Nanotechnology: Science, Innovation, and Opportunity

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Overview

Inside the Emerging Multibillion-Dollar Nanotechnology Industry

Suddenly, nanotechnology isn't science fiction or mere theory: It's becoming one of the world's fastest-growing, highest-impact industries. In Nanotechnology: Science, Innovation, and Opportunity, the field's leading experts offer an up-to-the-minute briefing on where the industry stands now, how it will unfold over the coming decade, and how it will impact you.

Edited by a key industry advisor, this book covers the latest in nanotech science, technology, and applications. You'll meet the key players, and discover nanotech at work in fields ranging from drug delivery to energy efficiency. Here are the opportunities, the challenges, and the implications: all you need to know about today's nanotech business--and tomorrow's.

Coverage includes

  • How the convergence of nanoscale science foreshadows revolutionary societal change
  • Technical and business obstacles that still challenge the industry
  • Lessons from the early "gold rush" days of biotech: managing the hype
  • Nanotech as disruptive innovation: implications for investors and venture capitalists
  • The evolving roles of entrepreneurs, universities, and the U.S. government
  • Key application areas: materials, microelectronics, sensors, energy, and beyond
  • Bio-Nano-Information fusion: the potential to transform medicine
  • Relevant patent law and intellectual property issues
  • The ethics of nanotechnology

"A fascinating look at the art and science of nanotechnology. Hold on to your hats, the world is about to change big time. . . . A comprehensive look at nanotechnology from the perspective of science, investment, IP, and business development with a healthy dose of vision for good measure. First-rate authors with an excellent presentation of the material. Buy this book."
--David Bishop, Ph.D., V.P. of Nanotechnology Research, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

"An absolute must-read for every technology sector being impacted by nanotechnology. This book presents the true value of these technologies, delivering a comprehensive prospectus on the science to commercialization of nanotechnology."
--Matthew Laudon, Ph.D., Executive Director, Nano Science & Technology Institute

"This is an excellent book for anyone trying to get a general grasp on the emerging science and technology of nanotechnology in particular for business executives, engineers, or entrepreneurs who are trying to decide what this technology can mean to them."
--Charles H. Volk, Ph.D., V.P. & Chief Technologist, Northrop Grumman, Navigation Systems Division

"Larry Gilbert and Michael Krieger's overview of the university technology transfer process is excellent and provides a realistic perspective and understanding of the commercialization process for technologies developed in the academic environment."
--John Ritter, Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Princeton University

"For a broad, readable introduction to nanotechnology with its attendant entrepreneurial, social, and technological implications, this book is a great start. The most interesting chapter from my perspective was Smalley's on finding abundant, cheap energy sources. Most informative and refreshing. If you have an interest as an intelligent layperson in nanotechnology and its basic motivations and methods, this book will serve as a worthy point of departure in your search."
--Mark S. Petrovic, Ph.D., V.P. of Research and Development, EarthLink

"Get this book if you want to explore any part or the whole field of nanotechnology. I was interested in the many sources of funding for nanotechnology and why each source was doing it. The authors have shown an awareness that nanotechnology must be nurtured by dedicated people to achieve its real potential.
I recommend this book because it treats the potential of nanotechnology in depth and realistically: Riches will come, but much effort is needed in the meantime."
--Bill McLellan, winner of Richard Feynman's Nanotechnology Challenge

Contributors:

Foreword by Senators Joseph Lieberman and George Allen

1. Lessons in Innovation and Commercialization from the Biotechnology Revolution:

Gerald Gallwas, Beckman Instruments

2. Nanotechnology and Our Energy Challenge: Dr. Richard Smalley, Rice University

3. Fads & Hype in Technology: The Sargasso Sea of ‘Some Day Soon’: Peter Coffee, eWeek

4. Nanotechnology Commercialization: Steve Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

5. Investment in Nanotechnology: Dr. Daniel Leff, Harris & Harris Doug Moffat, Moffat Capital

6. Role of the U.S. Government in Nanoscale Science and Technology: Geoff Holdridge, National 7. Nanotechnology Coordination Office and WTEC, Inc.

