News from the micro–nano world

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  • People

    Remembering Richard Smalley,Nanotechnology Pioneer

    Nobel Laureate Prof. Richard Smalley(Rice University, USA) died at the ageof 62 on October 28, 2005 in Houstonafter a long battle with cancer. Heshared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemis-try with fellow Rice chemist RobertCurl and British chemist Sir HaroldKroto for the discovery of buckminster-fullerene, a new form of carbon. He wasthe recipient of countless honors, includ-ing the American Carbon Society Medal(1997), the Franklin Medal (1996), theHewlettPackard Europhysics Prizefrom the European Physical Society(1994), the Ernest O. Lawrence Memori-al Award from the U.S. Department ofEnergy (1992), and the Irving LangmuirPrize in Chemical Physics from theAmerican Physical Society (1991).

    Richard Smalley was a true pioneerand one of the best-known and respect-ed scientists in nanotechnology. Re-cently, he had been involved in at-tempts to meet the challenge of reduc-ing the costs and environmental impactof energy production, both in theUnited States and worldwide. It was ofenormous pride and satisfaction to usthat Richard agreed to act as one ofthe inaugural Honorary Members ofour Editorial Advisory Board. The Ed-itors of Small would like to convey ourdeepest sympathy to Richard9s family,friends, and his colleagues at Rice Uni-versity.

    Reports

    Nanoforum Updates itsNanotechnology Report

    Nanoforum recently published the up-dated version of its 2004 report on theBenefits, Risks, Ethical, Legal, andSocial Aspects of Nanotechnology. Be-sides the update of several sections ofthe report, the major change to the2005 edition is a entirely new chapter,which comprises a debate forum onethical and societal implications ofnanotechnology. Two of the invited au-thors are experts in ethics and socialscience, namely, Jean-Pierre Dupuy(Ecole Polytechnique, Paris and Stan-ford University, USA) and ArminGrunwald (TAB and ITAS, Germany).The other two authors, Douglas Parr(Greenpeace, UK) and Sylvia Speller(Radboud University, Nijmegen, TheNetherlands), represent stakeholdergroups to nanotechnology, and writeabout the ethical and societal aspectsof nanotechnology from their own per-spective. The report can be download-ed for free at: www.nanoforum.org

    Networks and institutes

    University of DuisburgEssenLaunches Joint Nanocenter

    In an effort to more effectively link itsdiverse activities in the nano arena, theUniversity of DuisburgEssen (Ger-many) has founded CeNIDE, theCenter for Nanointegration Duis-burgEssen. It will comprise anumber of high-profile initiatives andwill serve to coordinate the Universi-ty9s nano-activities, ranging fromchemistry and physics to electrical andmechanical engineering. In recentyears, the University has significantlybuilt on its self-proclaimed field offocus and today the DuisburgEssenregion can be considered as one of themajor nanotechnology players in Ger-many. CeNIDE will officially belaunched in November at a kick-offmeeting on Structure and Dynamicson the Nanometer Scale. The researchactivities within this Center will focuson nanoparticle production, nanomag-

    Picture: A. Rochefort, Nano@PolyMTLFigure 1. Prof. Richard Smalley (19432005).

    18 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH&Co. KGaA, D-69451 Weinheim small 2006, 2, No. 1, 18 19

    news from the micro-nano world DOI: 10.1002/smll.200500428

  • netism, semiconductor nanostructures,nanoscale friction and dissipation, aswell as nanoscale sensors and catalysts.For further information, please visit:www.cenide.de

    Awards

    Nanoident Wins the UpperAustrian Innovation Award

    Nanoident, a leading company in thedevelopment of organic photonic sen-sors, has received the coveted Innova-tion Award 2005 bestowed by the Aus-trian federal province of Upper Aus-tria. The company has produced theworld9s first high-resolution photode-tector based on organic semiconductors(Figure 2). The core elements of the256-pixel sensor (50 B 50-mm-sizedpixels, 250 dpi resolution) are organicphotodiodes, photodiode lines, or pho-todiode arrays built on glass or on athin (30300 nm) and flexible plasticsubstrate such as a polyethylene tere-phthalate (PET) foil with ultrathinlayers of microstructured electrodesand photoactive semiconductors. Forfurther information, please visit:www.nanoident.com

    Awards

    2005 Feynman Prizes inNanotechnology

    The Foresight Nanotech Institute (US)has announced the 2005 FeynmanPrizes to leaders in research, communi-cation, government, and study in the

    field of nanotechnology at the 13thForesight Conference Advancing Bene-ficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on theCutting Edge. Christian Joachim(Centre Nationale de la Recherche Sci-entifique, France) received the theoryprize for developing theoretical toolsand establishing principles for thedesign of a wide variety of single-mo-lecular functional nanomachines. Theprize for experimental work wasawarded to Christian Schafmeister(University of Pittsburgh, USA) for hiswork in developing a novel technologysynthesizing macromolecules of inter-mediate sizes (between 1000 and10000 Da) with designed shapes andfunctions. The communication, govern-ment, and student prizes went toRocky Rawstern, editor of the Nano-technology Now website, US Congress-man Mike Honda, and PhD studentChristopher Levins of the University ofPittsburgh, respectively.

    Health issues

    Nanotoxicology Roadmap

    The Nanomaterial Toxicity ScreeningWorking Group from the InternationalLife Sciences Institute (USA) have re-leased a new report, which providesclear recommendations for developinga toxicity screening scheme. The reportpresents the elements of a screeningstrategy rather than a detailed testingprotocol due to the limited researchdata currently available at this earlystage in the development of a risk-as-sessment process for nanomaterials.Based on an evaluation of these data,the Working Group consisting of inter-national experts from different disci-plines considered the potential effectsof exposure to nanomaterials by inha-lation, dermal, and oral routes, recog-nizing that levels of exposure will behighly dependent upon how the materi-als are used. The report places a partic-ular emphasis on the need to appropri-ately characterize or measure the prop-erties of materials used in screeningstudies in order to obtain significant re-sults. According to the report, there isa strong likelihood that the biological

    activity of nanoparticles will depend onphysicochemical parameters not rou-tinely considered in toxicity screeningstudies.

    G. Oberdrster et al. , Particle andFibre Toxicology 2005, 2:8

    Synthetic procedures

    Magnetic NanoparticlesAssembled Into Long Chains

    Researchers from the National Insti-tute of Standards and Technology(USA) report on centimeter-longchains of magnetic nanoparticles, whichhave been assembled and disassembledin a solution of suspended particles ina controlled fashion (Figure 3). The re-searchers induce the nanoparticles toform linear chains by subjecting themto a weak magnetic field. The particlesline up because the nanoparticles actlike tiny bar magnets, all facing in thesame direction as the applied field.Once this alignment occurs, the attrac-tion between particles is so strong thatreversing the direction of the appliedmagnetic field causes the whole chainto rotate through 1808. When the mag-netic field is turned off, the chains foldinto three-dimensional coils. When thesolution is lightly shaken, the chainsfall apart into small rings. Due to thepotential application of these particlesin medical imaging, the authors arenow developing methods to improvethe biocompatibility of these magneticnanoparticles.

    G. Cheng et al., Langmuir, ASAPWeb Release Date: October 12, 2005,DOI: 10.1021/la0506473

    Figure 2. Artists impression of the Nanoidentorganic photodetector.

    Figure 3. TEM image showing chains ofcobalt nanoparticles. Copyright 2005, Ameri-can Chemical Society.

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