Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Picture of the day

Graphite nanoparticles

Cris Orfescu, Graphite nanoparticles

Image derived from black and white Scanning Electron Microscope images that was digitized and computer painted. (click to see larger version)

Learn more at Cris Orfescu's Premiere Artist Portfolio (RR: This is another of my favorites.)

NANOART - Limited edition prints. Nano-dimensional features of different materials are revealed with an electron microscope after samples have been previously prepared. The image is created by electrons (electric charged particles) rather then photons (particles of light) as in photography. The black and white electron microscope image is digitally processed, computer painted and manipulated, and printed with archival inks on fine art archival paper or canvas - contact the artist for details. All prints are signed and numbered by the artist.

To see the entire series, visit the Nanotechnology Now Gallery.

Quote of the day

"Nanotech is where breakthroughs are likely. Forget about just the cancer-detection and other advanced medical tools it's midwifing and the next-gen consumer electronics such as super-bright displays. On a planet that's on the cusp of catastrophic climate change, nano-engineered materials have the potential to make a real difference. Imagine solar power cells that are far cheaper and more efficient; batteries that allow for more efficient electric cars; components that make cleaner coal-fired power plants. These and other applications are hardly trivial--they'll save energy, reduce pollution, and maybe go a little way to making sure Times Square won't be under water for the next millennium celebration."

~David Talbot, Technology Review

Interview with Norm Wu

Today, I would like to present an interview that I did with Norm Wu
Managing Director, Alameda Capital.

RR: What is your definition of nanotechnology?

At Alameda Capital, we view nanotechnology as the commercialization of technology that takes advantage of unique phenomena that exist at the atomic and molecular scale, giving rise to new and useful properties at the macro scale. Examples of such phenomena might include surface effects (such as what you get when nanoscale fibers repel liquids by changing the surface tension of a fabric), molecular forces (such as the Van der Waals forces that provide the potential for next generation non-volatile semiconductor memory based on the natural attraction of closely spaced nanowires with one another), thermal vibration (such as selectively directing thermal vibration energy to harmful bacteria to break them down), or quantum effects (which will someday enable high performance quantum computing). Commercialization is the key word that differentiates real nanotechnology from nanoscience (which is basic research at the nanoscale).

Our investments will be in the traditional market sectors of IT, life sciences and energy where the convergence of multiple technologies, including advanced materials, creates an opportunity for new companies that can integrate such multiple disciplines to capture share with a proprietary set of products. We call this "convergent technologies." Many, but not all, of these opportunities will stem from nanotechnology.

RR: As things stand today, which nanotechnologies will you likely invest within the next five years, and why?

We are currently excited about a number of sensor and imaging technologies for security and medical diagnostics, new display technologies, next generation semiconductor devices (first memory and later logic), and certain alternative energy technologies. Each of these have large existing markets, reasonable capital requirements, good technology maturity, and talented entrepreneurs who have developed a compelling value proposition based on the convergence of nanotechnology with other technologies.

RR: Overall, what do you like about nanotech as an investment area?

Nanotechnology, if commercialized on a timely basis, has the potential to transform large existing markets. It's usually not about creating new markets, although there is some potential for that too. Nanotechnology also provides a great opportunity for start-ups to capture market share from existing competitors by being smart about how they integrate nano and other technologies to create compelling new properties resulting in such products as low cost/ultra-sensitive medical imaging, low energy high brightness displays, ad hoc wireless sensor networks, high density memory storage, low cost photovoltaics and more.

Read the entire interview, here: