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Making it to the forefront


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Making it to the forefront

  1. 1. 9N. Aydogan-Duda (ed.), Making It to the Forefront: Nanotechnology—A DevelopingCountry Perspective, Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management 14,DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-1545-9_2, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 20122.1 IntroductionThe interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology is a given, i.e., the principles of thistechnology finds its application in a variety of different sectors. Hence, its successin terms of enabling economic growth is largely dependent as to whether such col-laboration at the research and development stages is promoted effectively. In fact,the celebrated multiplier effect of this technology requires collaboration withoutwhich the impact of nanotechnology would stand as irrelevant to the economic envi-ronment it is brought in.There are a variety of different approaches to cultivate this industry across differentcountries. In the first section we first list the possible implications of nanotechnologyon several industries such as the agriculture and the food industry, the water man-agement industry, energy industry, solar energy industry, medicine and healthcareindustries, textiles, chemicals, space, construction, electronics, automobiles, com-puters, and materials industries. In the second and third sections, respectively, weexemplify as to what type of policies can help this diffusion and the resulting mul-tiplier effect. In the third section, we talk about the policy needs to advance thistechnology so that its applications fulfill their potential.N. Aydogan-Duda ( )Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship,Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, 85306-6000 AZ, USAe-mail: drnesli@hotmail.comChapter 2Diffusion of Nanotechnologyand the External EnvironmentNeslihan Aydogan-Duda
  2. 2. 10 N. Aydogan-Duda2.2 The Impact of Nanotechnology on Other Industries:The Multiplier EffectNanotechnology is described as general purpose technology because it has implicationson a variety of products and processes that can increase productivity for the generaleconomy. The possible adverse effects of this industry are accounted for and talkedabout by Cozzens in Chap. 13.Below we give a list of possible implications of nanotechnology on a variety ofindustries. The variety of possible applications is paramount and appears as endless.The information below is taken from the Web site of SAiNSCE (strategic applicationsintegrating nano-science Incorporation) (,which is a company that aims to enlarge and exploit the technological and marketpotential of NanoScience.We also employ the site and a report prepared by Kyungchee Choi of UNESCO (2005). Webelieve that the list is as comprehensive as it can be, but it may not be complete aseveryday new applications of nanotechnology are being discovered.2.2.1 Agriculture and Food IndustriesMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?Food security Use of nanotechnology in agriculture and food industry canrevolutionize the sector with new tools for disease detection,targeted treatment, enhancing the ability of plants to absorbnutrients, fight diseases, and withstand environmental pressuresand effective systems for processing, storage, and packagingLow productivityin cultivable areasPrecision farming—Nanotech application here makes farmingmore targeted and scientific. Precision farming makes useof computers, global satellite positioning systems, and remotesensing devices to measure various parameters. Accurateinformation through applications of nanotechnology forreal-time monitoring of soil conditions, environmentalchanges and diseases, and plant health issuesLarge uncultivable areas Bringing more areas under cultivation by nanotech-enabledenvironmental monitoring and management includingcost-effective water management through applicationsof nanoscience. Use of nanotechnology in agriculturecan thus change the land use pattern substantiallyShrinkage of cultivablelandsThe remedy is to enhance productivity through nanotech-drivenprecision farming and to maximize the output and minimizeinputs through better monitoring and targeted action(continued)
  3. 3. 112 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentInput waste Nanotech-enabled sensors and smart delivery systems will help theagricultural industry combat viruses and other crop pathogensIn the near future, nanostructured catalysts will be available whichwill increase the efficiency of pesticides and herbicides,allowing lower doses to be usedProduct waste Precision farming through use of nanotech applications can alsohelp to reduce agricultural waste and thus keep environmentalpollution to a minimumPerishability/low shelf life Use of nanotechnology in sensing applications will ensurefood safety and security, as well as technology applicationswhich alert the customers and shopkeepers when a foodis nearing the end of its shelf life. Nanotech-based newantimicrobial coatings and dirt repellent plastic bags area remarkable improvement in ensuring the safety and securityof packaged foodTechnology limitations Various devices designed through application of nanotechnology,which include biosensor for the detection of pesticides,herbicides, insecticide, viruses, microbe, will bridge this gapto a great extent. Smart packaging developed by applyingnanoscience concepts and technology would be able to repairsmall holes/tears, respond to environmental conditions(e.g., temperature and moisture changes), and alert thecustomer if the food is contaminated. Food companieswill have to be very vigilant in logisticsSkill limitations Nanotechnology applications have the potential to produceeasy-to-handle devices which reduce the dependenceon human skills on many fronts, thus reducing the humanrisk. Fresh and processed food companies will have a newdimension to quality and productionProcessing limitations Nanotechnology will change the existing system of foodprocessing and will enhance the nutritional quality of foodand will ensure the safety of food productsOther strategic applications of nanotechnology for use inagriculture and food processing industry include the additionof nanoparticles to existing foods to enable increasedabsorption of nutrientsThis is possible through selected additives and improvementsto the way the body digests and absorbs foodNanotechnology is already making an impact on the developmentof functional or interactive foods, which respond to the body’srequirements and can deliver nutrients more efficientlyResearch is on to develop new nanotech-driven “on demand”foods, which will remain dormant in the body and delivernutrients to cells when needed. This is possible by applicationof nanoscience. The food companies are keen to adapt newtechnology in a big wayMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?(continued)
  4. 4. 12 N. Aydogan-DudaPackaging limitations Silver nanoparticles can be embedded in polymeric materialssuch as PVC, PE, PET while polymerization occurs.Silver nanoparticles kill pathogens, bacteria, viruses,and fungus and are used as a good and safe packaging pot.Such nanotech-based packaging materials are 100 times moresecure than the normal one for the storage of juices, milk,and other agri-products. Nanotech products in packagingfood products thus offer immense potential. Food packagingfilms in the name of “hybrid system” films have enormousnumber of silicate nanoparticles. They massively reduce theentrance of oxygen and other gases, and the exit of moisture,thus preventing food from spoiling or drying. Nanotechnologycan provide solutions for modifying the permeation behaviorof foils, increasing barrier properties (mechanical, thermal,chemical, and microbial), and improving mechanical andheat-resistance propertiesOther nanotech devices may include developing active antimicro-bial and antifungal surfaces and sensing as well as signalingmicrobiological and biochemical changesDiseases and calamities The union of biotechnology and nanotechnology in sensors willcreate equipment of increased sensitivity, allowing an earlierresponse to environmental changes and diseasesImpact on environment Nanotechnology will also help protect the environment indirectlythrough the use of alternative (renewable) energy supplies,and filters or catalysts to reduce pollution and clean-upexisting pollutantsNanotech research also aims to make plants use water,pesticides, and fertilizers more efficientlyThis Nanotech application will help to reduce pollutionand to make agriculture more environmentally friendlyThus, the use of nanotechnology in agriculture will leadto a real breakthrough in this sectorMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?2.2.2 Water Management IndustryMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?Providing clean and safe waterdevoid of virus, bacteria,and other elements whichthe conventional methodscannot tackleFiltration via nanomembranes would ensure much moreprecision and purityFiltration through nanoelectropositive media can ensureimproved filtration of pathogenic microbes,particularly those which are resistant to conventionaldepth filtersNanotechnology-enabled filters also ensure filtrationof those viruses and bacteria which are too smallto be filtered by conventional filtersProviding clean and safe water at a lower cost(continued)
  5. 5. 132 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentProviding clean and safe waterat a lower costAffordable desalination is the panacea to the waterproblem. The high cost of conventional desalinationis mainly owing to the energy cost. By strategic useof ultrathin membranes, thanks to nanotechnology,high pressure pumps, energy recovery systems,pretreatment systems, back flushing, and othermaintenance costs would be minimized substantially,some even eliminated. This would make desalinationaffordable even for the developing nationsIncreasing the usability of unusablewater through desalination,recyclingNanofiltration membrane technology is widely usedto remove dissolved salts from salty water, removemicropollutants, soften water, and treating wastewater. Nanofilters can remove up to 99% of ammoniafrom contaminated waterways and sewage outflows.This allows the water to be recycled while theammonia removed can be reused as fertilizerConserving water Conserving water is as important as increasing thesupply of usable water. Nanotech has immensepotential in this area since this precision technologyhas strategic solutions to control waste of waterflowing through canals through better linings andcoatings, better drip and sprinkler systems, moreefficient coatings to stop seepage in household andindustrial water systems, and less requirement ofback flush in filtration systemsPreserving the essential nutrientsin water like calcium, etc.Nanotech-based filters can precisely select thesubstances and hence retention of essential ones willbe possible. Measuring and monitoring contaminantsat the trace level, nanofilters can analytically andeffectively measure and monitor contaminants likearsenic, mercury, and others even at the trace level,unlike the conventional ones which can measureonly the concentrated high level contaminantsNew possibilities Nanoscience enables various strategic applications asunder: Purification applications, ranging from highpurity semiconductor and medical uses through homedrinking water, remediation of both waste water andpolluted ground water. Desalination applications,including both sea water and brackish waterMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?
