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

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet August 17th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Possible Futures

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Announcements

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition: Nagoya University-led team of physicists use a synchrotron radiation X-ray source to probe a so-called 'structure-less' transition and develop a new understanding of molecular conductors August 21st, 2017

Tokai University research: Nanomaterial wrap for improved tissue imaging August 21st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Energy

The power of perovskite: OIST researchers improve perovskite-based technology in the entire energy cycle, from solar cells harnessing power to LED diodes to light the screens of future electronic devices and other lighting applications August 18th, 2017

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Fewer defects from a 2-D approach August 15th, 2017

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

Candy cane supercapacitor could enable fast charging of mobile phones August 17th, 2017

Rice U. scientists map ways forward for lithium-ion batteries for extreme environments: Paper details developments toward high-temperature batteries July 27th, 2017

Regulation of two-dimensional nanomaterials: New driving force for lithium-ion batteries July 26th, 2017

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

Events/Classes

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

FRITSCH • Milling and Sizing! Innovations at POWTECH 2017 - Hall 2 • Stand 227 August 9th, 2017

Thermo Fisher Scientific Showcases Innovations in Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy at M&M 2017: New analytical technologies improve workflows for life sciences and materials science researchers August 8th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events August 3rd, 2017

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology announces a new partner in Korea August 15th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Technology Companies Join Forces for TEM Imaging and Analysis August 3rd, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and VeriSilicon To Enable Single-Chip Solution for Next-Gen IoT Networks: Integrated solution leverages GF’s 22FDX® technology to decrease power, area, and cost for NB-IoT and LTE-M applications July 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