Monday, October 8, 2007

DNA NanoPhotonics –tech to Green Nanotechnology

“Scientist have recently discovered that DNA – ‘the molecule of life’ – is an exciting new material for fabricating photonics devices with enhanced properties.” Andrew Steckl

Nanotechnology is exciting technology which has potential to fundamentally change the way in which we do business, build products. Nanoconvergence of Biotechnology, Nanoelectronics, Photonics, Information Technology, Cognitive science will offer us many novel applications to foresee. Convergence with other technologies made Nanotechnology change agent (one of the infrequent) that can influence all industries.

At the same time, we are aware that producing nanomaterial’s or the product including these materials may cause the damage to the environment or to the human health. Also it could unfavorably interact with the environment in unknown ways. Green nanotechnology involves an approach to risk mitigation in emerging technologies/industries. It will happen using more and more green nano materials (mostly biomaterials) and practices. Biomaterials will limit the toxic waste generated in nanoindustry.

The most important and famous biomaterial known to man is (deoxyribonucleic acid) DNA, the polymeric molecule that carries the genetic code in all living organisms. The potential for constructing photonic devices from ‘the molecule of life’, has given birth to DNA nanophotonics and is attracting the interest of the wider scientific community.

DNA is found to be Photonic Band Gap (PBG), high conductance material. It is essential to understand the role of DNA as a functional building block in molecular nanoscale devices, and work on the complex interactions between structural, electronic and photonic properties of DNA.

Studies of the electro-optical properties of DNA-based materials have given innovative ways to novel device implementation. For example, organic light emitting diodes (OLED) containing DNA electron blocking layers have been recently reported to exhibit significant enhancements in luminance and luminous efficiency compared to conventional OLED without the DNA layer.

Prof. Steckl Nanoelectronics Laboratory (University of Cincinnati, OH) is using salmon DNA to greatly boost the efficiency and brightness of organic light-emitting diodes. The DNA, was extracted from salmon sperm, a waste product of the salmon-fishing industry. When situated between hole-injection and hole-transport layers in the OLED, the DNA serves as an electron-blocking layer. Both bioLEDs and conventional OLEDs with common electro-optic-polymer (polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA; and polyvinyl carbazole, or PVK) electron-blocking layers were fabricated.

This has given new direction to the OLED research and hopefully we will see Salmon DNA OLED in next cell phone display and other consumer products.

It appeals to scientific community to work on such innovative ways for sustainable, green nanotechnology. Hope to see continual growth in scientific community to explore extraordinary properties of this wonderful material.


[1] J. Steckl, “DNA – A New Material for Photonics”, Nature Photonics, Vol. 1(1), pp. 3, 2007.

[2] Z. Yu, J. A. Hagen, Y. Zhou, D. Klotzkin, J. G. Grote and A. J. Steckl , “Photoluminescence and Stimulated Emission from Deoxyribonucleic Acid Thin Films Doped with Sulforhodamine”, Applied Optics, Vol. 46, 2007.

[3] G. Zhang, L. Wang, and N. Ogata, “Optical and optoelectronic materials derived from biopolymer deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA),” in Proc. SPIE 4580, 337–346 (2001).

[4] J. Hagen, W. Li, A. J. Steckl, "Enhanced emission efficiency in organic light-emitting diodes using deoxyribonucleic acid complex as an electron blocking layer" Appl. Phys. Lett. Vol.88, 171109, 2006.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

PPP Model for Nanotechnology- Nanotechnology Conclave 2007(INDIA NANO FLEDGING)


Prof V S Ramamurthy, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT, urged the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to set up a center for Nano technology application partnering with Government and R&D institutions. He was addressing the Nanotechnology Conclave 2007, organised by the CII, Department of Science and Technology and the Government of India, alongside the International Engineering and Technology Trade Fair, here on Thursday.

Prof Ramamurthy said that at present, there is a gap between industry and research labs and we have to bring them closer. Converting lab ideas into successful business proposition is the challenge for us today. The missing link in the country is the absence of enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. Technology incubators linked with vibrant R&D labs, good mentor base and venture finance access can bridge the gap. Also, there is an urgent need for proper infrastructure facilities and human resource development initiatives through public private partnership in the field of nano science, he added.

