Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in New York, USA: Market Report

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The state of New York is situated in the Northeastern part of the United States. It spans a total area of 141,300 km2 and shares an international border with Canada.

With a population of 19,465,197 as of July 1, 2011, New York is the third most populated state in the United States. The state comprises 62 cities with New York City being the largest and most populous. Its capital is Albany.

New York has a humid continental climate. The state’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in the U.S. The 2010 GSP was $1.16 trillion, rendering it the third highest in the U.S.

New York’s hi-tech industry sector is very robust, comprising several partnerships between industry and academia, a high level of education, and good access to funding for new ventures. Nanotechnology is a quickly growing field in the area. In a survey by Small Times Magazine, New York was ranked second in the USA for nanotechnology research, and fourth in nanotechnology development.

Nanotechnology Organizations

New York has a number of world-leading organizations and networks committed to encouraging nanoscience as well as investigating the challenges and future of nanotechnology.

A short introduction to the main nanotechnology-related organizations in New York is provided below.

U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC)

It has struck a partnership between SEMATECH and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany, and the University of Central Florida. The consortium connects over 80 companies, high-tech laboratories, and universities, to offer a major push to the photovoltaic manufacturing industry in the U.S.

NY Loves Nanotech

This initiative was set up by the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) with sponsorship support from National Grid, Empire State Development, and NYSTAR. Its goal is to create a solutions-based economic development approach to the semiconductor/nanotechnology industry in New York.

Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces (CASI)

The center was founded in 1988 through a joint agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). CASI has two goals: to carry out standard research and to increase the number of minority researchers trained to perform high-level scientific research.

Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)

CFN is situated at Brookhaven National Laboratory. It offers advanced facilities for the fabrication and study of nanoscale materials with a key focus on atomic-level modification to accomplish desired properties and functions.


This organization’s history dates back to 1986. It was set up to improve industry-government cooperation and reinforce the semiconductor sector in the U.S. A consortium was later set up and named SEmiconductor MAnufacturing TECHnology (SEMATECH), which included 14 U.S.-based semiconductor producers and the U.S. government. They have a branch office in Albany, NY.

Nanotechnology Companies

Nanotechnology finds applications in numerous industries. The following list includes nanotech companies based in New York State, as well as some international nanotech leaders who either originated in New York or who have a foremost presence there:

Applied Materials, Inc.

It is the worldwide leader in providing state-of-the-art equipment, services, and software, to facilitate the manufacture of flat panel display, advanced semiconductor, and solar photovoltaic products. Its technologies help make breakthroughs like flat screen TVs, smartphones, and solar panels, which are more economical and accessible to businesses and consumers worldwide. Applied Materials convert present-day innovations into industries of tomorrow. It has branch offices in Albany, NY and Hopewell Junction, NY.


ASML is the world’s leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor sector and manufactures complex machines that are important to the production of integrated circuits or chips. It is headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. ASML is a world leader in the manufacture of cutting-edge technology systems for the semiconductor industry. The company has a branch office in Ballston Lake, NY.


For over 200 years, DuPont has provided world-class science and engineering to the international marketplace through state-of-the-art materials, products, and services. Its market-driven innovation adds thousands of new products and patent applications annually, serving markets as varied as agriculture, electronics and communications, nutrition, safety and protection, transportation, home and construction, and apparel.

DuPont has branch offices in Buffalo, NY (chief products available there are Tedlar® PVF film and Corian® solid surfaces), Niagara Falls, NY (key products available there are lithium and sodium), and Rochester, NY (key products available there are inkjet inks).

IBM Research Nanoscale Science Department

The IBM research group based in Armonk, NY, uses atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) as structural probes. It uses the probes along with electron beam lithography, as tools for the fabrication and research of nano-electronic devices and the modification of materials at the nanometer and atomic scales.

