Next Hot Item
We went straight to the source and asked nanotechnology experts what they think the 'next hot item' in nanotechnology will be. Here are their responses.
Click here for a larger image.
"I believe the future of nanotechnology lies in combining traditional vacuum-based film growth and lithography with tools from synthetic organic chemistry and biotechnology to create new “hybrid” nanostructures.
Lloyd J. Whitman
Naval Research Laboratory
"For me the next hot item will come via using biological principles in
technical systems. But I don´t believe at selfreplicating autonomous
Gerd Bachmann, Ph.D
VDI Technology Center, Germany
"...I would suggest 'molecular transistors' as a possible 'very hot' subject. These devices made of single molecule might replace our current solid-state transistor in the future, providing orders of magnitude of increased integration levels."
Massimiliano Di Ventra, Ph.D
"The next hot area (I hope) will be computational
modeling of molecular machine systems, in aid of
physical implementation efforts."
Eric Drexler, Ph.D
"I think there's little doubt that the next revolution is linking nanotechnology with biology. In essence, biology is the original 'nanosystem', and much of what scientists and engineers
are trying to do in the nanotechnology field is to try to mimic things that biology already does extremely well. For example, biology already has 'molecular motors', all types of self-assembled nanoscale systems, and highly selective means for positioning at the nanoscale, all done very efficiently and at high speed. What we need to do is to learn how to adapt, or evolve, these systems in a way that they will perform other types of functions."
Robert Hamers, Ph.D
University of Wisconsin-Madison
"There are two areas of research which I think are most critical. First,
research in mechanosynthesis -- the use of positional assembly to
manufacture specific molecular structures. This can be pursued
experimentally via scanning probe microscopes, or theoretically using
computational chemistry. The latter approach permits investigation of
manufacturing methods that are not at present experimentally accessible,
giving us a window on what should be possible and worth pursuing
experimentally in the next few decades. Specific examples of theoretical
work that can illuminate future possibilities are
http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/hydroCarbonMetabolism.html. This is a
fertile area where much could be done.
The other area of research that is presently wide open is system designs
for replicating molecular manufacturing systems. Examples of this kind of
work are http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/casing.html and
http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/convergent.html. Another relevant system
design (though not exactly molecular) is
Ralph Merkle, Ph.D
"I believe the hot item is molecular electronics.
The long term goal is to develop new electronic
devices based on single molecules."
Susan B. Sinnott, Ph.D
University of Florida
"That is a tough question. There are many exciting things happening in molecular motors and nanometer-scale components for electronic devices. However, my prediction for the next hot thing is going to be complex nanometer-scale materials that combine biological and inorganic elements."
Otto F. Sankey, Ph.D
Arizona State University
"I believe the next 'hot' area will be nanowires. This is the area
that I predicted two years ago and it is really showing the up-coming
potential. There are many papers being produced this year in the area and
we are one of the leaders in the field."
Zhong Lin (ZL) Wang, Ph.D
Georgia Institute of Technology