  6. 6. 14 N. Aydogan-Duda2.2.3 Environment-Related Energy SectorMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?Cleaner conventional energy Production of electricity from coal or natural gas canbe made more efficient by strategic use nanotechnologyin turbine plantsIn nuclear energy, nanotechnology can help improvethe radiation resistance of the materialsDependable supply of renewableenergy at affordable cost.The two big complaintsagainst solar and windpower are high cost andintermittent supply aslarge-scale storage notpossibleUse of nanotechnology in chemical reactions couldprovide hydrogen for tomorrow’s fuel-cell poweredvehicles. Cells with nanocrystalline coatings of metaloxides enable production of hydrogen gas directly fromsunlight. Nano-structured turbines ensure efficientproduction of wind energy at lower cost. Nano-basedsolar cell and panels contribute a lot for efficientgeneration and transmission of solar powerThe batteries currently available are not suitablefor large-scale storage. Strategic applications ofnanoscience will help in creating large banks ofbatteries to make storage on a large scale possibleNanotech would also enable creating new kind ofnanotubes-based capacitors which make batteriesusable for indefinite periodSafe and large-scale storageof hydrogen energy.Conventional technologystores hydrogen in high-pressure tanks which ishighly unsafeNanotechnology offers safe and practical solutionslike absorption onto high surface area solidsand use of carbon nanotubes and nano-structuredgraphite fibers for combining with metal hydridecompoundsFuel cell usage has been limiteddue to material performanceand high cost since it needsplatinum which is scarcelyavailableNanoscale material can replace platinum completelyor partially with increased efficiency for specificapplications. Carbon nanotubes could enable asubstantial improvement in the performanceof fuel cells, together with a heavy cost reductionof catalyst materialDeveloping efficient transmissiondevicesNanoengineering could lead to smart devices likesmart windows, energy-efficient LEDs and wirelesscontrols, and also highly efficient conductorsand superconductors that could eventually replacecurrent transmission facilitiesStrategic use of nanostructures would make any deviceenergy efficientDeveloping energy efficientdistribution networksNano-enabled capacitors will create entirely new networksfor local electricity storage which could ensure muchlower rates of energy wastage and improvedperformance(continued)
  7. 7. 152 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentAddressing the issues of soil, water,and air pollution through strategicapplications of nanosciencePollution monitoring using nanosensors lowers energyneeds due to lightweight strong materials. Productswith molecular-level precision through the use ofproductive nanosystems could result in virtuallyno chemical waste. Nano-enabled products likenanowire-based paper can clean up oil and otherorganic pollutants. Nano-sized particles of iron areuseful for cleaning up contaminants in groundwater,soil, and sedimentsNew possibilities throughnanotechnologyPersonal power-jackets that could use heat from thehuman body to recharge cell phones and otherelectronic devices. Microbial fuel cells where anorganism performs electron transfer mechanismare being developed through use of nanotechnology.High-powered batteries that can be used in electricvehicles are being developed by strategic applicationsof nanoscienceMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?(continued)2.2.4 The Solar Energy SectorMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?Conventional energyis too expensiveNanotech devices have given us the possibility ofproducing cheap power and enough for every oneConventional energyis too centralizedNanosolar cells embedded in flexible plastics will be ableto adjust to the shape and terrain of the rooftopsand/or could be put into the building materials liketiles and siding. Thus, it will be possible to produceenergy at every rooftopConventional energy is polluting Nanoenergy is clean; cleaner than anything else possibleSolar energy againis too costlyNanotechnology has added to the possibility of producingsolar energy which is cheaper than that from theconventional sourcesHow will it be stored? Nanotechnology-enabled super capacitors will help in localstorage of energyHow to reduce energy waste:transmission losses?Nanosuperconductors will replace current transmissionfacilities and they will have better performance on thisfrontThe photovoltaic cells that makeup most present-day solarpanels are made up ofcrystalline silicon, whichrequires clean manufacturingfree of dust and airbornemicrobes. Silicon is short insupply and expensiveWith nanotechnology, tiny solar cells can be printed ontoflexible, very thin light-retaining materials, by passingthe cost of silicon production. Thin rolls of highlyefficient light-collecting plastics spread across rooftopsor built into building materialsNanocells made up of materials, several thousand timessmaller than hair, will have more light-capturingcapabilities. Each nanosolar cell will be an energycollector and spread with the plastic sheets, and willcover large surface areas than photovoltaic cells
  8. 8. 16 N. Aydogan-DudaHigh manufacturing costslead to high pricesNano-enabled plastic solar cells can turn the sun’s powerinto electrical energy, and they are many times moreefficient than present solar cellsFlexible sheets of tiny solar cells made by usingnanoscience applications may be used to harnessthe sun’s energy and will ultimately provide a cheaper,more efficient source of energyBy integrating applications of nanoscience “solar farms”may be created which consist of the plastic materialwith solar cells which can be rolled across desertsto generate energyWhat are the furtherpossibilities?Nanotubes, because of their structure, exhibit electricaland optical properties, which help in the absorptionof solar energy and its conversion to electrical energyNanoparticles like quantum dots with a polymer to makethe plastic can detect energy in the infrared solar rays.This will strategically capture more solar energyNanoscience also enables production of solar cell glassthat will not only generate energy, but also act aswindows in future houses and commercial buildings.While it captures solar energy to power the building,it also reduces overheating of the house therebyreducing the need for coolingDye-sensitized nanosolar cells using photosensitive dyewhich do not require costly and large-scale productionequipmentMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?2.2.5 Medicine and the Healthcare IndustryMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?A surgery causes wounds whichtake long time to heal.Cancer therapy is damagingto many other important parts.The trial and error method ofdrugs have side effects. Organtransplantation may result intocrippling the entire immunesystem. Many health problemscannot be cured at allThe present practice to deliver a chemical in the bodyis to dump it into either the bloodstream or the stomach,and let it spread all through the bodyFor some chemicals like insulin, it is acceptable. But forothers, such as chemotherapy drugs and someantibiotics, it is best to keep them as local as possibleStrategic nanotechniques can help the humanity: can putdrug delivery devices right where they are neededNanomedicines and nanotech machines have createdthe possibility of diagnosing, treating, and preventingdisease with the use of smart drugs and equipments thattarget specific organs or cellsReducing the sideeffects or damagesto nontarget cellsNanotechnology has the potential of engineering particlesto be used for detecting and treating the diseases orinjuries within the targeted cells, thereby minimizingthe damage to healthy cells in the body(continued)
  9. 9. 172 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentAvoiding unnecessary damageto other cells while treatinga particular cellNanomedicine holds good promise in this regard.This involves the use of manufactured nanorobotsto make repairs at the level of specific cellsAvoiding infection duringsurgery or in woundsNanocrystalline silver is already being used asa antimicrobial agent in the treatment of woundsTargeted diagnostics, treatment,and drug deliveryVery useful devices using nanotechnology and othernanoproducts are under development which include:Qdots: which can identify the exact location of cells•(e.g., cancer) in a bodyNanoparticles: that deliver drugs directly to cells•to minimize damage to healthy cellsNanoshells: for focusing the heat from infrared•light to destroy cancer cells with minimal damageto surrounding healthy cellsNanotubes: They are used to repair broken bones;•to provide a structure for new bone material to growCell repair machines: They will almost be of the size•of bacteria and viruses. They will be able to travelthrough and enter the tissues like white blood cellsand viruses. They will also be able to open and closethe cell membranes with the care and precisionof a surgeonSimilarly, selective destruction of diseased cell•will also be possible by applications of nanoscience:identify them and destroyEasy and cheap diagnostics Portable diagnostic nanokits are being developed likethe ones available for sugar and pregnancy test,no need to go to a lab or wait for hours for the reportFuture applicationsin nanomedicineIn eliminating bacterial infections in a patient: it can bedone within minutes through nanotechnology-enabledmedicines, instead of treating with antibiotics over aperiod of few weeksTo perform surgery at the cellular level: this will help•removing individual diseased cells and even repairingdefective portions of individual cellsWith drugs and surgery, the physicians presently cause•the tissues to repair themselves. Whereas nano-enabledmolecular machines will affect more direct repairs, thusbringing a total revolution in medical scienceSubstantial increase in the human lifespan: by•strategically repairing cellular level conditions thatcause the body to age by use of nanotechnologyThe programmed nanomachines will treat even•unknown diseases. They identify any foreign elementand destroy it to ensure good state of healthMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?
  10. 10. 18 N. Aydogan-Duda2.2.6 The Materials IndustryMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?They are heavier and bulky evenif the weight is not a requirementof the productWe can make nanomaterials as precise and compactas required through strategic applications ofnanoscienceThere is a lot of waste and hence wastemanagement is a big issueWaste management will be easier not only becausethe materials will be nano, but also because thetechnology itself will bring out materials thatsolve the problemThere is lot of transmission lossin transmission of electricityNanomaterials offer the bestin that regardOne reason for this is that the materials used fortransmission, for example copper, are not goodconductors. Nanotech carbon fibers will havevery good conductivity/semiconductivityThere is loss of fuel consumptionin several applications like autoand aerospaceWith carbon nanomaterials, the weight of thesedevices will be much lesser and hence fuelconsumption will be reducedStain and corrosion in most materials Nanomaterials offer the best in that regard2.2.7 Nanotechnology and TextilesMaterials that take away sweat and make the clothing free of body odor have been developed•using nanotechAdding metal nanoparticles enables anti-odor functioning in the cloth•The conventional stain-free coatings make the cloth stiff and fuzzy and are washed away over•a period of time. Nanotech applications help making materials that develop chemical bondwith the fibers and the cloth remains smooth and stain freeAdding metal and semiconductor nanoparticles give the cloth glittering long-lasting colors•and wrinkle-resistance besides high-end features like protection against UV rays andantimicrobial function can be availableNanofibres render strength and durability which delays