Bluestone Global Tech

Set up in 2011 and based in New York, Bluestone Global Tech is aiming to become the leader in the evolving graphene industry, introducing graphene to technological applications and bringing greatness to life. Graphene is a very adaptable and versatile material with a vast number of disruptive technological applications, most of which are yet to be conceptualized.

BGT’s game-changing technology enables the most innovative minds of this generation to reimagine and redesign the products that improve daily lives. With the production of this unmatched breakthrough material, BGT is quite plainly reshaping everything.


As the world leader in specialty ceramics and glass, Corning invents, makes, and sells keystone components that allow high-technology systems for mobile emissions control, consumer electronics, life sciences, and telecommunications. With a track record of over 160 years and a sustained investment in R&D, Corning’s life-improving innovations deliver surprising advantages to day-to-day products.

Corning is continually pushing for the next wave of innovative technologies, across its five business segments (Environmental Technologies, Display Technologies, Life Sciences, Telecommunications, and Specialty Materials) around the world.

General Electric (GE)

GE has a robust set of international businesses in infrastructure and finance aligned to meet present-day needs, including the demand for worldwide infrastructure; growing and changing demographics that need access to finance, healthcare, and information; and environmental technologies. At GE, research has been the basis of innovation for over a century.

Currently, GE has about 36,000 technologists working across its businesses and international research centers at the intersection of technology and industry to resolve some of the toughest problems facing man. GE is based in Schenectady, NY.

Harrick Plasma

Formerly a division of Harrick Scientific Corp., Harrick Plasma is a top supplier of plasma equipment to the scientific community. It has been delivering quality, economical, tabletop plasma devices specifically designed for laboratory, R&D, and office use for more than 30 years.

Integrated Nano-Technologies LLC (INT)

INT is bringing a novel system to market to detect and identify tiny quantities of biological material. This system is fast and can be incorporated into a field or point-of-care device making it suitable for a range of applications including: forensics, medical, and environmental diagnostics.

INT’s Palladium System is a portable diagnostic system that detects biological material based on its nucleic acid sequences.

Starfire Systems

Starfire Systems, based in Schenectady, New York, was established in 1988 as a small company that provided sophisticated technologies in ceramics polymer chemistry. By 1991, the company had licensed a silicon carbide forming polymer from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that would form the foundation for its own silicon carbide polymer, named Starfire SMP-10.

As Starfire Systems grew, its product series diversified into a variety of polymers, and the company became a leader in Polymer-to-Ceramic® technology. Starfire Systems contracted with Alliant Techsystems (ATK) for NASA in 2004, supplying the polymer material for NOAX™ (Non-Oxide Adhesive Experimental) that would fly on all succeeding space shuttle missions.

NaturalNano, Inc.

Set up in 2004 in Rochester, New York, the company creates unique and proprietary processes for improving naturally occurring nanotubes and other nanomaterials that add competitive properties to a variety of applications.

NaturalNano is a nanomaterials company developing exclusive technologies and processes to offer novel properties, for a broad range of applications. Such applications include industrial plastics, polymers, and composites; and additives to agricultural, cosmetics, and household products. NaturalNano has over 20 issued or pending patents, and patented know-how for extraction and separation processes, of halloysite and other nanotubes, along with other materials.

Owlstone Nanotech

Using cutting-edge micro- and nano-fabrication methods, Owlstone has developed a complete chemical detection system that is a hundred times smaller and a thousand times cheaper than current technologies. There are several applications—across industries from defense and security to healthcare and automotive—that rely on the quick, precise detection and measurement of chemical compounds.

Owlstone partners with market leaders within these applications to incorporate its detector into next-generation chemical sensing products and solutions. The Owlstone detector is an innovative dime-sized device that can be programmed to detect a broad range of chemical agents that may be found in tiny quantities.

Nanotechnology Education

New York is home to many world-leading universities that provide research and educational opportunities in nanotechnology. Provided below is a list of universities and academic institutions in New York and the academic courses or research openings offered by them in different aspects of nanotechnology.

