Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Seemingly small research funding cuts could hinder progress in nanotechnology

Abstract:
Cuts in federal funding of nanotechnology research threaten to slow progress toward some of the field's greatest promises, including commercialization of sustainable new energy sources that do not contribute to global warming, an international authority in the field cautioned here today.

Seemingly small research funding cuts could hinder progress in nanotechnology

New Orleans, LA | Posted on April 8th, 2013

Speaking at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, A. Paul Alivisatos, Ph.D., expressed concern that the cuts come when nanotechnology is poised to deliver on those promises. He told the meeting, which continues through Thursday, that ill-conceived cuts could set back America's progress in nanotechnology by decades.

"The National Science Foundation announced that they will issue a thousand fewer new grants this year because of sequestration," said Alivisatos, referring to the across-the-board mandatory federal budget cuts that took effect on March 1. "What it means in practice is that an entire generation of early career scientists, some of our brightest and most promising scientists, will not have the funding to launch their careers and begin research properly, in the pathway that has established the United States as leader in nanotechnology research. It will be a setback, perhaps quite serious, for our international competitiveness in this key field."

Alivisatos described applications of nanotechnology that can help reduce fossil fuel consumption and the accompanying emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. He is professor of chemistry and materials science and the Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology at the University of California at Berkeley, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-editor of the ACS journal Nano Letters. Nanoparticles of various substances already have been incorporated into solar panels, rechargeable batteries and other clean-energy solutions. These particles are so small that 1,000 to 100,000 could fit across the width of a human hair. When size diminishes to that scale, gold, silver, copper and other substances take on physical properties vastly different from lumps of bulk material.

Although nanotechnology remains a science in its infancy, it already has had a major impact on many other industrial segments, ranging from consumer products to national security and defense. By one estimate, more than 600 nanotechnology-enabled consumer products already are on the market, including mobile phones, cosmetics, music systems and clothing. Forecasts suggest that the global market for such products will increase by more than 10 percent annually in the years ahead.

Alivisatos expressed concern, however, that cuts in federal funding will take a heavy toll on the still-emerging field. He explained that the reductions stand to affect scientists at almost every stage of making contributions to society. Young scientists, for instance, will find it more difficult to launch research programs in new and promising fields. Established scientists will have to trim research programs, and may not have the money to explore promising new leads.

"We haven't been able to communicate adequately with the public and policymakers, and explain the impact of what may sound like small and unimportant cuts in funding." Alivisatos said. "A 5 percent reduction in funding — well, to the public, it seems like nothing. In reality, these cuts will be applied in ways that do maximal damage to our ability to be globally competitive in the future."

In his talk, Alivisatos highlighted some of nanotechnology's successes in reducing the amount of carbon humans are adding to the atmosphere. For example, lithium iron phosphate batteries, a type of rechargeable lithium-ion battery, are being used in vehicles, electronics and the solar-powered pathway lamps often seen in yards and gardens. These batteries rely on nanoparticles to safely store and release energy. Similar rechargeable batteries might be part of future "smart" electrical grids that use electricity more efficiently, reducing the amount of fossil fuels power companies must burn.

Another promising field is the conversion of natural gas — the supply of which has burgeoned in recent years with advances in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," techniques — to liquid petroleum products. Natural gas is widely seen as a cleaner energy source than other fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Alivisatos described nanoparticle-based technologies that promise to improve existing conversion processes.

Abstract

Anthropogenic gas emissions and land use changes are increasingly perturbing the global carbon cycle. A major focus of energy research is to seek ways to establish a future balanced carbon cycle while providing energy to the world's population, including those in developing economies. The advent of nanoscience has created a new foundation for the design and manufacture of energy conversion systems, and nanoscience will be a key component in the effort to establish a balanced carbon cycle. This talk will describe the opportunities as well as challenges for this ambitious agenda.

####

About American Chemical Society (ACS)
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Bernstein

504-670-4707 (New Orleans Press Center, April 5-10)
202-872-6042

Michael Woods

504-670-4707 (New Orleans Press Center, April 5-10)
202-872-6293

Copyright © American Chemical Society (ACS)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Possible Futures

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Nanofur for oil spill cleanup: Materials researchers learn from aquatic ferns: Hairy plant leaves are highly oil-absorbing / publication in bioinspiration & biomimetics / video on absorption capacity August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Lithium-ion batteries: Capacity might be increased by 6 times August 9th, 2016

Events/Classes

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

Semblant to Present at China Mobile Manufacturing Forum 2016 August 25th, 2016

Nanoparticles that speed blood clotting may someday save lives August 23rd, 2016

Impressive List of Doctors, Scientists Coming to Vail for Scientific Summit: The Second Vail Scientific Summit Convenes the Greatest Minds in Regenerative Medicine and Science August 17th, 2016

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

Starpharma initiates new DEP™ drug delivery program with AstraZeneca July 27th, 2016

XEI Scientific Partners with Electron Microscopy Sciences to Promote and Sell its Products in North and South America July 25th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic