Wireless sensors: Nanotech show heavy on technical papers, light on new products

Although companies from any industry that had any connection to nanotechnology were in Santa Clara, CA May 20 to 24, there were surprisingly few new products on display at the Nanotech 2007 show. What was of more interest was the number of technical papers.


Santa Clara, CA —Although companies from any industry that had any connection to nanotechnology were in Santa Clara, CA May 20 to 24, there were surprisingly few new products on display at the Nanotech 2007 show. What was of more interest was the number of technical papers devoted to nanotech-based sensor designs: more than 100 of them, covering devices of all sorts.

There were many papers on biosensors, including some on to detecting environmental contaminants and the levels of different substances in the body — plus one for detecting biowarfare agents. There was an entire section devoted to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and sensors. Along with papers on the technical aspects of building MEMS, topics included sensors for radio-frequency RF power, chemicals, gases, acoustic waves, humidity, neutron flux and mechanical strain.

Several other papers tackled the topic of distributed networks of wireless sensors. One discussed autonomy, and another covered piezoelectric MEMS mechanical vibration energy scavengers. These are useful for powering wireless sensors.

Exhibiting companies included research institutes, nanopositioning system makers, deposition equipment manufacturers, instrument manufacturers, electronic microscope makers, publishing companies, regional development authorities, and even law firms specializing in intellectual property protection. There were a couple of suppliers of actual nanomaterials, including Cheap Tubes, Inc . and Litmus nanoTechnology.

New products

NanoDynamics subsidiary MetaMateria Partners (MMP) announced several new products. The first is their NanoPurity media for use in a variety of water remediation applications. This lightweight and porous ceramic technology—into which nanoparticles, nanofibers or nanocrystals are deposited—can remove, catalyze, inactivate or neutralize specific contaminants found in water. Also new from MMP is Cell-Pore ceramics technology, for use in filtration applications.

Hitachi High Technologies announced a new field emission transmission electron microscope, the HF-3300. It features a high brightness cold field emission electron source and up to 300 kV accelerating voltage for high spatial and energy resolutions; available magnification ranges from 200x - 1,500,000x.

Abstracts and author names of the technical sessions, along with a handy keyword search utility, are available at the Nanotech 2007 Web site.

—Control Engineering News Desk
Peter Cleaveland
charlie.masi@reedbusiness.com , contributing editor, peterc@voicenet.com


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