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January 18th, 2006

How Technology and Innovation Will Shape the Future

To “make things better” is not just a slogan of BASF but also the modus operandi of nanotechnology pioneers like Dan Ratner. Ratner, the son of renowned Northwestern University chemistry professor Mark Ratner, believes the next five years will bring “radical nanotechnology innovation”.

According to Ratner, the economic driver will be the ongoing sustainability of Moore’s Law. Espoused by Intel’s Gordon Moore, this law says the rate of technological development doubles every 18 months. Sooner rather than later, Ratner says, the escalating cost of chip production will be unsustainable and solutions within the arena of molecular electronics will emerge. He added that molecular electronics will engineer a revolution in how images are displayed via an emerging form: organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). Ratner believes OLED will replace the current liquid crystal display (LCD) standard and presumably will lead to cheaper and clearer television sets (or however we get our media five years from now). This will also mean new ways to display images on walls, clothing and virtually anything. Ratner believes an OLED-powered bulb will last 10 years.

(Ed.'s note: Actually, Moore’s Law states that transistor density on integrated circuits doubles about every two years. See Intel's Backgrounder [PDF])


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