8. Overview of US Academic Research: Dr. Julie Chen, University of Massachusetts Lowell

9. Understanding University Technology Transfer for Nanotechnology: Larry Gilbert, Caltech, Dr. Michael Krieger, UCLA

10. Intellectual Property Policy and Impact: Chinh Pham, Greenberg Traurig, Charles Berman, Greenberg Traurig

11. Entrepreneurs: Jeff Lawrence, Trillium Digital Systems, Larry Bock, Nanosys

12. Major Corporations: Technology, Business and the Culture of Opportunity: Jim Duncan, Meggitt PLC

13. Nanotechnology in Federal Laboratories: Dr. Meyya Meyyapan, NASA Ames Laboratory

14. Nanoscale Materials: Dr. Mark Reed, Yale, Dr. ZL Wang, Georgia Tech, Dr. Brent Segal, Nantero Dr. Sheryl Ehrman, Maryland, Fiona Case, Case Scientific

15. Nanotechnology-Enabled Sensors: Dr. David Nagel, George Washington University, Dr. Sharon Smith, Lockheed Martin Microelectronics, Dr. Stephen Goodnick, Arizona State, Dr. George Thompson, Intel, Dr. Axel Scherer, Caltech

16. Drug Delivery: Dr. Suzie Pun, University of Washington, Dr. JJ Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

17. Bio-Nano-Information Fusion: Dr. Chih-Ming Ho, UCLA, Dr. Dean Ho, UCLA, Dan Garcia, UCLA

18. Convergence and Integration: Dr. Mike Roco, National Science Foundation

19. Ethical Considerations in the advance of Nanotechnology, Dr. Bill Bainbridge, National Science Foundation

20. Infinitesimal Machinery: Dr. Richard Feynman, Caltech

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lynn E. Foster is the Emerging Technologies Director of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He authored the first trade study on nanotechnology and has organized numerous nanotechnology conferences and trade missions. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Mr. Foster held technology industry positions in corporate, entrepreneurial, and government settings. He serves on advisory boards for the Nano Science & Technology Institute and the International Engineering Consortium, as well as the Executive Committee of the Caltech Enterprise Forum.

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Read an Excerpt

During the past century, human life spans have almost doubled, and travel and communication happen with an ease and speed that would have been considered science fiction only a few generations ago. Remarkably, the pace of innovation is actually increasing over that of the past.

Science has now advanced to the point that those on the cutting edge of research work with individual atoms and molecules. This is the defining characteristic of the new metafield of nanotechnology, which encompasses a broad range of both academic research and industrial development. At this small scale, the familiar classical physics guideposts of magnetism and electricity are no longer dominant; the interactions of individual atoms and molecules take over. At this level—roughly 100 nanometers (a nanometer being a billionth of a meter, and a human hair being 50,000 nanometers wide) and smaller—the applicable laws of physics shift as Newtonian yields to quantum.

Nanotechnology holds the promise of advances that exceed those achieved in recent decades in computers and biotechnology. Its applications will have dramatic infrastructural impacts, such as building tremendously faster computers, constructing lighter aircraft, finding cancerous tumors still invisible to the human eye, or generating vast amounts of energy from highly efficient solar cells. Nanotechnology will manifest in innovations both large and small in diverse industries, but the real benefit will accumulate in small cascades over decades rather than in a sudden, engulfing wave of change. It is not the "Next Big Thing" but rather will be any number of "next large things". Nanotechnology may not yield a result as dramatic as Edison'slightbulb but rather numerous gains as pervasive as the integrated-circuit-controlled lightbulbs in the traffic lights that are ubiquitous in modern life.

Although the lightbulb breakthroughs will be few, there will be numerous benefits taken for granted, such as the advantages that the automated intelligence of traffic grids provide to major cities. This should not be a surprise, because nanotechnology is not an invention but rather a range of fields of study and applications, defined by size, that use tools, ideas, and intuitions available to innumerable scientific disciplines. Thus nanotechnology offers tremendous potential for several key reasons. Materials and processes at that size have unique properties not seen at larger scale, offer proportionately greater reactive surface area than their larger counterparts, and can be used in or with living organisms for medical applications. As a result, familiar materials can have completely different properties at the nanoscale.