Nanotechnology Conclave 2007

CII and the Department of Science and Technology organized the Nanotechnology Conclave 2007 on 15-16 February in New Delhi, alongside the IETF (International Engineering and
Technology Trade Fair) to facilitate collaborations between industry and institutes.

• Nanotechnology research in institutes and industry should be oriented towards national needs.
• A well equipped Centre is needed for entrepreneurs and industry to conduct R & D. This centre could be managed by CII.
• Health and environment related impacts of Nanotechnology need to be studied
• Industry and Institutes must collaborate in nanotechnology applications like medicine, catalysts, and carbon nanotubes.
• Future Conclaves should focus on fostering collaborations between institutes and industry in India.
• CII should help industry to utilize the facilities available in research institutes.
• A website has to be created to host the expertise available with institutes and industry in India and abroad.
• Establishment of a CII Nanotechnology Forum through the website can streamline

The conclave served as a platform to introduce new technologies that are under development from various institutes and industry. As he put it up, the challenges that our Nanotech efforts face are-

  • The gap between industry and research labs
  • Converting lab ideas into successful business proposition
  • Absence of enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Bringing in technology incubators linked with vibrant R&D labs, good mentor base and venture finance access to bridge the gap
  • Urgent need for proper infrastructure facilities and human resource development initiatives through public private partnership in the field of nano science

This is another positive sign of INDIA NANO FLEDGING.

Hope that Government keeps fueling the Nanotech growth in India.

Need of Responsible Nanotechnology

Today there are plenty of new technologies rising and seems to be prospective next BIG things.
But we need to be careful while choosing the right one for adoption, funding, promoting.
Along with the good things these technologies bring many BAD stuff and possible threats for humanity. In today’s techno-buzzing world we need to evaluate every step we take and it becomes more and more important as we advance further and further.

Let’s take Nanotechnology as we know it has all the capabilities to give for more than what we have dreamt of to serve humanity, to solve the problems in every area more or less. It is going to be disruptive technology affecting every aspect of human being.

There is LOT of good and for us it looks all good good. But there are possibilities of unpredicted consequences to our ecosystem if this goes uncontrolled. Already there has been lot written in Science Fiction Novels …by authors like Michal Crinton (Prey)…Grey Goo thing is lot discussed…

We must consider and analyze possibilities of all these BAD things that can happen before moving further. But there is problem in this also because, those who are working on the good part of it may want the results early and may not wait until (because the introspection always takes time and slows down the development process though it’s in the good of long term).

So I feel there is great responsibility on all the thinkers, Visionaries, Scientific community and science aware social community to discuss and ponder upon Development, Ethical , Social , natural etc issues related to the upcoming breakthrough technology before it becomes too late and things go out of control.

There is need to lead the responsible Nanotechnology. Already there are some efforts going in this direction. Centre for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) is one example and they are doing great work. CRN has taken the correct initiative and we need more people to involve in such efforts.

It is important to present information about Nanotechnology to Large people, and to hopefully raise their awareness of the complexity of the issues involved with the creation of technology.

The need and importance of it stems from following two major factors.

First, the acceleration of growth. Technologies are being developed at a quickening pace, with little time for existing institutions and policies to adapt. We can no longer afford a reactionary stance to future technologies, which in many respects will redefine what it is to be human.

Secondly, information pertaining to any technology is should be readily available to those who seek it. This availability of information allows for further such discussions to occur.

We through Nanotechnology Interest Group can hope to bring awareness of the Future technology, possibilities, potential, to address the societal impacts, ethical issues etc..such that better decisions and wiser choices can be made for the future. It will accelerate the development of clean, green, positive technology for betterment of humanity and stop from taking any decisions that will harm humanity, ecosystem in future.

Report and views on CRN- Responsible Nanotechnology Group

CRN is the only real unbiased one was the nonprofit group I observed. Center for Responsible Nanotechnology have the agenda of promoting “safe nanotechnology,” and can be considered neutral relative to the other sources, who either promoting mass fear of nanotechnology or promote almost entirely unconditional acceptance of it.

Following are the more details about CRN…some things like Mission and About us are copied from there site and then my views are expressed.

