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

CubeSat Structures Competition Opens Space Design to Students of the World December 16th, 2017

Record high photoconductivity for new metal-organic framework material December 15th, 2017

Error-free into the quantum computer age December 15th, 2017

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Possible Futures

CubeSat Structures Competition Opens Space Design to Students of the World December 16th, 2017

Record high photoconductivity for new metal-organic framework material December 15th, 2017

Error-free into the quantum computer age December 15th, 2017

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Announcements

CubeSat Structures Competition Opens Space Design to Students of the World December 16th, 2017

Record high photoconductivity for new metal-organic framework material December 15th, 2017

Error-free into the quantum computer age December 15th, 2017

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Energy

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health November 4th, 2017

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

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

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Device makes power conversion more efficient: New design could dramatically cut energy waste in electric vehicles, data centers, and the power grid December 8th, 2017

Printing Flexible Graphene Supercapacitors December 1st, 2017

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health November 4th, 2017

Events/Classes

Leti Will Demonstrate First 3D Anti-Crash Solution for Embedding in Drones: Fitted on a Mass-Market Microcontroller, 360Fusion Software Technology Detects any Dynamic Obstacle and Helps Guide Drones Away from Collisions December 15th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Arrowhead Presents New Clinical Data Demonstrating a Sustained Host Response in Hepatitis B Patients Following RNAi Therapy — Up to 5.0 log10 reduction in HBsAg observed; data presented at HEP DART 2017 — December 6th, 2017

Leti Breakthroughs Point Way to Significant Improvements in SoC Memories December 6th, 2017

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

A new product to help combat mouldy walls, thanks to technology developed at the ICN2 December 14th, 2017

JPK Instruments announce partnership with Swiss company, Cytosurge AG. The partnership makes Cytosurge’s FluidFM® technology available on the JPK NanoWizard® AFM platform December 8th, 2017

Nano Global, Arm Collaborate on Artificial Intelligence Chip to Drive Health Revolution by Capturing and Analyzing Molecular Data in Real Time November 21st, 2017

EC Project Aims at Creating and Commercializing Cyber-Physical-System Solutions November 14th, 2017

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