17 February 2010 Emerging research in micro and nano systems: opportunities and challenges for societal impact
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In just a few decades, micro and nano technologies have changed the way that we live - how we work and communicate; the food and medicine that we consume; the clothing that we use; and the entertainment that we seek. While these technologies are being actively investigated in several research communities, the potential for continued societal impact is constrained by resources available for system-level research. Given the long time-lines and levels of investment that are typically necessary to develop functional systems, strategic prioritization of research directions from the perspective of societal needs can be helpful. This paper outlines the findings of an NSF-sponsored road-mapping workshop that was held in 2009, with the intention of initiating a conversation about the opportunities and challenges for micro and nano systems. Four areas of need were discussed: environmental sensing; health care; infrastructure monitoring; and energy alternatives. Possible research trajectories were identified by envisioning technological goals for the year 2040, and linking these to horizons for 2015 and 2025. This paper also provides few examples of current research in each of the four application domains. It is noted that a systems perspective can help to keep the research focused, accelerating and amplifying the societal gain with available resources. Practical and affordable solutions at the system level will require partnerships between specialists, and also between academia and industry.
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Yogesh B. Gianchandani, Yogesh B. Gianchandani, "Emerging research in micro and nano systems: opportunities and challenges for societal impact", Proc. SPIE 7593, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems VIII, 759302 (17 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.848216; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.848216

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