Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in Arizona, USA: Market Report

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Arizona is situated in the southwestern region of the United States and encompasses a total area of 295,234 km2. As of 2011, it had a population of 6,482,505.

Previously, Arizona’s economy relied on cotton, tourism, cattle farming, citrus cultivation, and copper mining. The current revenue-generating sectors of the state include healthcare and transportation sectors. In 2011, Arizona’s per capita income was $40,828 and its GSP was $259 billion.

Nanotechnology Organizations

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

Arizona Nanotechnology Cluster—It is a non-profit organization that supports business development and shares technological innovations in the field of nanotechnology. The organization delivers lectures on nanotechnology to educate the public about the importance and advantages of nanotechnology.

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology—It is a non-profit research organization that focuses on increasing the awareness level regarding the advantages and hazards of using advanced nanotechnology and also about the different ways of using advanced nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology Companies

The key nanotechnology-related companies in Arizona are mentioned below, together with a short introduction to each of them.

SiO2 Nanotech LLC—It was launched by SiO2 Associates in March 2010, as an informal partnership. The company takes its developed technology from the lab to fabrication. It also introduces patented technologies into particular manufacturing or fabrication lines. To achieve this, the company adapts its state-of-the-art and practical solutions such as VitreOx™ and Wet Nanobonding™ technologies.

The company’s range of patented technologies and applications cover the following applications, but are not limited to, electronics, solar cells, medical/surgical devices, and sport/occupational wear.

Dupont Air Products Nanomaterials—Manufactures chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) slurries for the wafer polishing and semiconductor sectors. The company is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and has regional headquarters in Hsinchu County, Taiwan, thus running advanced applications and formulation labs in Tempe and Taiwan. DA NanoMaterials has a proven portfolio of products for tungsten CMP, copper CMP, wafer polishing applications, and shallow trench isolation (STI) CMP.

Nanoscience Instruments—Provides solutions to engineers, scientists, and educators worldwide. Their products and services serve the rapidly growing field of nanoscience, with a focus on nanoscale surface analysis instrumentation and scanning probe microscopy. The company’s products span a broad variety of applications. They have customers in industrial R&D, QA, and education, as well as government and academic research. The technical staff of the company has an average experience of more than a decade in nanoscience applications.

NanoLight Technology—It is a biotechnology company creating wide applications of natural, light-emitting marine proteins, or marine bioluminescence. The NanoLight division aims to become the leader in high-value reagent and reporter systems for new product development in the agrichemical, pharmaceutical, and research products industries.

Valuable life science applications for NanoLight’s technology include functional genomics, high-throughput drug discovery, replacement of radioisotopes, tumor imaging, and molecular diagnostics. A specifically stimulating application is the ability to use NanoLight’s reporter systems to “illuminate” gene and molecular function within living cells, thus offering pharmaceutical companies an innovative technique to explore drug activity.

SDC Materials—Launched in 2004, it is a privately held company that aims to develop and commercialize high-value nano-optimized products. They focus on applications where they can provide compelling advantages to the end-users of their products.

The company’s foundation is its novel Rapid Material Synthesis System, which has the ability to fabricate a wide range of composite or discrete nanomaterials with unique physical properties in very short development cycles.

Nanotechnology Education

A few of the top academic institutes in Arizona that offer courses and research programs in nanotechnology and nanoscience are mentioned below.

Arizona State University—Provides a Professional Science Master Program in Nanoscience and boosts the awareness of nanotechnology via the following nanotech centers:

  • Arizona Initiative for Nano-Electronics (AINE)—A network of research centers dedicated toward the research by Arizona State University on topics such as nanophotonics, computational nanoscience, nanoionics, and molecular electronics.
  • Center for Nanotechnology in Society—Shifts the goals and implications of nanoscale science and engineering to scientists and the general public, by taking part in suitable discussions and offering training on new social dimensions of nanoscale science and engineering to a community of scholars. The center also performs research on the societal facets of nanotechnologies and partners with nanoscale science and engineering labs to improve the development and research process in the field of nanotechnology.
  • ASU NanoFab—This multi-disciplinary and multi-user facility can be accessed by both internal and external users. NanoFab offers a broad variety of characterization and processing tools to individuals, companies, and government labs.

The University of Arizona—The Center for Applied nanobioscience and medicine applies all the enhancements in nanoscience, genomics, microelectromechanical systems, and molecular biology to create sensors and tools based on microscale and nanoscale technologies.

Recent Developments

Scientists from Arizona State University contributed to a project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create a technique of establishing the atomic structure of biological nanocrystals with the help of an X-ray laser. The images produced contain a femtosecond-scale time resolution, and the process does not cause any radiation damage to the material, which is vital for accurate imaging of fragile biological matter.

Another advanced nanotechnology discovery was made by a scientist from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. This scientist discovered a new method to evaluate catalytical reactions of single nanoparticles and multiple particles printed in arrays. This improves upon earlier methods, which were only capable of evaluating the average catalytic performance for a sample of nanoparticles. The extra data available will permit more effective characterization and design of nanocatalysts.

These discoveries and research emphasize the robust research in nanotechnology and the unceasing efforts of companies, researchers, and educators to spread awareness about nanotechnology products and methods in Arizona. This indicates that Arizona is likely to become a crucial player in nanoscience in the near future, with growing progress in research and commercialization.

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