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26 March 2008 Nanoscale materials for engineering and medicine
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Materials with nanoscale features have new or improved properties compared to bulk materials. These properties depend on the composition, size, and shape of the material, and include high specific strength and modulus, low melting point, high electrical and thermal conductivity, a large surface area to volume ratio, nearly defect-free structure, magnetic and optical properties, and sensing and actuation properties. This talk will discuss synthesis, processing, and application of nanoscale materials for engineering and medicine. Recent advances in nanoparticle synthesis include development of "Black Cotton" which is centimeter long carbon nanotubes grown in arrays, improved carbon nanofiber material, and development of carbon nanosphere chain material which has the morphology of carbon onions chained together. Applications of these materials under development include spinning Black Cotton into thread to produce a new smart material with reinforcement, sensing, and actuation properties, use of nanotube arrays for electrodes and biosensors, catalyst loaded nanotubes for medical contrast agents, and nanosphere chains for manufacturing composite materials. Overall, this paper shows that "Nanoizing" materials and structures is a hot new technological science that is going to improve many aspects of our lives. These new materials are also generating intellectual property and new opportunities for small companies and universities.
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