Thursday, March 1, 2007

Picture of the day

Eye of the Storm

K. Elise Cohen, Eye of the Storm, NanoArt 2006

From NanoArt 2006. © Copyright K. Elise Cohen (click to see larger version)

NANOART is a new art discipline related to micro/nanosculptures created by artists/scientists through chemical/physical processes and/or natural micro/nanostructures that are visualized with powerful research tools like Scanning Electron Microscope and Atomic Force Microscope.

NanoArt could be for the 21st Century what Photography was for the 20th Century. We live in a technological society, in a new Renaissance period, and there is no reason for Arts to stay away from Technology. NanoArt is the expression of the New Technological Revolution and reflects the transition from Science to Art using Technology.

See all of K. Elise Cohen's NanoArt 2006 entries here, or visit her website.

Please contact me if you would like to submit an image. (rocky at

Quote of the day

"We and others are using nanotechnology to create smaller and smaller chips that have more and more power and communicate with everything around them. Everything in your home and office and car will have intelligence and the information you need."

~Nantero CEO Greg Schmergel

"If nanotechnology ... at maturity achieves even a fraction of its promise, it will force the reassessment of global markets and economies and industries on a scale never experienced before in human history. Imagine the emergence of a nanochip that tomorrow would deliver over 50 gigahertz of speed with the processing power of ten supercomputers for the price of a quartz watch and smaller than a key chain. What might the economic impact on the computer industry be overnight? Imagine a super strong and inexpensive material to be used for pipe insulation, construction and manufacturing that would eliminate the market for steel and plastic. How might that influence the economy?"

~Dr. James Canton, CEO & Chairman, Institute for Global Futures

Today's Pentium IV processor is the size of a dime, and sends electrons zipping around its 55 million transistors at 2 gigahertz, or 2 billion times per second. In 10 years the average silicon chip will likely contain a billion or more transistors and run at speeds exceeding 25 billion cycles per second. Already, exotic, high-performance chips, such as one made from silicon germanium that was recently announced by IBM, can exceed speeds of 100 gigahertz.

From Silicon is slow (August 2004)

The inexorable march down

One area that “nano” shows up in and is mostly not recognized for is the computer chip industry. The “chip” industry has been working within the nanoscale for years, and is now testing graphene-based transistors that are one atom thick and less than fifty atoms wide (1).

At $200-billion per year (and growing), the chip industry is a major player in terms of employment and revenues, and is a driving force for dozens of other industries and technologies, which is why this is another area that I will cover on a regular basis.

Below you will find a summary of the latest news, covering the period from December 29, 2006, to January 12, 2007.

IBM is testing a new technology that uses “engineered chains of carbon monoxide molecules on a surface of copper.” This technology, while still years away from meaningful products, is one step closer to computing on the scale of individual atoms.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic are working with hybrid structures consisting of carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires. Resultant technologies could impact many areas within the electronics industry, such as using nanotubes as interconnects in chips.

Foundry United Microelectronics announced plans to open a new 300mm wafer plant in 2008, costing about $5 billion.

DuPont Air Products Nanomaterials is suing Cabot Microelectronics Corp. The issue: “the process used in the manufacture and sale of the slurry polishing compound and pad products needed in chemical mechanical planarization (CMP).”

“A team of researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Zhejiang University in PR China have demonstrated nanorobotic spot welding using single-crystalline copper-filled CNTs inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM).” (

With the end of Moore's Law looming as a possibility, the search for something to replace today's workhorse CMOS-based silicon is intensifying, researchers told the AVS International Symposium & Exhibition in San Francisco last November. (RR: good background information on Moore’s Law and some of the technologies that may extend it) (

Josh Wolfe (Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report) picked IBM’s nanotube electrical circuit research as one of five nanotech breakthroughs of 2006. “The integrated logic circuit consists of 12 transistors made of palladium and aluminum tracing the length of a single carbon nanotube. The circuit is hundreds of times slower than today's silicon processors, but it is 100,000 times faster than any previous carbon nanotube device and has the potential to be much faster.” (


Please contact me at rocky at for detailed reports on this or any other "nanotech" area, including advanced materials, nanomedicine, energy, cleantech, etc.