For example, carbon atoms form both coal and diamonds, but with different molecular arrangements. Scientists now know that carbon molecules at the nanoscale can form cylindrical tubes, called carbon nanotubes, that are much stronger than steel and conduct electricity, neither of which is possible with the carbon found in coal or diamonds. Carbon nanotubes may one day provide key breakthroughs in medicine and electronics. Likewise, nanotechnology can provide breakthroughs in industrial uses. The electrical current produced in solar cells or batteries reflects the flow of electrons from one surface to another. Nanotechnology has already enabled the demonstration of a vastly increased surface area of electrodes that allows electrons to flow much more freely, along with corresponding improvements in battery performance. Safer, cheaper, and cleaner electricity and electrical storage would obviously have a dramatic impact on our society.

Another reason nanotechnology holds so much promise is that it enables solutions at the same size scale as biological organisms, such as the individual cells in our bodies. Engineered materials are possible, such as ultrasmall particles made in the exact size to perform like a "smart bomb" in delivering drugs in the blood stream. Other applications might detect cancer when it is only a few cells in size. Future convergence of nanotechnology and biotechnology may combine biological and man-made devices in a variety of applications, such as batteries for implanted heart pacemakers that draw electrical current from the wearer's glucose rather than from surgically implanted batteries.

Yet another important facet of nanotechnology—one that underpins both its promise and the challenges—is that it embraces and attracts so many different disciplines that researchers and business leaders are working in, among them, chemistry, biology, materials science, physics, and computer science. Although each field has tremendously talented people, each also has its own somewhat unique training and terminology. Almost like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, each group approaches the molecular level with unique skills, training, and language. Communication and research between academic disciplines and between researchers and their business counterparts is critical to the advancement of nanotechnology.

With the diversity of professional cultures in mind, a central goal of this book is to promote communication and cooperation between researchers and industry by including similarly diverse articles written by experts but accessible to everyone.

The depth of scientific talent and the substantial resources being devoted to nanotechnology are a tremendous cause for optimism for both near-term and long-term gains. Ultimately nanotechnology will yield greater impact than information technology or biotechnology has. However, the tempo of technology is not set by the velocity of novel discoveries, but rather by the pace of what the market will embrace and pay for. The medium term in nanotechnology will be difficult and delayed by issues far beyond scientific research or product prototyping—namely, by the long, difficult process of new products gaining traction in the marketplace. To reach the stage of a viable product, the innovations will have to overcome issues such as how they are integrated, how much power they consume, and how they are controlled. Only then will the marketplace vote with dollars on the technology. For these reasons, another goal of this book is to highlight these issues so that a broader audience can address them with its respective understanding and resources.

This book is organized into four matrixed sections. Section One is focused on the history and development drivers of innovation. The first chapter highlights a historical example from the early days of the biotechnology industry as a cautionary lesson about a new industry developing with new tools and tremendous promise. The promise of nanotechnology to solve the world's energy problem is outlined in Chapter 2, along with the impact the solution would have on solving other problems as well. Chapter 3 is a discussion of the role played by expectations in the development of an industry.

Section Two focuses on the talents, roles, and motivations of the main players and individuals, along with the organizational factors that drive technologies forward or limit their impact. Chapter 4 presents the vision of a venture capitalist who takes a long-term view of nanotechnology as the nexus of disruptive innovation, and Chapter 5 outlines current investment decisions in nanotechnology. Chapter 6 outlines the U.S. government's role in funding research and establishing policies for the safe and effective use of nanotechnology. Then Chapter 7 discusses specific areas of academic research, and Chapter 8 explains how technologies developed there are brought to commercial use. The role of U.S. patent law in commerce follows in Chapter 9, with a discussion of its impact on the advance of nanotechnology. Chapter 10 explains why entrepreneurs are the key drivers of change in a new industry and help it advance by taking tremendous personal risks. Chapter 11 discusses the challenges within a large corporation that is developing technology products. Finally, Chapter 12 presents an overview of technologies developed in federal laboratories and describes how they are commercialized.

Section Three considers specific areas of innovation: nanoscale materials (Chapter 13) as well as other areas where nanotechnology is making a dramatic impact: nano-enabled sensors (Chapter 14), the microelectronics industry (Chapter 15), and drug delivery (Chapter 16). This part concludes with a chapter (Chapter 17) specifically on the intersection of nanotechnology and biotechnology, a combination that holds enormous potential to impact medicine and health.

Section Four suggests that the convergence of science at the nanoscale foreshadows a transformation and revolutionary change in society (Chapter 18) and highlights ethical considerations in the advance of nanotechnology (Chapter 19).

The Epilogue features a prescient speech given in 1983 by the late Richard Feynman, the legendary physicist who first envisioned nanotechnology.

Working at the level of individual atoms and molecules allows researchers to develop innovations that will dramatically improve our lives. The new realm of nanotechnology holds the promise of improving our health, our industry, and our society in ways that exceed even those of computers or biotechnology.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword, Senators Joseph Lieberman and George Allen xi
Preface xii
Acknowledgments xvii
About the Author xix
Contributors xxi Section One: Development Drivers 1

Chapter 1: Lessons in Innovation and Commercialization from the Biotechnology Revolution, Gerald Gallwas 3 Chapter 2: Nanotechnology and Our Energy Challenge, Richard Smalley 13

Chapter 3: Fads and Hype in Technology: The Sargasso Sea of "Some Day Soon," Peter Coffee 19

Section Two: The Players 31

Chapter 4: Nanotechnology Commercialization: Transcending Moore's Law with Molecular Electronics and Nanotechnology, Steve Jurvetson 33

Chapter 5: Investment in Nanotechnology, Daniel V. Leff and R. Douglas Moffat 57

C hapter 6: The Role of the U.S. Government in Nanoscale Science and Technology, Geoffrey M. Holdridge 63

Chapter 7: Overview of U.S. Academic Research, Julie Chen 77

Chapter 8: Understanding University Technology Transfer for Nanotechnology, Larry Gilbert and Michael Krieger 91 Chapter 9: Intellectual Property Policy and Impact, Chinh H. Pham and Charles Berman 105

Chapter 10: Entrepreneurs in the Technological Ecosystem, Jeff Lawrence and Larry Bock 117

Chapter 11: Major Corporations: Technology, Business, and the Culture of Opportunity, Jim Duncan 129

Chapter 12: Nanotechnology in Federal Labs, Meyya Meyyappan 135

Section Three: Materials and Industries 139

Chapter 13: Nanoscale Materials, Mark Reed, Sheryl Ehrman, Brent Segal, Zhong Lin Wang, and Fiona Case 141 Chapter 14: Nanotechnology-Enabled Sensors: Possibilities, Realities, and Diverse Applications, David J. Nagel and Sharon Smith 163

Chapter 15: Microelectronics, George Thompson, Stephen Goodnick, and Axel Scherer 177

Chapter 16: Drug Delivery, Jianjun Cheng and Suzie Hwang Pun 197

Chapter 17: Bio-Nano-Information Fusion, Chih-Ming Ho, Dean Ho, and Dan Garcia 209

Section Four: Convergence and Integration 223

Chapter 18: Convergence and Integration, Mihail C. Roco 225

Chapter 19: Ethical Considerations in the Advance of Nanotechnology, William Sims Bainbridge 233

Epilogue 243

Foreword to Chapter 20, Michael Kreiger 243

Chapter 20: Infinitesimal Machinery, Richard Feynman 247

Acronyms and Abbreviations 269
Index 273

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Preface

During the past century, human life spans have almost doubled, and travel and communication happen with an ease and speed that would have been considered science fiction only a few generations ago. Remarkably, the pace of innovation is actually increasing over that of the past.

