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April 6th, 2005

Nano Dictionary

It’s basically been a free-for-all in the world of nanotech terminology. Quantum dots, nanoshells, nanopeapods—nanoscientists have been inspired by everything from Polish dumplings to Inuit landmarks when naming new nanomaterials. But without any systematic terminology or nomenclature, these myriad descriptors, along with vague terms such as nanoparticle, are quickly becoming a big headache for regulators, patent lawyers, and journal editors.

Last month at the ACS national meeting in San Diego, Vicki Colvin, director of the Center for Biological & Environmental Nanotechnology and chemistry professor at Rice University, told a standing-room-only crowd about a project she’s spearheaded to create a dictionary for the nanoscale.


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