Issuu on Google+

` 100/-

RNI No: APENG/2009/28291 n Postal Regn. No: HD/1113/2009-11

Nanomedicine

India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology January 2011

NE

DU

CA

TI

&

ON

pr

ER

RE

CA

im

er

Issue - 7

no

Vol - 2

SO

CU

Nano Talk

na

FO

Nano Bhasha


I N D I A N N A N OT E C H D E V E LO P M E N T F O R U M

s d n a h n i o j s u t e L e s i r a l u p to Po ! y g o l o n h c e t o n a N

Join

INDIAN NANOTECH DEVELOPMENT FORUM

This body aims at forming an independent association of nanotechnology professionals in the country.

INDF will publish books and information booklets to enable Nanotechnology to attain mass status in India.

All the stakeholders could join INDF and strive towards taking Nanotechnology to people.

INDF will be platform for networking, sharing of knowledge and building a strong base of Nano-community who will be the future trendsetters in India.

INDF will organise monthly talks at your city, it will start from January 2011. The list of the three months programme will be announced shortly.

Join INDF and be part of promoting Nanotechnology.

INDF will organise vertical conferences. Specific subjects would be dealt in these conferences.

For details about membership and programmes: write to inanoforum@gmail.com

www.indf.org (website is under construction)


Editorial Calendar for 2011 Nano Digest will focus on the below given themes for the year 2011. Apart from Cover Stories we intend to have specialised articles on the theme, interviews with experts is this field, industries related to this segment will be featured. India's Premiere Magazine on Nanotechnology

Month

Theme

January 2011

Nanochemistry

February 2011

Nanobiotehnology

March 2011

Pharmaceuticals & Nanotechnology

April 2011

Nanoelectronics

May 2011

Educational Special

June 2011

Anniversary Issue

July 2011

Microscopy

August 2011

Nano for Society

September 2011

Nanometrology

October 2011

Nano & Energy

November 2011

Nanoengineering

December 2011

Nanorobotics

To contribute articles, features, news, events connected with the above themes as well as to advertise in these issues contact nanodigest@gmail.com

NANO DIGEST

3

January 2011


inSIDE COVER STORY India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology

Vol - 2

Issue - 7

January 2011

16-19

Nano in Chemistry

Chief Editor K Jayadev

Chief Executive Officer

K Hari Prasad

Features Writer

Sanjukta Ganguli Kolkata Mohan Sanjeevan Erode

Art Department

Sarath

Bureau - Chennai

S Jagdish

Photography

Ramesh B K

Adminstration

K Radha Kumari

Circulation

Mega News Services, Hyderabad

Publication Consultant

K Raghurama Raju

Editorial Advisory Board

The board consists of professionals who, in their own discipline and with an independent view, assist the editorial team by making recommendations on potential authors and specific topics. Each member also contributes content to the magazine.

PV Shashi Kumar

Joint Director Central Manufacturing Technology Institute Bangalore

Dr Y R Mahajan

Technical Advisor International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) Hyderabad

This year being the International Year of Chemistry, Nano Digest presents this articles which talks about chemistry and how things have fascinated people at nano-scale and the mergence of new discipline called Nanochemistry.

Prof Suash Deb

CV Raman College of Engineering Bhubaneswar

ML Sharma

Panjab University Chandigarh

Dr D Rambhau

Advisor Natco Research Centre Hyderabad

Dr V Rajendran

Director, Centre for Nano Science & Technology KSRangasamy College of Technology Tiruchengode, TN

Editorial & Corporate Office

NANO TALK

41-43

"Foreign Equipments are Good, Technical Support is a Big Question"

No: 416 C & D, Fourth Floor, Babu Khan Estate, Basheerbagh, Hyderabad - 500 001 TeleFax: +91(40) 23235414 E-mail: nanodigest@gmail.com

Website: www.nanodigestmag.com Note:

Views expressed in the articles are those of writer(s) and may not be shared by the editor or members of the editorial board. Unsolicited material will be returned.

Copyright:

No material published here should be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from Nano Digest.

