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Research involving nanoscale dimensions enable development of innovative materials to help solve challenges in the world you live in. As an example, printing electronic circuitry on flexible and stretchable backplanes could revolutionize a number of industries, including smart devices.
In the world of nanomanufacturing, new materials, devices, components and products are emerging at a breathtaking rate. Next-generation nanocoatings are being developed to enhance wear resistance of industrial materials. An infrared retina that includes adaptive sensors has been patented. Self-cleaning skin-like prosthetic polymer surfaces have been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORNL is also well on its way to creating nano catalysts for diesel engine emission remediation.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Manhattan Project, a predecessor of the U.S. Department of Energy. In honor of its impacts on science and history, a 'Manhattan Project' series on this blog will revisit various aspects of its background, establishment, operations, and immediate and long-term influences. The first of the series is about the background of the Manhattan Project.
During the fall of 1939, President F. D. Roosevelt was made aware of the possibility that German scientists were racing to build an atomic bomb and he was warned that Hitler would be more than willing to resort to such a weapon. As a result, Roosevelt set up the Advisory Committee on Uranium, consisting of both civilian and military representatives, to study the current state of research on uranium and to recommend an appropriate role for the federal government. The result was limited military funding for isotope separation and the work on chain reactions by Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard at Columbia University.
Nanotechnology=the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale
DOE scientists are working to identify immediate and future ways to utilize this precision science.
Check out Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: From Energy Applications to Advanced Medical Therapies, a video discussion of why nanotechnology is important and how it is useful in various fields, from Dr. Tijana Rajh at Fermilab.
Then watch Nanoscience at Work, Creating Energy from Sunlight, from Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley Labscientist and an authority on artificial nanostructure synthesis.