Mission copied from site:

The next Industrial Revolution is right around the corner. Fourth generation nanotechnology — molecular manufacturing — will radically transform the world, and the people, of the early 21st century. Whether that transformation will be peaceful and beneficial or horrendously destructive is unknown. Although nanotechnology carries great promise, unwise or malicious use could seriously threaten the survival of the human race. The vision of CRN is a world in which molecular manufacturing is widely used for productive and beneficial purposes, and where dangerous uses are limited.

The mission of CRN is to: 1) raise awareness of the benefits, the dangers, and the possibilities for responsible use of advanced nanotechnology; 2) expedite a thorough examination of the environmental, humanitarian, economic, military, political, social, medical, and ethical implications of molecular manufacturing; and 3) assist in the creation and implementation of wise, comprehensive, and balanced plans for responsible worldwide use of this transformative technology.

•About CRN copied from site:

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology is a non-profit research and advocacy think tank concerned with the major societal and environmental implications of advanced nanotechnology. We are a modern, networked, virtual organization -- with no "brick and mortar" -- a collection of more than 100 volunteers, over 1000 interested followers, and a small team of primary coordinators.

CRN engages individuals and groups to better understand the implications of molecular manufacturing and to focus on the real risks and benefits of the technology. Our goal is the creation and implementation of wise, comprehensive, and balanced plans for responsible worldwide use of this transformative technology.

• Affiliated with WorldCare; WorldCare has its board of directors easily accessible – they include academia, media, businesspeople, and former government workers. Also get their money from grants/donations and had easily accessible financial statement

• Board of directors = academia/environmentalists/activists/businesspeople with government ‘special associates’

• Board is fairly balanced but it is mostly activists.

• Emphasis on international cooperation – but the international people are entrepreneurs, even though they are ‘social entrepreneurs’

• Eric Drexler is on this board

• Views (copied from website):

  • Effective use of nanotechnology can benefit everyone.
  • Unwise use of nanotechnology can be very dangerous.
  • Nanofactory technology can be used safely.
  • Preventing nanotechnology is impossible; careful study will be necessary for wise use.
  • Effective use of nanotechnology will require intelligent and prudent policy-making.
  • The situation is urgent; nanofactories may be developed within a decade.

This site has several links to educate the public, with some of the specifically meant to educate students on what nanotechnology is. They also have technical papers for free download and a blog. Overall this group focuses on educating the public on what nanotechnology/research advances so this way people can engage in *informed* dialogue about the societal implications of nanotechnology. The people that run the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology are very very open with absolutely everything that they do – this includes their sources of funding, their background, their views, and their goals. They have a Frequently Asked Questions page that very closely resembles the criteria for evaluating resources that we developed in class. This openness makes me trust these people, as does the fact that their views are actually quite similar to the views we seem to be developing in class – that we need to be cautious but optimistic. The founders of this group believe in the development/implementation of smart regulations for nanotechnology – but that research should go forward even though there are some dangers. People in this group believe that nanotechnology can be managed. This site is positive about nanotechnology as a whole but it manages to communicate this to the user in an unbiased fashion and I think that they do a good job of encouraging people to be open-minded who might not otherwise be that way.

CRN is mostly discussing about Molecular Nanotechnology(MNT), nanofactory, dangers, benefits vs Risks….etc

They have tree point agenda….




Issues cover What is Nanotechnology, Benefits, Risks?? . Solutions discusses How soon do we need to prepare ? Restrictions? How can opportunities extended to all?

Actions is to Join CRN , sign up etc. And I think this (Actions) part must be more active and be pragmatic. It must have more real activities and more to concentrate on.

Chris Phoenix, Director of Research, CRN released Thirty Essential Studies report which is well studied and documented.

WiseNano ( ) is a project run by CRN founders.

A collaborative project to study the facts and implications of advanced nanotechnology — a website for researchers worldwide to work together, helping to build an understanding of the technologies, their effects, and what to do about them.


Analysis of sources for midterm report by Maggie

-Center for responsible nanotechnology

Nano is everywhere…….

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology are basically inspired by Nature and they are not new as they are already in Nature.

Nature is the perfect science and technology we could ever achieve and we are reaching the limits. In nanotechnology generation many times we are trying to mimic what already there in nature or the processes at molecular level.