NANO DIGEST

Interview with Dr John Philip, Head of "Smart Materials and Radiation Technique (SMART) section" at Metallurgty and Materials Group of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IFCAR), Kalpakkam 4

January 2011


THEME

REVIEW 20 98th Indian Science Congress

21 Chemistry of the Future

FEATURES 34 -36 Nanorobots: The Ultimate in Nanomedicine

45 National Symposium on Trends in Nanoscience and Related Areas

SPECIAL STORY 14-15 Small Grants Loom Large 38 -40 A Powerful Tool for Chemists 44 Science Policy: Agenda for Next Five Years

BOOKS 46 Review of Prof CNR Rao's "Chemistry Today"

REGULARS Letters Nano Edit Calendar News Nano on Net Nano Trends Nanomedicine Updates Nano Bhasha Graffiti

6 7 8 10 22 30 31 50 52

NANO PRIMER 23-30 Nanotechnology: The New Chemistry 24-27

Expert Speak 30

Challenges & the Way Forward 29 NANO DIGEST

"University Overhaul Needed" 28

5

January 2011


MAIL BOX RNI No: APENG/2009/28291 n Postal Regn. No: HD/1113/2009-11

Nano Bhasha

â– 

Nano Talk

â– 

` 100/-

Nanomedicine

India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology Vol - 2

Issue - 6

December 2010

www.nanodigestmag.com

K Vijay Raghavendra Rao Hyderabad

ER

RE

CA

&

ON

pr

TI

CA

DU

no

Nano Helps Oil & Gas Extract Benefits

im

er

A Sunrise Technology for Indian Farming Nanotech in Carpet Manufacturing Snapshots of Nanotech Apps Helping to Generate New Technology! "Indian Researchers are Hungry to Learn More"

I am very happy to note that Nano Digest is growing every month. I liked your special issue for Bangalore Nano. Though efforts of this kind are heartening to note, the state of Indian science has not really been great. It is a sorry state of affairs that research in the basic sciences like physics and chemistry has taken backseat. The reasons are a defective education system and subsequent employment patterns, and the cream of students pursuing information technology, engineering and medicine as it gives them immediate returns and employability. During 1970-80, banking used to be the subject to pursue. I think will to develop scientific research by allocating sufficient funding and providing attractive remuneration to researchers will be the only way out!

NE

FO

CU

SO

na

If nanoscience joins hands with industry, the upward climb in excellence will become meaningful and robust. This is right time to encourage this, as industry is experiencing financial stability thanks to recent booms. A balanced research and development effort is a viable proposition in the long-term. A nucleus manned by experienced field personnel and eminent academia will form a sustainable blend with financial viability and scientific orientation. N K Singaravelan Madurai It is very great and stupendous effort from you to work on a specialised magazine for nanotechnology. I think the entire community will be indebted to your team, since there was need for such magazine, a magazine which not only traces the research and developmental activities in this area but also enlighten young minds about this sunrise segment. I think everyone has to come forward to encourage Nano Digest to continue this work and help in developing skilled manpower in nano. MK Shukla Nagpur Though huge efforts are being made to develop skilled manpower in nano, I think everyone has to take an example of biotechnology and information technology. The momentum picked up with the starting of basic courses in these two areas. Courses in undergraduate level will only help in spreading nano to larger mass. Why haven't many institutions started offering graduate level courses in nanosciences? During 1990s IT entered institutions thereby creating huge pool of manpower and even today the demand of IT graduate courses is high. During 2000s biotechnology made the impact on student community. Now it is time nanotechnology makes into student world, thus helping in industry, research to develop. I suggest Nano Digest takes up the campaign and enlighten institutions, students, parents about graduate level courses in nano. By this you will be doing a great service to nano in India.

P Yashwant Sharma New Delhi This is good idea and we are welcome for a healthy dialogue on this subject from all kinds of people. There is stern opposition for graduate level courses in nanotechnology from many, while others support starting this. In fact institutions like Amity, Sastra, Naragjuna, etc have already started offering graduate and post-graduate level courses in nano. Maybe in the coming academic year many more will join. I invite all those people who have an opinion on this subject to write their views, we will publish both pros and cons on this subject, which will enable our readers to decide and in the process we might enlighten the institutions to start courses. - Editor

NANO DIGEST

6

January 2011


NANO EDIT

NANO EDIT

“Chemistry is a central science that responds to societal needs”

