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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Brian Wang

Brian Wang

February 5th, 2010
DARPA Project Highlights for 2010-2011
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

DARPA has several projects that will accelerate the development of more advanced nanotechnology. There is Tip-Based Nanofabrication, Nanoscale/Bio-inspired and MetaMaterials, Fundamentals of Nanoscale and Emergent Effects and Engineered Devices and more. Read the Whole Article

November 18th, 2009
Self-assembly of Carbon Nanotubes into Two-Dimensional Structures and Devices and on the Verge of Carbon Nanotube Powerlines
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Assembling carbon nanotubes into two dimensional structures and devices using DNA origami in a process that is scalable to billions of devices assembled in parallel. Carbon nanotubes are also being formed into fibers hundreds of meters long and if the carbon nanotubes were able to be selected to be all metallic then carbon nanotubes could be used for nearly lossless power lines. Read the Whole Article

May 7th, 2009
DNA Nanotechnology Advance : DNA Boxes
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Danish researchers have made a nano-sized box out of DNA that can be locked or opened in response to 'keys' made from short strands of DNA. By changing the nature or number of these keys, it should be possible to use the boxes as sensors, drug delivery systems or even molecular computers. Read the Whole Article

February 5th, 2009
Nanosand Could Make Deserts Green, Alleviate Poverty and Water Scarcity
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Waterproof sand is being placed into plastic sheets and then buried under the topsoil to create an artificial water table and reduce water losses in irrigation by 75%. Eighty-five percent of the water in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is used for irrigation and that is potentially the main area from which the growing urban demand can be met. 3000 tons of the waterproof nanosand are being made per day. 1 ton of sand would probably cover 10 square meters. 4 days to cover a square kilometer.

The plant is ready to meet the demands of potential customers such as Dubai Municipality which has inquired about the product as it works toward greening the Emirate from the current 3.7 per cent of total landscape to eight per cent by 2015.

Some people are concerned about plastic being used on such a large scale or the environmental effect of the plastic. Yet they are also concerned that plastic will sit in landfills forever. They can select a plastic that will not decompose. This is rolls of plastic filled with waterproof sand buried under the topsoil to create an artificial water table.

This is the first use of nanotechnology to make a major impact on a major problem. Ironically it is similar to the first product that claimed to use nanotechnology, which were waterproof/stain resistant pants. Nanotechnology could make more impact on water scarcity with emerging nano-membranes for water purification and desalination.

* Saving 75% of water from irrigation could save millions of lives and prevent a massive humanitarian disaster and regional chaos with water wars

-Whatever downsides some may be worried about consider the upside.

Water scarcity gets mitigated and regional poverty (from more local agriculture) gets reduced and the chance and probably the amount of water wars will be less. This helps the areas with the worst poverty and violence (The middle east and Africa.) Read the Whole Article

January 22nd, 2009
DNA/biotech/synthetic biology, nanotechnology to Watch in 2009+
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Technological and other developments to watch was expanded to four parts for 2009+. This is the third section DNA/biotech/synthetic biology, nanotechnology to Watch in 2009+.

1. DNA nanotechnology
2. Synthetic biology
3. Synthetic life
4. Moriarty/Freitas/Merkle diamondod nanotech
5. Zyvex atomically precise manufacturing
6. UK ideas factory projects through 2010
7. Stem Cells
8. Gene therapy Read the Whole Article

January 18th, 2009
Status of Carbon Nanotubes for Wiring, Superink, Super-Batteries and other Applications
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Carbon nanotube wiring could make a huge difference in satellites and planes. This article reviews progress towards carbon nanotubes for wiring, superink, batteries and more.

-Copper wiring makes up as much as one-third of the weight of a 15-ton satellite
-Similarly, reducing the weight of wiring in UAVs would enable them to fly longer before refueling or carry more sensors and weapons.
- CNT wiring would yield the same sort of savings for commercial aircraft. A Boeing 747 uses about 135 miles of copper wire that weighs 4,000 pounds. Replacing that with 600 or 700 pounds of nanotube wire would save substantial amounts of fuel.
-In addition, CNT wires do not corrode or oxidize, and are not susceptible to vibration fatigue
-Carbon nanotubes can theoretically have 1000 times the energy density of copper Read the Whole Article

August 11th, 2008
Finally proof of concept experiments funded for molecular nanotechnology
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Finally experiments have been funded to test the viability of diamond mechanosynthesis as described in detail by Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle. This is a major step towards achieving the long held vision of molecular nanotechnology as envisioned by Eric Drexler. $3 million in funding has been made in the UK to Philip Moriarty. Read the Whole Article

March 16th, 2008
DNA Nanotechnology : a new age of mega-molecular construction
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Along with the four natural DNA bases there are now two man made DNA bases. This combines with the other recent announcements about using DNA to assemble millions of three dimensional nanoparticles, being able to synthesize strings of DNA over 500,000 base pairs long and all molecular programmable DNA construction.

I would say that the combined work indicates that we are completely within the age of DNA nanotechnology (using DNA for programmatic molecular control and construction). Read the Whole Article

August 10th, 2008
Cheaper thermoelectric from silicon nanowires
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

Rough silicon nanowires synthesized by Berkeley National Lab researchers demonstrated high performance thermoelectric properties even at room temperature when connected between two suspended heating pads.
Read the Whole Article

September 20th, 2007
Progress in technology that will be enabling the development of Molecular Manufacturing
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

There are new FPGA computers and GPGPUs that can accelerate molecular modeling software by up to 1000 times. Attention should be paid to these computational developments and new tools. They should be leveraged to accelerate molecular manufacturing research. Read the Whole Article

September 18th, 2007
Reviewing predictions article published at nanotech-now
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

I had made about 156 prediction back in March 2006 in a nanotech-now article. 15 of the predictions appear either to have come true, are partially true or are coming true. Most of the other predictions are for events likely to be many years away. I will review several predictions which appear to be substantially accurate. Read the Whole Article

April 20th, 2008
Technological and social choices where technological progress is accelerating
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

If technological progress is accelerating then what would be a better strategy for increasing the social and technogical returns from private and government research budgets? Read the Whole Article

June 21st, 2007
Brian Wang's Personal introduction to this new column
Brian Wang
Z1 Consulting

This will be my first article for my new column here at I will introduce my approach and how I view the future and technology. Our collective choices are key. Make the right choices and we can accelerate technology and nanotechnology and we can use them to create the most positive impact. Read the Whole Article

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