Nanotechnology in Idaho, USA: Market Report

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Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments


Idaho, located is the northwestern region of the United States, covers a total area of 216,632 km2 and has a population of 1,595,728 as of 2012.

In 2011 Idaho’s GSP was $57.93billion. The science and technology industry is the largest industry sector in Idaho accounting over 25% of the state's total revenue and over 70% of their exports. Boise, the capital of Idaho has also established itself as a center of semiconductor manufacturing.

Some interesting facts that make Idaho an attractive place to locate a technology-based business:

  • Number 2 in patents issued per capita
  • Second lowest energy cost in the US
  • Number 7 for renewable energy source electricity generation
  • Businesses carrying out basic and qualified R&D may earn an income tax credit of 5% that may be carried forward up to 14 years

In addition to this, Idaho has identified new materials and technology as an area of technology central to the Idaho's innovation economy. They have also determined that alternative energy and environmental heath are areas of emerging technology industries where Idaho has the potential to become a national and world leader.

Nanotechnology Companies

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

NanoSteel - NanoSteel is the world leader in proprietary nano-structured steel material designs. Over its ten-year history, NanoSteel has created progressive generations of iron-based alloys from surface coatings to foils to sheet steel and powder metals.

Positron Systems -  Positron Systems is commercializing innovative technologies that provide new insights in the nondestructive inspection industry. The focus is on techniques that quantify changes in component material nanostructure induced by operational conditions and surface treatments. There are currently two unique technologies - Induced Positron Analysis (IPA) and Phase Contrast Analysis (PCA).

Nanotechnology Research and Education

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

Idaho Department of Commerce - A leading economic development agency in Idaho that focuses on creating jobs, promoting the state’s market situation and strengthening communities. At the nanotechnology level this department is involved in research, development, manufacture and analyses of materials comprising features between 100 nanometers and a tenth of a nanometer in size.

Boise State University - Promotes nanotechnology-based research through the following research groups:

  • Nanoscale Materials and Device Group: Conducts nanotechnology-based research on the areas listed below:
    • DNA Nanotech Related Research
    • Nanophotonics Related Research
    • Ni-Mn-Ga Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys
    • 3D Tech. for Advanced Sensor Systems
    • Multi-Dielectric Band Diagram Program
    • Gate Oxide Studies
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering - Provided funded research in nanoscale fabrication and DNA nanotechnology. The department supports its research activities by providing state of the art materials fabrication and characterization equipment.

Recent Developments

With the increasing popularity of lithium ion batteries, researchers at Boise State University are looking to improve the life of these batteries by taking a bottom up approach focusing on the stability of nanostructured materials such as titania.

Other than that, there are no reports of other nanotechnology-related book rallyedin recent news postings. So, despite commercially-available nanotechnology-enabled products from NanoSteel, Idaho is not expected to be a major force in nanotechnology development.


  1. United States Census Bureau - Idaho Quick Facts
  2. Widespread Economic Growth Across States in 2011 (PDF)
  3. Business in Idaho
  4. Technology Platforms in Idaho
  5. Researcher Works to Build a Better Battery

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