim Nanotech.

  • Data center power consumption has doubled in the last six years.  And data consumption will grow 190x between 2007 (637 Gbps) and 2025 (120 Tbps).  Therefore we need green solutions based upon nanotechnology that address the increasing power consumption and provide increased bandwidth.
  • The US has the largest quantity of nanotechnology publications and patents today of any country.  However, the Asian annual growth rate of these is substantially higher and this will displace our leadership.
  • Key technology development areas are large area electronics (carbon nanotubes, & graphene), energy storage, and Si (silicon) photonics.

Dr.Richard B. Kaner, Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, UCLA, “Synthesis and Applications of Conducting Polymer Nanofibers.”

  • We use plastics since they are inexpensive.  But more importantly they are easy to process since they can be melted and formed.  His research is centered on materials that are easy to process that can be used to build semiconductors.
  • He is involved with Fibron Technologies that is commercializing water processable conductive polymers.
  • Demonstrated ammonia sensor using polyaniline that is processed with water and can be made conductive.

Dr. Steve Miller, Chief Commercialization Officer, Zymera, Inc. – “Molecular Imaging and Biomarker Detection with Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer to Quantum Dot Probes.”

  • They attached Quantum Dots (QD) to proteins which in turn selectively attach to biomarkers for cancer.  The QD’s are then excited and become bio-luminescent which allows them to be optically detected indicating the sites of the cancer.
  • Pre-clinical applications and toxicology of QD’s is still being studied.

Bikash Chatterjee – President & CTO, Pharmatech Associates, Inc. – “Regulatory Issues – Nanotechnology in Therapeutic Delivery Systems.”

  • Lots of changes at the FDA on how they review for safety & efficacy of pharmaceuticals.
  • Nanotechnology is a challenge to evaluate for safety especially since you can’t use the toxicology of non-macro molecules as model.

Thomas Daue, President, Smart Material Corporation, “Energy Harvesting Systems Using Piezo-electric Macro Fiber Composites.”

  • Commercialized flexible composites that include piezo-electric macro fibers.  This allows the generation of an electric charge that can be used as a power source for applications such as car remotes, remote sensors, etc.

Hus Tigli, CEO, Silicon Kinetics, “Nano-porous Silicon for Bio-Sensors.

  • They build silicon with pores that are coated to attract specific proteins. Then the Optical Path Difference (OPD) is measured over time as the targeted proteins bind to the pore walls.  This allows the analysis of the protein interactions with using “labels” (other molecules that are added to measure the reaction which may interfere with the reaction being studied).  (technology info)

Dr. Charles Lieber, Professor, Harvard, “Nanoelectronics Meets Biology: From Ultrasensitive Detection to Cellular Interfaces.”

  • Electronic interfaces for biology need to be on the nanometer scale to interface with proteins & neurons.  This will enable real-time measurements (surgery, chemo, etc.) and implantable interfaces for prosthetics and other devices.
  • Traditionally need to either grown the neuron/tissue on the sensor (which might take several weeks) or take tissue culture and merge them to the sensors.  Both are messy but this is how it is done to make extracellular devices.
  • His group built an intracellular probe (with two terminals) using nanowires that they were able to get the cell to absorb.

Adityo Prakash, CEO of Verseon, “Engineering Novel Drug Molecules: Replacement of Trial and Error Driven Discovery by Systematic Quantitative Methods.”

  • High throughput screening (HTS) simply accelerated the process of identifying the “low hanging fruits” of possible drugs among the known compounds.
  • Only one in 100 drugs that they start evaluating results with a product on the market after fifteen years and $1.3B.
  • After seven years, they have improved the modeling of the physical interaction between the atoms to enable computer simulation.  Along with the availability of Peta-scale computing this modeling is now feasible.
  • They have also addressed Chemical Library Design – i.e. making sure that the molecules simulated can be synthesized.

James Gee, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Applied Materials, Co. “Nano-enabled Solar.”

  • Silicon based photovoltaic (PV) solar cells have a typical efficiency of 15% energy conversion (energy out divided by energy in).  They can be made more efficient (up to about 20%) but the challenge is doing so cost effectively.
  • Nanotechnology can help in three areas:
    • Metallurgical – how to get different bulk material properties to aid in the fabrication.
    • Optical – managing the incoming light (power) better.
    • Absorber – building structures that increase the absorption – typically over several band gaps to increase the energy conversion.

Joe Fisher, CEO, Contour Energy Systems “Reshaping Portable Power Using Nano Materials”

  • By using carbon particles and fluorine, they are able to increase the energy density of batteries and operating temperature range.
  • The key is to scale up their production to achieve economy of scales required to displace alkaline and Li batteries.

One Response to IEEE Nanotechnology Symposium – Day One (Sessions 1 – 3)

  1. Chris Folk says:

    nice summary Ira!

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