I’ve been fortunate to be able to read about nanotechnology in some of the books I’ve been reading (see the Nordic Track review list), so I was eager to listen to this SofTech session on Nanotechnology, featuring 4 presenters. The first three presenters were outstanding, and Charles Ostman (the second speaker) was dazzling!! The guys brain was working so fast covering so much material and while he tried to keep his mouth in sync, it was difficult for him. Wow. 21:20 in if you want to catch an incredible highly-technical overview of nanotechnology. All three speakers covered here are definitely worth a listen. Here’s the ITConversations session details and downloads page.
3:10 Bill Russ.
3:55 Nanotechnology is at an inflection point. It isn’t a market, it isn’t a single industry. It is not even a well-defined domain but will impact a large number of other sectors.
5:30 Providing properties not before possible, like the ability to “climb glass”
10:30 In 2015 nanotechnology is going to be as integrated into everyday life as plastics are today.
11:20 Top three near-term markets are materials, biotech and electronics. Materials: strength, lightness, material properties. Biotech, the most deals. Electronics is spending the most money. In the single-point billions at this point.
12:25 Loreal in cosmetics is one of the largest holders of intellectual property in nanotechnology but says nothing about it.
14:30 What you won’t see for a long time is Michael Crighton’s nanobots in novel Prey. “Bad science.”
15:30 Investment money going into building a business. Three biggest buckets are people, tools and equipment, and facilities.
20:00 Need people to understand the industries to know how to sell the applications to those who are writing the check for what you’re buying. Many applications in R&D will sit on the bench because people won’t know how to build a business around an idea. “The ultimate scarce commodity.”
21:20 Charles Ostman. Works with venture capitalists, so has to be extremely precise in what he thinks the future is going to be. Comes from a materials science background…
23:00 Not at all concerned about the size of something. That completely misses the point.
24:00 All nature is a biofactory. Can we borrow from what nature has done to create things of interest of us. Its not how small the widget is, its how the widget is made.
25:45 Using biology as a foundry. Molecules themselves can become tools. If you can borrow from nature, just a little bit, to get molecules to organize themselves, that’s a completely different shift from traditional materials sciences. As these materials become categorized and codified, they can be used in bio-integration and manufacturing processes with known properties. DNA is a 4-bit numbering system could be used to move other molecules around.
28:20 IBM Millipede. Designed originally as a way to handle storage; by observation (not intended) as a chemistry writing system of delivering materials to a surface. Nanoprinting. Printing chemistries.
29:45 Its not about little things. Its about harvesting processes. Recognizing opportunities in unseen ways where the inventor had no idea.
30:40 Biolythogrophy. Molecular components as a process guiding other molecular components on where to go. Self-instructed processing.
32:20 Materials fitting the design rather than the design fitting the properties of the materials. Radical design of existing processes.
33:20 Things that you can print, self-assemble on demand, mix-and-match various materials (organic and inorganic) on the same substrate.
34:00 I don’t care about how small a device is. I care about what it does and its properties. Some new materials are relevant and important because they will be cheap.
25:45 Molecular RFID barcodes available today. Tag something or objects currently not taggable are tracing it around is a big deal.
36:30 Things behave differently at the quantum scale, discovering new properties. Another exciting area.
39:00 Borrowing genetic properties from nature to apply those characteristics to manufacturing.
40:00 Nanotech is not about small things. Its about the processes that enable new kinds of fabrication.
41:30 Stephen Nett
44:15 The funding providing by the federal government for the National Nanotechnology Initiative is largest funded project second only to the Apollo mission.
47:30 Nanoceuticals. When pharmaceuticals reduced in scale are proven to be much more effective.
48:00 The elimination of smelly socks. partly in jest. Anti-microbiol effects…
49:45 Nanoelectronic technical issues and discussion of electronics in the realm of atoms. Promises of nanoelectronics are primarily cost-advantages. Enables new classes, functionalities, and novelties. Flow of current in molecules and atoms results in electronics and a novel class of physics. The human brain provides a cubic density of circuitry that’s unrivaled and impossible to duplicate with today’s technology but not with nanotechnology, in which case it can even be exceeded.