University of Albany

Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology (CENN)—It is a $5 billion investment aimed at boosting the State’s important academic nanotechnology development efforts.

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)—It is the first college in the world that is fully dedicated to the research, development, and deployment of innovative nanoscience, nanobioscience, nanoengineering, and nanoeconomic concepts. The CNSE is a fully-integrated research, prototyping, development, and educational facility that offers critical support via outreach, technology acceleration, pilot prototyping, business incubation, and test-based integration support for onsite corporate partners such as Samsung, IBM, SEMATECH, Intel, Tokyo Electron, Applied Materials, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, ASML, Toshiba, and Novellus Systems.

Columbia University

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center—The center’s goal is to define new paradigms for information processing using the features of electron transport exclusive to nanoscale molecular structures.

Columbia Center for Integrated Science and Engineering—It is a multi-disciplinary research center comprising the departments of Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, Chemistry, and Physics.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)—It comprises an interdisciplinary team of industrial, university, and national laboratory researchers and engineers collaborating to develop and explore new types of nanocrystals, and techniques of assembling them into thin films.

Cornell University

Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS)—This center focusses on educating and guiding students at the graduate and undergraduate levels in nanoscale science and engineering, and to assist K-12 institutions in its science education programs.

Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF)—This is a national user facility that supports nanoscale science and technology projects by offering advanced resources along with expert staff support. They offer research opportunities in Nanotechnology; Life Sciences, Biology, MEMS, Chemistry, Characterization, Electronics, Materials, and Computation.

Rochester Institute of Technology

RIT is among a few universities in the United States preparing coursework in nanotechnology education to train students in this evolving technology. The university won a $100,000 grant from the NSF in 2003 to develop an interdisciplinary pilot concentration to gauge the effects of the new world of nanotechnology. RIT is the only institute to offer Microelectronic Engineering BS in the country, together with an MS in Microelectronics Manufacturing.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS)—CATS employs nearly 50 faculty members across nine departments and three schools, plus full-time, committed research staff, to help its partner companies formulate system-level solutions for high-impact, progressive-manufacturing challenges across a wide array of industries such as biotech and renewable energy to nanoscale and aerospace manufacturing.

This was possible following an established university-industry collaboration model to provide technology-based economic development.

City University of New York

Center for Analysis of Structures and Interfaces (CASI)—It was set up in 1988 through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF). CASI aims to carry out typical research, and to increase the number of minority researchers trained to perform high-level scientific research.

Recent Developments

Latest reports indicate that New York’s Tech Valley has become globally recognized as a hub of nanotech R&D. A team of regional leaders from the Center for Economic Growth’s (CEG) “NY Loves Nanotech” initiative was in San Francisco in July 2012 to encourage New York City and Tech Valley as the place for high-tech business to locate and invest.

The Utica Catholic high school, NY offers a new course for students entitled “Introduction to Nanotechnology.” The course materials have been planned with a focus on how nanotechnology controls matter at the molecular and atomic level. Approximately 900 new jobs are to be created through the planned nanotechnology complex at State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), which should be fully developed in the following two years and then provide another 400 plus jobs.

The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, or NanoCollege, at the University of Albany, has been very active in encouraging nanotechnology as well as in research. During 2012, the NanoCollege hosted over 6,000 students and 60,000 community members for nanotechnology outreach activities, and received $5 million in funding in December 2012 from Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council Initiative.

The funding was meant for designing a zero energy nanotechnology building, and renovating Kiernan Plaza in Albany as a center for research, education, and training around “smart cities” technology.

The government has made an approximate investment of $28 million to convert a former General Electric Co. laboratory in Salina into a nanotechnology R&D facility with an aim to employ up to 250 people. Work at this facility is still ongoing. New York’s nano sector is flourishing and will probably continue to grow and attract more businesses and investment in the following few years.

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