the wear and tear substantially•“Smart” nanomaterials could do some of the things living things do, such as heal breaks•and wounds, or change color or shape for protection in response to what is goingon around themRight now you can buy jackets with disc players and controls sewn in but they are quite•bulky and messy. Nanotech would give a new dimension to this segment of wearableelectronics with production of a new generation of garments with distributed sensorsand electronic function. They will go far beyond just very small electronic devicesor wearable, flexible computersNot only will these nanotech devices be embedded in textile substrates, but a nanoelectronic•device or system could ultimately become the fabric itselfNanotech application would lead to textiles with biomonitoring commands that will heat or•cool its wearer and change color as per the surroundingNanotech-based smart clothes would remotely monitor home-bound patients capturing vital•data and then beaming it wirelessly to a doctor, a hospital, a family member, or whereverit needs to go(continued)
  11. 11. 192 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentE-textiles and smart nanotextile would allow leveraging an existing low-cost textile•manufacturing infrastructureTextiles made by attaching nanolayers to natural fibers can control what passes through the•layer. These layers can be customized for different chemicals such that hazardous gases andchemicals can be blocked while still allowing air and moisture to pass throughNovel nanoscale fibers can be placed inside a garment or paper document to serve as a•“fingerprint” that proves the product is genuine. The fibers can essentially serve as molecularbar codesGarments treated with metallic nanoparticles prevent colds and flu•Electrostatically charged nanoparticles and nanosilver protect the wearer from smog and air•pollution2.2.8 Construction IndustryMajor challenges What do the applications of nanoscience offer?Maintenance of glass structures Antifogging and self-cleaning glasses, low maintenancewindowsRusting and scratch long lasting Scratch-resistant floors using nanotechnologyCorrosion/rusting in structures Super strong structural components made withnanotechnologyLow life of paints: fading, etc. Longer-lasting house paint using nanotechnologyNumerous problems solvedat one stroke by integratingnanoscienceHealthy and safe indoor environment using nano-technology; self-cleaning skyscrapers usingnanotechnology; antimicrobial steel surfacesusing nanotechnology; better industrial buildingmaintenance; less energy-consuming buildingsusing nanotechnology; long-lasting roads andbridges using nanotechnology; self-sterilizingkitchen counters using nanotechnologyNumerous problems solved at one stroke by integratingnanoscienceHumidity controlling materials using nanotechnology2.2.9 Chemicals Industry(continued)Major challenges What do the applications of nanoscience offer?Chemical vapors Chemical vapor sensors: nanotechnology-enabled sensorscan detect even small amounts of chemical vapors.Detecting elements like carbon nanotubes, zinc oxidenanowires, or palladium nanoparticles can be strategicallyused in nanotechnology-based sensors. This will helpus monitoring the quality of air very easily
  12. 12. 20 N. Aydogan-DudaHow to detect lowconcentrations throughstrategic detection?Since the size of the above nanodevices is small, even a fewgas molecules are sufficient to change the electricalproperties of the sensing elements. This allows strategicdetection of even very low concentration of chemical vapors.These nanotech-enabled sensors can be installed at anyestablishment to check the level of chemical vaporsManagement of hazardoussubstancesNanotechnology-driven innovations will definitely havethe potential of reducing risks relating to several hazardoussubstances and chemical processesChemical substitution is a vast area opened by the applicationsof nanoscience. An important example is the substitutionof antifouling nanocoatings, used in the ship industryMajor applicationsof nanoscience underdevelopmentSensors which use: “zinc oxide nanowire detection elements”capable of detecting a variety of chemical vapors; “carbonnanotube detection elements” capable of detecting a varietyof chemical vapors; “pallidium nanoparticle detectionelements” to mainly detect hydrogen gasMajor challenges What do the applications of nanotechnology offer?2.2.10 Space IndustryEmploying materials made from carbon nanotubes to reduce the weight of spaceships likethe one shown below while retaining or even increasing the structural strengthUsing carbon nanotubes to make the cable needed for the space elevator, a system which couldsignificantly reduce the cost of sending material into orbitIncluding layers of bio-nanorobots in spacesuits. The outer layer of bio-nanorobots wouldrespond to damages to the spacesuit, for example, to seal up punctures. An inner layer ofbio-nanorobots could respond if the astronaut was in trouble, for example, by providing drugsin a medical emergencyDeploying a network of nanosensors to search large areas of planets such as Mars for tracesof water or other chemicals2.2.11 Defense IndustryRapid and inexpensive manufacture of great quantities of stronger and more precise weaponsguided by increased computational powerVirtual reality systems based on nanostructure electronics that enable more affordable, effectivetrainingEnhanced automation and robotics to offset reductions in military manpower, reduce risksto troops, and improve vehicle performanceHigher performance military platforms that provide diminished failure rates and lower life-cyclecostsImprovements in chemical/biological/nuclear sensing and casualty care(continued)