— National Academy of Sciences, USA

Chemistry

at Nano-scale C

hemistry is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes. The science of matter is also addressed by physics, but while physics takes a more general and fundamental approach, chemistry is more specialized, being concerned with the composition, behavior, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. This is the common definition of chemistry. This year being named by UNESCO as the International Year of Chemistry, we take a look at chemistry's role in nanotechnology. Most of the people are aware that a high proportion of nanotechnology is chemistry, hence it is all the more important for us to have our first issue for the year focussed on chemistry, to be more precise nanochemistry. Today world has moved from chemistry to nanochemistry, thanks to various developments at nano-scale, the world is now looking at nanochemistry for more sustainable and innovative solutions. Nanochemistry is a new discipline concerned with the unique properties associated with assemblies of atoms or molecules on a scale between that of the individual building blocks and the bulk material. It is the science of tools, technologies, and methodologies for chemical synthesis, analysis, and biochemical diagnostics, performed in nanolitre to femtolitre domains. Nanochemistry is the use of synthetic chemistry to make nano-scale building blocks of desired shape, size, composition and surface structure, charge and functionality with an optional target to control self-assembly of these building blocks at various scalelengths. Nanochemistry allows in producing novel materials by control of the size and shape of particles at the nanometer scale. It is not a new entity in the world of science, the basic principles were not entirely unknown earlier. For example Michael Faraday was creating “finely divided gold”, which in fact consist of nanoparticles of gold. As part of celebrating the International Year of Chemistry, we present this issue Cover Story on Nanochemistry. This apart, we have exclusive review of Prof CNR Rao's latest book - Chemistry Today, which has been released for the occasion. Then we also present an interesting discussion on chemistry by Prof Rao, Prof Pradeep and Prof Maitra. Continuing with the Theme we also have an interesting article written by Alan Smith on Nanotechnology & Chemistry. While these specials have been packed for this issue, we intend to carry specials all through the year on chemistry. Special features by experts and exclusive articles on various chemical sciences institutions in the country. Look out for these in the coming issues. Even as we step into a new year, Nano Digest continues its effort to popularise the technology and contribute to develop more trained manpower for this emerging arena. Just like chemistry, we believe that the scope for nanotechnology is unlimited and there are surprises in store for us all the time. Nano Digest will try to present them as they occur and impact our society, while looking into the future. As usual, such efforts require support from one and all, we anticipate that more join hands to help Nano Digest lead the Indian nanotech movement! Happy New Year and Happy Reading of Nano Digest! — K Jayadev

NANO DIGEST

7

January 2011


CALENDAR

MARK YOUR DATE Every month Nano Digest highlights, the important conferences and seminars where the industry experts, academicians and policy makers convene January 6-8, 2011 National Conference and Workshop on Recent Advances in Modern Communication Systems and Nanotechnology NCMCN 2011, Jaipur NCMCN-2011 conference aims to bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and researchers working in academic institutes, research laboratories and centres and industries on a comman platform to interact and to provide an opportunity to present their results as well as exchange information and understanding on recent advancements in the field of "Modern Communication Systems and Nanotechnology". www.uniraj.ac.in/ncmcn/ January 11-13, 2011 International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Nanded The International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, with full of academic, scientific and technological events, will be held at Swami Ramanand Teertha Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharastra. The aim of this conference is to provide a common platform to scientists/technologists working in various sub- disciplines of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology which will help in developing a great mutual appreciation of interdisciplinary subjects apart from the state-ofart exposure in areas of direct interest of different participants. Conference will consist of Plenary Lectures, Invited Talks and Poster presentations selected from NANO DIGEST

received papers. www.srtmun.ac.in January 14-15, 2011 First National Conference on Recent Advances in Polymer Nanocomposites, New Delhi First National Conference on Recent Advances in Polymer Nanocomposites will be held at Department of Physics, University of Delhi, Delhi INDIA on Jan 14-15, 2011. Full length papers are invited till Dec 15, 2010 for oral/poster presentations. Accepted manuscripts will be published in international journal after peer review. www.zakirhusaincollege.in January 19-29, 2011 National Conference on Oxidative Stress and its Implications in Human Health (NCOSH 2011), Coimbatore Karunya University's School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences is organising a two-day National Conference on Oxidative Stress and its Implications in Human Health (NCOSH 2011) at its campus in Coimbatore. The conference will review the current knowledge on reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress in various diseases and present translational studies based on invivo and in-vitra models. www.karunya.edu/biotech/ncosh January 25-27, 2011 3rd Annual Conference of the Innovation Alliance Carbon Nanotubes, Germany The third annual conference of the Innovation Alliance Carbon Nanotubes will be held from 25th 8