Science has now advanced to the point that those on the cutting edge of research work with individual atoms and molecules. This is the defining characteristic of the new metafield of nanotechnology, which encompasses a broad range of both academic research and industrial development. At this small scale, the familiar classical physics guideposts of magnetism and electricity are no longer dominant; the interactions of individual atoms and molecules take over. At this level--roughly 100 nanometers (a nanometer being a billionth of a meter, and a human hair being 50,000 nanometers wide) and smaller--the applicable laws of physics shift as Newtonian yields to quantum.

Nanotechnology holds the promise of advances that exceed those achieved in recent decades in computers and biotechnology. Its applications will have dramatic infrastructural impacts, such as building tremendously faster computers, constructing lighter aircraft, finding cancerous tumors still invisible to the human eye, or generating vast amounts of energy from highly efficient solar cells. Nanotechnology will manifest in innovations both large and small in diverse industries, but the real benefit will accumulate in small cascades over decades rather than in a sudden, engulfing wave of change. It is not the "Next Big Thing" but rather will be any number of "next large things". Nanotechnology may not yield a result as dramatic as Edison's lightbulb but rather numerous gains as pervasive as the integrated-circuit-controlled lightbulbs in the traffic lights that are ubiquitous in modern life.

Although the lightbulb breakthroughs will be few, there will be numerous benefits taken for granted, such as the advantages that the automated intelligence of traffic grids provide to major cities. This should not be a surprise, because nanotechnology is not an invention but rather a range of fields of study and applications, defined by size, that use tools, ideas, and intuitions available to innumerable scientific disciplines. Thus nanotechnology offers tremendous potential for several key reasons. Materials and processes at that size have unique properties not seen at larger scale, offer proportionately greater reactive surface area than their larger counterparts, and can be used in or with living organisms for medical applications. As a result, familiar materials can have completely different properties at the nanoscale.

For example, carbon atoms form both coal and diamonds, but with different molecular arrangements. Scientists now know that carbon molecules at the nanoscale can form cylindrical tubes, called carbon nanotubes, that are much stronger than steel and conduct electricity, neither of which is possible with the carbon found in coal or diamonds. Carbon nanotubes may one day provide key breakthroughs in medicine and electronics. Likewise, nanotechnology can provide breakthroughs in industrial uses. The electrical current produced in solar cells or batteries reflects the flow of electrons from one surface to another. Nanotechnology has already enabled the demonstration of a vastly increased surface area of electrodes that allows electrons to flow much more freely, along with corresponding improvements in battery performance. Safer, cheaper, and cleaner electricity and electrical storage would obviously have a dramatic impact on our society.

Another reason nanotechnology holds so much promise is that it enables solutions at the same size scale as biological organisms, such as the individual cells in our bodies. Engineered materials are possible, such as ultrasmall particles made in the exact size to perform like a "smart bomb" in delivering drugs in the blood stream. Other applications might detect cancer when it is only a few cells in size. Future convergence of nanotechnology and biotechnology may combine biological and man-made devices in a variety of applications, such as batteries for implanted heart pacemakers that draw electrical current from the wearer's glucose rather than from surgically implanted batteries.

Yet another important facet of nanotechnology--one that underpins both its promise and the challenges--is that it embraces and attracts so many different disciplines that researchers and business leaders are working in, among them, chemistry, biology, materials science, physics, and computer science. Although each field has tremendously talented people, each also has its own somewhat unique training and terminology. Almost like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, each group approaches the molecular level with unique skills, training, and language. Communication and research between academic disciplines and between researchers and their business counterparts is critical to the advancement of nanotechnology.

With the diversity of professional cultures in mind, a central goal of this book is to promote communication and cooperation between researchers and industry by including similarly diverse articles written by experts but accessible to everyone.