According to me the nanotechnology may be the ultimate technology. I can say it as most disruptive technology till.

Since industrial revolutions we have made our lives too complicated day by day!!

There are the basic things that we had not much thought of. It is very common to think like n..making things with smallest thing..that is building things atom by atom.

Any Child will not refute this..Its natural and basic. As per science theories …everything around us…our cells, materials, trees, clothes …everything is made of certain molecules and in turn atoms. So theoretically everything can be made atom by atom if there is correct process in the place. So can we really make everything we see in Nature?? Theoretically Yes !! But practically its far away to think..its too complex and certain laws may not allow to build whatever things. But sure there are many possibilities beyond our imagination that can be help humanity advance.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

India Nano Fledging Continues -- Rs.1 bn grant each to Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras Universities

I forgot to mention about the news of Rs.1 bn grant each to Mumbai, Calcutta and Madras Universities in the previous India Nano Fledging blog.
This is another step towards India Nano Fledging!! Hope to hear such more news!!
This will help academia to focus on research, nanotechnology courses, promotion etc. All these universities have large impact on large pool of students and will help develope neccesery talent manpower for catering Nano India.

The government has given a special grant of Rs.1 billion each to Mumbai University, Calcutta University and Madras University to set up centres for nanosciences and nanotechnology and bio-medical technology, the Lok Sabha was informed on 15th May.

This allocation is the central government's contribution to commemorate the 150th anniversary of these three universities, Minister of State for Human Resource Development D.
Purandeswari said in a written reply.

Source: /

Nanopark at Bangalore – India Nano Fledging

There is good news for India Nano fledging:

Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal has promised to provide funds for setting up a Nano Park in Bangalore, Minister for Science and Technology Ramachandra Gowda has said.The Union Government has set aside Rs. 1,000 crore to promote nanotechnology in India, and it is ready to provide Rs. 250 crore for the park in Bangalore, Mr. Gowda said. /Hindu Newspaper

This is another milestone towards maturing India as nanotechnology destination. Other news like Grant of 100 crores to establishment of an advanced centre for nanoscience and nanotechnology at Mumbai University, IITB-IISc Nanotechnology center 100 crores Funding, etc …funding efforts from government for promotion of Nanotechnology.

Another encouraging sign I noticed from is Google Trends* . India Tops unanimously since 2004 in Google trends for Nanotechnology. Following is the latest data from Google trends for Nanotechnology:

1. India
2. Iran
3. Singapore
4. Thailand
5. Malaysia
6. South Korea
7. Pakistan
8. South Africa
9. Philippines
10. Australia

1. Mahape, India
2. Pune, India
3. Hyderabad, India
4. Chennai, India
5. New Delhi, India
6. Delhi, India
7. Mumbai, India
8. Bangalore, India
9. Tehran, Iran
10. Singapore, Singapore

Rank by nanotechnology Learn more
See More at

This shows India as No.1 with first 8 cities in top 10 cities globally. This is great sign of awareness and interest rising in India. This shows the future strength of India as Nanotech destination after Software success.

A Google trend shows the interest level of the Indians in nanotechnology. So there is potential for Nanotech talent pool. Provided with resources, proper education, promotion, industry initiatives, product development, government policies , infrastructure development India will be clearly leading player in Nanotechnology revolution- the next BIG thing.
Such type of funding, promotion steps by government are positive steps towards the Indian dream of nanotechnology. This has to be repeated and see it as thrust area for development.

Finally it’s our (youth-future of India) responsibility to make it happen.
So Lets Do our Job well.

* What does Google trend shows? How it works?
About Google Trends:

With Google Trends, you can compare the world's interest in your favorite topics. Google Trends also displays how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and which geographic regions have searched for them most often.

Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. We then show you a graph with the results -- our search-volume graph -- plotted on a linear scale.
Located just beneath our search-volume graph is our news-reference-volume graph. This graph shows you the number of times your topic appeared in Google News stories. When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular term, it labels the graph and displays the headline of an automatically selected Google News story written near the time of that spike.
Below the search and news volume graphs, Google Trends displays the top cities, regions, and languages for the first term you entered.