Nanotechnology: Development of Practical Systems and Applications

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Friday, January 13, Giedt Hall 1003, 12:10pm-1:00pm

Speaker: M. Meyyappan
NASA Ames Research Center

Host: Professor Anh-Vu Pham


There are strong nanotechnology research programs across the world in the fields of chemical sensors, biosensors, instrumentation, electromechanical devices, actuators, nanodevices, composites, and numerous other applications. Basic discoveries have progressed at an amazing pace, as evidenced by the accumulation of publications in the literature. At present, the development of practical systems and commercial products is the next big challenge. Nanoscale is not a human scale. In many cases, development of practical systems demands seamless integration of nano-micro-macro to produce scaled components and processes. While the ultimate vision in nanotechnology may be an entirely bottom-up approach to building systems, it is unrealistic to expect this to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. Only realistic possibility to achieve tangible results in a reasonable time frame, before the stakeholders run out of patience, is to use nanomaterials in a hybrid approach that involves systematic nano-micro macro integration. Such an approach will also allow us to utilize the existing infrastructure in the micro area (MEMS, microelectronics) from the last couple of decades, which would make economic sense.

This talk will expand on this theme on product and system development using nanomaterials and nanotechnology. Examples will include a carbon nanotube (CNT) based chemical sensor that has been monitoring air quality in the crew cabin in the International Space Station since January 2009 and under development for security applications; a CNT based biosensor for water quality monitoring; CNT-based X-ray tubes for security and other applications; supercapacitors, and several other developments we have been working on for the last 5-8 years. The author thanks all past and present NASA Ames colleagues for their contributions to the application development efforts, especially Jing Li, Yijiang Lu, Jessica Koehne, Cattien Nguyen and Michael Oye.



Meyya Meyyappan is Chief Scientist for Exploration Technology at the Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. Until June 2006, he served as the Director of the Center for Nanotechnology. He is a founding member of the Interagency Working Group on Nanotechnology (IWGN) established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The IWGN is responsible for putting together the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Dr. Meyyappan has authored or co-authored over 215 articles in peer-reviewed journals and made over 200 Invited/Keynote/Plenary Talks in nanotechnology subjects across the world. His research interests include carbon nanotubes and various inorganic nanowires, their growth and characterization, and application development in chemical and biosensors, instrumentation, electronics and optoelectronics.

Dr. Meyyappan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Electrochemical Society (ECS),American Vacuum Society (AVS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Institute of Physics (IOP), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the California Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is currently the IEEE Nanotechnology Council (NTC) Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology, IEEE Electron DevicesSociety (EDS) Distinguished Lecturer, and was ASME's Distinguished Lecturer on Nanotechnology (2004-2006). He served as the President of the IEEE's Nanotechnology Council in 2006-2007. He currently serves as the Vice President of IEEE-EDS for Educational Activities. For his contributions and leadership in nanotechnology, he has received numerous awards including: a Presidential Meritorious Award; NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal; Arthur Flemming Award given by the Arthur Flemming Foundation and the George Washington University; IEEE Judith Resnick Award; IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Award; AIChE Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum Award; Distinguished Engineering Achievement Award by the Engineers' Council; Pioneer Award in Nanotechnology by the IEEE-NTC. For his sustained contributions to nanotechnology, he was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame in February 2009. For his educational contributions, he has received: Outstanding Recognition Award from the NASA Office of Education; the Engineer of the Year Award (2004) by the San Francisco Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); IEEE-EDS Education Award; IEEE-EAB (Educational Activities Board) Meritorious Achievement Award in Continuing Education.