  13. 13. 212 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentNuclear nonproliferation monitoring and management systems combined nanomechanical andmicromechanical devices for control of nuclear defense systemsBionanobots might be designed that when ingested from the air by humans, they could assayDNA codes and self-destruct in an appropriate place, probably the brain, in those personswhose codes had been programmedNanobots could be designed to attack certain kinds of metals, lubricants, or rubber, destroyingconventional weaponry by literally consuming itNew realms of clothing would be possible, such as smooth, strong fabrics; sensory-enhancedgarments of fibers mixed with nanochip, and able to absorb or reject chemical agents or toxins2.2.12 Other ApplicationsNanotechnology in electronics:Laptop computer screen: thickness and weight of a piece of paperComputer chips: which can store the information equivalent to all present computers of the worldNanotechnology in automobile, electrical, and aerospace:Carbon materials like fullerenes, metal oxides, and nanotubes and fibers display very highmechanical and electrothermal conduction abilities. At the same time, their weight is farless and strength is far greaterNanotech applications in production of carbon fiber, and the machine parts with wear-resistant,erosion-resistant, and corrosion-resistantImportant nanotech materials and their applications:Metal oxides such as Alumina, Zirconia, Ceria, Zinc oxide-Car catalysts, antibacterialfunctions, structural ceramics, sunscreens, fuel cells, transparent UV absorbersCarbon—Thermal and Electrical conductorsAlumino silicate (imogolite)—Ceramics filter, Catalyst support, and humidity controllingbuilding materialsCalcium phosphates (hydroxyapatite)—Implants such as eyes, knees, and hips2.3 The US Issues of Diffusion and ProblemsThat Are Faced by the Developing Countries2.3.1 Nanotechnology and the USA relatively recent report prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce Technologyadministration (2007) helps us place the issues that are related to the developmentof this controversial, complex yet simple technology and its future. As we can see,a sophisticated economy that has very different issues to tackle with the advance-ment of a critical technology has to make its own policy decisions and apply its ownstrategies to tackle these problems.
  14. 14. 22 N. Aydogan-DudaGiven below are the issues that the report points out as problems related to thisindustry in the US.Research and Development: Infrastructure availability is lacking, yet crucial to•assist businesses, especially small companies that cannot afford the cost of nano-technology instrumentation, equipment, and facilities. Nanotechnology virtuallydemands university and industry cooperation due to basic science innovations,expensive laboratories, and need for highly trained workers.Investment: The necessary and substantial Investment Capital, cash, is lacking•early in business ventures for highly educated personnel and advanced R&Dsystems, high processing costs for nanoproducts, perception of long lead time fornanoproducts, and lack of process scalability.Intellectual Property (IP): IP is vital for new ventures needing core technology•licenses and help from investors. There is need to enhance IP protection to attractinvestors besides enacting stronger R&D tax credit and providing tax incentivesfor U.S.-based development ventures.Economic Development and Commercialization: Efforts by regional, state, and•local initiatives, mainly by governments and institutions, are not yet causing sig-nificant increases in new nanotechnology private sector jobs.Workforce Development and Education: Companies seek to locate manufactur-•ing in communities that have trained workforces. The US national trend is lead-ing away from traditional careers in technology at community colleges,undergraduate and graduate universities. Unfortunately, most of academia andthe research community do not facilitate a nanotechnology-oriented type of mul-tidisciplinary research.Occupational Health: Human exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace and•indoor and outdoor environments show a need for early monitoring of workerssubject to high nanotech exposures and toxicity concerns.Public Policy and Health: The public perception toward the federal government•from public knowledge about, and attitude toward, the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) is good to excellent but ambiguous towardbusiness, according to a survey.Government Budget: Government assistance is vital to help finance nanotechnol-•ogy infrastructure that requires higher investments and costs for multidisci-plinary ventures, and risk research of the environment and human health.Government should offer tax incentives to encourage safer environment by busi-ness, purchase desirable nanotechnology products and services, and amend regu-lations to favor certain conduct and outcomes.Nanotechnology Standards: There is urgent need to develop standards for each•aspect of the new nanotechnologies: research, production, products, and wastedisposal.Global: Global concern is growing since about 75% of known nanotechnology•R&D investment worldwide is done by foreign nations, and even more unknownamounts by private industry, thus making environment, health, and safety all
  15. 15. 232 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External Environmentinternational issues. Foreign competition might surge if they can operate withlittle regard for these issues.Instrumentation and Metrology: Instrumentation and Metrology standards are•lacking although vital to developing the basic terminology and comprehensivenomenclature of nanomaterials and products. Metrology, the science of measure-ment, underpins all other nanoscience and nanotechnologies not only because itallows the characterization of materials in terms of dimensions but also in termsof attributes such as electrical properties and mass.Nanobiotechnology: The science and engineering of nanobiosystems is one of•the most challenging and fastest growth sectors of nanotechnology. Althoughapplications of nanotechnologies in medicine seem especially promising, theunknown dangers and potential liabilities could become daunting.Energy: Nanotechnology and nanoscience advances are leading to improved•energy resources that might be packaged in every