China's future in nanotechnology

By Eugene Clark
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 17, 2014
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China is positioning itself to become a world leader in nanotechnology and 2014 is shaping up to be a momentous year. The development of China's nanotechnology industry combined with robotics which I discussed in an earlier article, are both key initiatives if China is to be successful in moving up the value chain in terms of global manufacturing.

Nanotechnology involves the study and development related to the manipulation and control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. This involves structures 100 nm or smaller in at least one dimension. "Nano" scale production equates to a billionth of a meter, just a fraction of the circumference of a single strand of human hair. A nanometer (nm) is one thousand millionth of a meter.

The field of nanotechnology is extremely varied, involving the creation of nano-size devices and new approaches of molecular self-assembly, as well as development and design of new materials with nanoscale dimensions.

Nanotechnology has many potential applications with significant economic consequences in industrial design, medicine, agriculture, energy, defense, food, etc. In medicine for example, these include nanoscale drug particles and delivery systems and nanoelectronic biosensors. In environmental technologies nanotechnology has resulted in major advances in water filtering, as well as fuel cells. It has spawned new products in microelectronics and textiles, paints, sunscreens, cosmetics, clothing and sporting goods. Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing industry that estimated already to be in the billions of dollars.

Today, China leads the world in the number of nanotechnology patents. This leadership role is also reflected in the fact that in 2014 alone China will host two major international conferences --the fourth Annual World Congress of Nano Science &Technology to be held in Qingdao on Oct. 29-31 and the recent International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Nanotechnology held on Jan. 23-24, 2014, in Shenzhen.

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