The depth of scientific talent and the substantial resources being devoted to nanotechnology are a tremendous cause for optimism for both near-term and long-term gains. Ultimately nanotechnology will yield greater impact than information technology or biotechnology has. However, the tempo of technology is not set by the velocity of novel discoveries, but rather by the pace of what the market will embrace and pay for. The medium term in nanotechnology will be difficult and delayed by issues far beyond scientific research or product prototyping--namely, by the long, difficult process of new products gaining traction in the marketplace. To reach the stage of a viable product, the innovations will have to overcome issues such as how they are integrated, how much power they consume, and how they are controlled. Only then will the marketplace vote with dollars on the technology. For these reasons, another goal of this book is to highlight these issues so that a broader audience can address them with its respective understanding and resources.

This book is organized into four matrixed sections. Section One is focused on the history and development drivers of innovation. The first chapter highlights a historical example from the early days of the biotechnology industry as a cautionary lesson about a new industry developing with new tools and tremendous promise. The promise of nanotechnology to solve the world's energy problem is outlined in Chapter 2, along with the impact the solution would have on solving other problems as well. Chapter 3 is a discussion of the role played by expectations in the development of an industry.

Section Two focuses on the talents, roles, and motivations of the main players and individuals, along with the organizational factors that drive technologies forward or limit their impact. Chapter 4 presents the vision of a venture capitalist who takes a long-term view of nanotechnology as the nexus of disruptive innovation, and Chapter 5 outlines current investment decisions in nanotechnology. Chapter 6 outlines the U.S. government's role in funding research and establishing policies for the safe and effective use of nanotechnology. Then Chapter 7 discusses specific areas of academic research, and Chapter 8 explains how technologies developed there are brought to commercial use. The role of U.S. patent law in commerce follows in Chapter 9, with a discussion of its impact on the advance of nanotechnology. Chapter 10 explains why entrepreneurs are the key drivers of change in a new industry and help it advance by taking tremendous personal risks. Chapter 11 discusses the challenges within a large corporation that is developing technology products. Finally, Chapter 12 presents an overview of technologies developed in federal laboratories and describes how they are commercialized.

Section Three considers specific areas of innovation: nanoscale materials (Chapter 13) as well as other areas where nanotechnology is making a dramatic impact: nano-enabled sensors (Chapter 14), the microelectronics industry (Chapter 15), and drug delivery (Chapter 16). This part concludes with a chapter (Chapter 17) specifically on the intersection of nanotechnology and biotechnology, a combination that holds enormous potential to impact medicine and health.

Section Four suggests that the convergence of science at the nanoscale foreshadows a transformation and revolutionary change in society (Chapter 18) and highlights ethical considerations in the advance of nanotechnology (Chapter 19).

The Epilogue features a prescient speech given in 1983 by the late Richard Feynman, the legendary physicist who first envisioned nanotechnology.

Working at the level of individual atoms and molecules allows researchers to develop innovations that will dramatically improve our lives. The new realm of nanotechnology holds the promise of improving our health, our industry, and our society in ways that exceed even those of computers or biotechnology.

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    current prospects for nanotech

    Foster has compiled a timely set of essays on nanotech, circa 2005. Deliberately written to reach as wide a non-technical audience as possible. The authors are a varied bunch. Nobel Laureate Smalley, who discovered C60 (the buckyball), talks about nanotech enabling a solution to a global energy problem. While equally distinguished venture capitalist Jurvetson discussed prospects for commercialisation in various fields like lithography and metrology. There are numerous other contributors, as well. One chapter, by Lawrence and Bock, is a little askew from the rest of the book. They talk about what it means to be a technological entrepreneur. This often involves having an epiphany ('great idea') and then taking a labourious path to instantiating it as a product or company. With great risk of failure, and encompassing long hours and almost total personal commitment. There is little in this chapter specific to nanotech. Yet, upon reflection, the chapter does fit into the book. It targets a reader, perhaps a scientist or engineer, who may be tempted to go down this route. As a co-founder of a startup company, albeit in software, I found the chapter to be spot on. On a minor note, a chapter on microelectronics described how doping in very small structures can lead to wide device variations. Due to the discretisation of the dopants and their random placements within the structures. This was the main subject of my PhD in 88.

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