conceivable way and location.The long-term impact of such packages and eventual disposal in the environmentare unknown.Society: Nanotechnology acceptance by the public is subject to the extent of•hyperbole in publications, classes of people with power and wealth compared toothers who are helpless, and types of issues affecting public health and safety.The public impression generally is that risks from nanotechnology would out-weigh the benefits derived.Risk Management: An integrated risk research framework by government is•needed to manage nanotechnology environmental, health and safety issues bycoordinating many agencies.Environment: There is immediate need to focus efforts on the types of nanopar-•ticles already being used by industry, as these pose the most immediate exposurethreat to humans and the environment.Nanotechnology Materials: Developing and validating methods to evaluate the•toxicity of engineered nanomaterials is required, especially in the next 5–15years. Much of nanoscience and many nanotechnologies are concerned with pro-ducing new or enhanced materials.Conflict of Interest: An issue universities should anticipate and help to manage is•their nanotechnology innovation transfer terms and related conflicts of interestsat all levels involving professors, industry, and government.Nanotechnology Devices: Nanotechnology applications as devices may include•active nanostructures (anticipated rapid growth markets from 2005 to 2010) thatchange their state during use, responding in predictable ways to the environmentaround them. However, there is concern that the public would become wary andmight refuse acceptance of such devices.Nanotechnology Manufacturing: Systems of nanosystems (anticipated rapid•growth markets from 2010 to 2015) are assemblies of nanotools working togetherto achieve a final goal and could lead to large volume nanomanufacturing pro-cesses. A key challenge is to get the main nanocomponents working together asa network, possibly automatically exchanging information to make things frommolecular size “bottom–up.” Over time, some traditional industries currently
  16. 16. 24 N. Aydogan-Dudamaking things from existing materials “top–down” would be displaced, alongwith their workers.Related Services: Successful commercial exploitation of nanotechnology prod-•ucts requires unprecedented levels of collaboration (both vertical and horizontal)across many different realms in order to adequately address the inherent com-plexities associated with the lifecycles of such products. At present, there are nosophisticated networks of collaboration.Outer Space: Nearly every space program worldwide has found remarkable and•successful roles for Micro- and Nanotechnologies (MNTs).These have been developed in response to the lighter-weight, smaller-size, lesspower-dissipation, lower-cost mantra chanted by those involved with commercialouter-space, aerospace, and military applications. Although these highly specializedindustrial sectors are not directly relevant to general business and consumers, thespin-off technology could enrich global markets.As one can easily ascertain, for the US to benefit from all the solutions that nano-technology can offer does not come unchallenged. The main issues are naturally thedisplacement of workers and loss of jobs, the unknown consequences to the envi-ronment and the human health if nanotechnology research indeed gets to be diffusedacross all industries. What we conclude is that the implications of this science needto be studied carefully and should not be hindered by personal worries but ratherrealistic assessments should place and determine just how far a country with all thenecessary infrastructure can go.2.3.2 Nanotechnology and Developing CountriesIn Table 2.1 we can view the countries classified as developing, transitional, anddeveloped that are involved in the nanotechnology activities.There is an obvious correlation between the income levels, low levels of R&Dand health-care spending by governments, and efforts to invest in nanotechnology.Of course as Mac Lurcan (2005) adds the weak infrastructure, low skill levels, andbad policies along with the costs that are required to be incurred, weak intellectualproperty rights, inadequate education at the academic and the public level, the braindrain problem along with the trade barriers and political context are likely to createbarriers (though not unique to) for the advancement of the nanotechnology industry.Advancement involves the diffusion of the technology across the entire economy.The cost issue: It would help the reader have some perspective if we provide exam-ples as to how costly it is to set up a nanotechnology facility. In Costa Rica, forexample, a new nanotechnology facility, with a clean room, reportedly have costedabout $50,000 and to equip it will cost extra several hundred thousand dollars.Rao claims an Atomic Force Microscope, a fundamental tool for characterizationat the nanoscale, costs approximately $1.5 million, the ETC Group puts this figureat $175,000. Despite these figures, however, as Salvarezza puts it, even the developing
  17. 17. 252 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External EnvironmentTable2.1GlobaldistributionofnanotechnologyactivitybycountryandclassificationLeastdevelopedDevelopingTransitionalDevelopedNationalactivityorfundingArgentina;Armenia;Brazil;Chile;China;CostRica;Egypt;Georgia;India;Iran;Mexico;Malaysia;Philippines;Serbia&Montenegro;SouthAfrica;Thailand;Turkey;Uruguay;VietnamBelarus;Bulgaria;Cyprus;CzechRepublic;Estonia;HongKong;Hungary;Israel;Latvia;Lithuania;Poland;Romania;RussianFederation;Singapore;SlovakRepublic;Slovenia;SouthKorea;UkraineAustralia;Austria;Belgium;Canada;Denmark;Finland;France;Germany;Greece;Iceland;Ireland;Italy;Japan;Luxembourg;Netherlands;NewZealand;Norway;Portugal;PuertoRico;Spain;Sweden;Switzerland;Taiwan;UnitedKingdom;UnitedStatesofAmericaIndividualorgroupresearchBangladeshBotswana;Columbia;Croatia;Cuba;Indonesia;Jordan;Kazakhstan;Moldova;Pakistan;Uzbekistan;VenezuelaMacau(China);Malta;UnitedArabEmiratesLiechtensteinCountryofinterestAfghanistan;Senegal;TanzaniaAlbania;BosniaandHerzegovina;Ecuador;Ghana;Kenya;Lebanon;Macedonia;SriLanka;Swaziland;ZimbabweBruneiDarussalamSource:JournalofNanotechnologyOnline
