Wireless Applications

Nano and News

February 1, 2006 By: Barbara G. Goode, Sensors Sensors

C'mon, admit it . . . nanotechnology is fascinating: The chemical and physical properties of nano materials differ from those of their bulk counterparts—and therefore nanotech products behave differently, as you'll read in this month's cover story.

 Barbara G. Goode
Barbara G. Goode

But perhaps most fascinating is the prospect of near-term impact of nanotechnology for real-world applications. The article describes where nano materials could find work in the real world and, just as important, when (the short answer: sooner than you might think). You need to know about this because it has the potential to change (read: improve) your applications.

Nanotechnology has been the subject of much hype, as evidenced by the plethora of conferences surrounding the technology. The conferences are important for enabling important discussion that generates real results, but Joe Giachino of the University of Michigan's Wireless Integrated Microsystems engineering research center (www.wimserc.org) notes that about 60% of the presentations at any given nanotechnology conference actually cover micro-technologies—not their more diminutive counterparts.

And for sure, while microtechnologies — including MEMS and MST—are years ahead of nano in their evolution, even microtech has not fully matured. Because these are so key to sensor development overall, next month I'll share with you the results of some MEMS market research, and Roger Grace's annual "industry report card" on the status of MEMS development.

Helping you to keep up

MEMS and nanotechnologies are just some of the topics my editorial colleagues and I cover in our new daily blog and news reporting, which is available on our homepage (www.sensorsmag.com) and through our new e-newsletter, Sensors Daily (www.sensorsmag.com/sensorsdaily). I think you'll find this a valuable tool for keeping up with important developments, and I promise it will take you only about five minutes to review each day (not counting time you feel inspired to dedicate to further investigation of topics we introduce!).

Sensors Daily covers broadly applicable news and gives you a reading on the state of the technology and its applications. If you're looking for more detailed information on specific applications and technologies, sign on for our new monthly Industrial Automation and Wireless & M2M e-newsletters (www.sensorsmag.com/news). Also be sure to check out the improved presentation of our every-other-week e-newsletter on sensors and sensor-related products: The newsletter formerly known as Sensors Express is now Sensors Product Picks. Senior Editor Melanie Martella brings her considerable knowledge to the process of product-information distillation, helping you to locate and understand new releases.

Help is at hand—just sign on.

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