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Nanotechnology in Kansas, USA: Market Report

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Introduction
Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments

Introduction

Kansas, located in the Midwestern United States, covers a total area of 213,096 km2 and has a population of 2,885,905 as of 2012.

In 2011, Kansas posted a GDP of $130.9 billion. Their economy has changed from being dominated by agribusiness to a much more diverse mix of services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and government.

Wichita is known as the aviation capital of the world, responsible for the production of 50% of domestic commercial aircraft and 40% of global aircraft.

Kansas has demonstrated its commitment to the adoption of new technology through the development of a comprehensive network to support research, facilitate commercialization and the adoption of new technologies. Organizations responsible for the execution of this strategy are The Kansas Department of Commerce Entrepreneur Technology Program which works with start up ventures and the Kansas Bioscience Authority which works with bioscience companies that invest in Kansas.

There are also a range of programs to assist entrepreneurs and technology companies to accelerate their success. These range from assistance for entrepreneurs, to tax credits, angel investment resources, through to assistance with manufacturing.

Nanotechnology Companies

The key nanotechnology-related company in Kansas is given below along with a brief introduction:

NanoScale Corporation - NanoScale Corporation researches and develops, commercializes, markets, and manufactures customer driven products, technologies, and solutions to meet a variety of needs. 
NanoScale has combined advanced chemistry and innovative engineering to produce a line of reactive nanoparticle materials. NanoScale's Odor Elimination Products are the next generation family of products and services for the elimination of challenging odors caused by pets, smoke, foods, flooding, decay, cleaning products, and industrial chemicals, as well as other noxious odors commonly found in our daily environments.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in Kansas offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

University of Kansas - Promotes the study of nanotechnology through the below mentioned nanotechnology-based project:

  • KU Nanotechnology Project: Focuses on the development of an interdisciplinary research and teaching program in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The research projects part of the KU Nanotechnology Project include:
    • Dense ceramics
    • Organic molecules
    • Protein patterning
    • Simulations
    • Molecule immobilization

Kansas State University - Promotes the study of nanotechnology through the below mentioned research group:

  • Jun Li Research Group: Deals with interdisciplinary research in nanoscience and nanotechnology with emphasis on the development of nano devices for electronics, biomedical, analytical and energy utilization/conversion applications. The research projects fall under the following topics:
    • Nanomaterials growth
    • Device fabrication and characterization
    • Applications development  

Recent Developments

Researchers at the Kansas State University have developed a nanotechnology-based biosensor that can be used for early detection of cancer cells and pathogens. This research focuses mostly on E. coli and can also be used to detect viruses and salmonella.

Another new discovery in the field of nanotechnology refers to a new technique of using a diamond knife to cleave graphite into graphite nanoblocks. This new technique invented by researchers from the Kansas State University allows the nanoblocks to be exfoliated in order to form ultrasmall sheets of carbon atoms that have controlled shape and size.

Researchers from the same university have also published data about a carbon nanotube/silicon-boron-carbonitride composite coating that has the ability to absorb laser light and resist damage, suitable for use in optical power detectors.

Meanwhile researchers at The University of Kansas have set a record for the most efficient solar cell made from nanocarbons. However, they still have quite a way to go before they can challenge the efficiency of silicon solar cells.

These new discoveries highlight the level of nanotech activity in Kansas. Government lead initiatives also emphasise their willingness to embrace new technology, which should aid the proliferation of nanotechnology and indicates Kansas is a place to watch in the future.

References

  1. United States Census Bureau - Kansas Quick Facts
  2. Widespread Economic Growth Across States in 2011 (PDF)
  3. Kansas - Economic Overview
  4. Kansas - Employment and Economic Charts
  5. Kansas - Technology
  6. Very High Laser-Damage Threshold of Polymer-derived Si(B)CN- Carbon Nanotube Composite Coatings
  7. Research yields promising breakthrough in solar cells based on nanocarbon

 

Date Added: Apr 26, 2013 | Updated: Apr 29, 2013
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