  18. 18. 26 N. Aydogan-Dudaor less-developed countries can do research on nanotechnology as this research canbe done by using relatively cheap equipments such as computer and scanning probemicroscopes. In addition, Welland refutes the idea that drug research has to be capitalintensive. The author argues that pocket-sized, drug factories “could theoreticallyend the control of large companies over manufacturing.”These ideas are not left unchallenged as, for example, Waga argues that as scien-tists work with matter on a smaller scale approaching the nanoscale, more sophisti-cated and expensive equipment is required. Is the cost issue a fundamental problemor not and how it should be handled is controversial. What we have in our hands isan emerging technology with variety of applications—some more sophisticated thanothers (some R&D activity involves less sophisticated powders and some complexquantum computers). One has to understand that an easy access to affordable researchin niche application areas could be the right strategy for less-privileged countries.Partnerships and access to information: Partnerships between countries are crucialfor successful developing country engagement in nanotechnology. The NationalScience Foundation in the US suggests that countries can gain from precommercial-ization stages of R&D in nanotechnology and argues that research groups in differentcountries can provide complementary expertise to solve common problems. In 2002,the NSF had already developed partnerships with India and the Asia EconomicCooperation group and, since then, has been integral in the development of nationalnanotechnology initiatives in Vietnam and Costa Rica.Likewise, the European Commission has also engaged in widespread participationand within the borders of the Sixth Framework Programme European Commissionhas been funding the nanotechnology projects from developing countries. Forexample, European Commission has simultaneously engaged in partnerships innanotechnology with Argentine, India, Chile, China, Russia, and Africa.On the other hand, The Asia Nano Forum involves 13 countries including China,India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, andVietnam. However, apart from South Africa and India, there seems to be no evi-dence that suggests partnerships with the countries in the bottom third of the HumanDevelopment Index. However, in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Botswana,the nanotechnology research is being initiated and Kenya, Senegal, Swaziland,Ghana, Tanzania, and Afghanistan expressed interest for nanotechnology partner-ships. At this point, we have to caution the reader that the low development levelsobviously are not conducive to such research partnerships and expectations ofachievement from less-developed countries are relatively low.Research and development efforts, theoretical vs. applied: There is a long gapbetween the results obtained in a laboratory and its commercial application as amarket product. One such reason is the gap between a researcher and applied scien-tists. The scientists especially in developing countries, who have technology wherenanomaterials are involved or used, are usually interested in publishing papersrather than scaling it up for its commercial application. This also leads to a time gapin scaling up the technology because papers are published on the bench scale data,which faces many difficulties in scaling-up procedure. In addition in developing
  19. 19. 272 Diffusion of Nanotechnology and the External Environmentcountries, there is a lack of a coherent policy on tech transfer from universities tocommercial units and a lack of institutional structure.Weak Intellectual Property Rights—getting a patent is time-consuming whichdelays the process; in addition the patent office personnel do not have enough quali-fied staff to assess nanotechnology products. It is of course also the case that inmany developing countries property rights are rather weak.Low marketing skills—Developing country standards of regulations in terms ofenvironmental and health issues are often rather weak. This of course is likely tohamper exports and domestic demand.Lax standards—Lack of standards in the field of nanotechnology hinders theadvancement. Lax regulations may help these countries to offer products at a lowerprice but on the other hand it lowers the credibility in the international market.Although these countries might have the required regulations to curb unethical prac-tices, their governments do not have proper implementation skills.We have mentioned issues related to the diffusion of nanotechnology across dif-ferent industries in the US and in general in developing countries. Challenges aredifferent for each. For developing countries, the road to such diffusion might notprove as formidable as there are many niche areas these countries can concentrateon which would not require as much expensive infrastructure. The issues of weakproperty rights, low level of environmental and human life concerns are issues andregulations need to be implemented properly. A major step for any developingcountry is to have centers of applied nanotechnology research that would not requireimmense funding and that can help these countries to export their products in theinternational markets. Much is unknown, much remains to be seen.ReferencesChoi K (2005) Nanotechnologies and ethics expert group: report of the second meeting, UNESCO,Paris, 6–7 Dec 2005. Available (Strategic Applications Integrating Nano-Science Incorporation)., Lurcan DC (2005) Nanotechnology and Developing Countries – Part A: What Possibilities?AzoNano Online Journal of Nanotechnology. Lurcan DC (2005) Nanotechnology and Developing Countries – Part B: What Realities?AzoNano Online Journal of Nanotechnology.
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