to 27th January in Ettlingen (near Karlsruhe). The conference has been a meeting point for the international CNT community since 2009, and provides an open and creative forum for exchanging results and ideas. In 2011 the conference will be held in collaboration with CONTACT, a European research and training network. The emphasis of the event will be on applications for carbon nanomaterials. www.cntinitiative.de/jahreskongress2011/i ndex_en.php February 6-10, 2011 Ion-Beam Induced Nanopatterning of Materials (IINM-2011), Bhubaneshwar IINM 2011 is organised by Institute of Physics, Bhubaneshwar. In nanoscience there is an ongoing trend towards fabrication processes relying on self-organization mechanisms. The focus is thereby on the control of shape, size, and arrangement of the selforganized nanostructures within a single stage and cost-effective fabrication process. Recently considerable attention has been paid to ion beam sputtering as an effective way to fabricate selforganized nano-patterns on various materials. The significance of this method for patterning surfaces is that the technique is fast, simple, and less expensive. The possibility to create patterns on very large areas at once makes it even more attractive. The goal of this conference is to review various fascinating results, understand the underlying physics of the pattern formation, and to explore the possible applications of patterned surfaces. http://iinm.iopb.res.in/WEBPAGE/i ndex.html February 16-18, 2011 1st National Conference on Advances in Metrology, Bangalore Central Manufacturing Technology Institute, Bangalore in

January 2011


association with Metrology Society of India is organising three-day conference on the theme micro and nano measurement technology. The conference is aimed at brining the metrologists, scientists, academicians, laboratory personnel and assessors on one platform for exchanging the thoughts and views in enhancing the technology growth. www.cmti-india.net February 18-20, 2011 5th International Multiconference on Intelligent System,Sustainable,New and Renewable Energy Technology and Nanotechnology (IISN2011), Yamunanagar The Institute of Science & Technology in Yamunanagar, Haryana is organising three-day conference and this year nanotechnology has been added as the main component of this event. This conference is being organised to provide a unique opportunity for exchanging scientific research and technological achievements accomplished by the international community. The conference is intended to attract individuals who are actively engaged both in theoretical and practical aspects of intelligent systems, sustainable/renewable energy technology and nanotechnology. February 26-28, 2011 2nd International Conference on Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Technologies (MIMT 2011), Singapore MIMT 2011 is co-sponsored by International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT) and Singapore Institute of Electronics (SIE). MIMT 2011 aims at bringing together the researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students in all areas of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Technologies, and provides an international forum

NANO DIGEST

for the dissemination of original research results, new ideas and practical development experiences which concentrate on both theory and practices. The conference focuses on the frontier topics in the Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Technologies subjects. www.iacsit.org/mimt/index.htm February 27 March 2, 2011 Nanotech Insight (NTI), Cairo, Egypt The conference will feature keynote lectures from some of the world's leading speakers in the field. They will discuss the international nanotech industry with the latest practical developments, as well as the technological, scientific and social aspects of nanometer scale systems. Distinguished expert speakers with extensive backgrounds from the global nanotechnology community will share their research with industry executives. www.nanotechinsight.net/conf/n anoinsight/11/ March 30-April 2, 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, Chicago, USA ISBI is a joint initiative of the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) and the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS). Previous meetings have played a leading role in facilitating interaction between researchers in medical and biological imaging. The 2011 meeting will continue the tradition of fostering crossfertilization between different imaging communities and contributing to an integrative imaging approach across all scales of observation. www.biomedicalimaging.org April 11-14, 2011 ImagineNano, Spain ImagineNano, one of the largest 2011 European Events in

9

Nanoscience & Nanotechnology will be held in Bilbao, Spain, from 11th until 14th of April at BEC. For the first time, ImagineNano will comprise in 15.000 m², extensive thematic conferences in parallel, a huge industrial exhibition carried out with the latest nanotrends for the future and a social component where everyone can meet and greet Nanotechnology side by side. www.imaginenano.com April 24-29, 2011 Graphene Week 2011, Austria The Graphene Week 2011 conference will be devoted to the science and technology of graphene, advances in its growth and chemical processing, manufacturing graphene-based devices and studies of electronic transport, investigation of physical properties using ARPES, STM and AFM, emerging applications of this new material. It will also address studies of optical properties of graphene and their applications in optoelectronics, graphene manufacturing by mechanical and chemical exfoliation, synthesis on SiC, and growth on metals and semiconductors. www.esf.org/activities/esfconferences/details/2011/confdet ail350.html May 15-18, 2011 Nano and Water 2011, Switzerland This conference will focus on the latest and innovative achievements of nanotechnology beneficial to the water sector, including wastewater and drinking water treatment as well as the related infrastructure. www.IWAnano2011.org To advertise about your conference, events, workshops or seminars in these pages, contact Nano Digest: nanodigest@gmail.com Ph: 09391328697

January 2011


News Nano promises faster electronic devices

attractive for their higher density of states around the Fermi level, a wide range of available work functions, stronger coupling with conduction channel and smaller energy perturbation due to carrier confinement. Will Science Academies Converge?

Prof SK Ray of IIT-Kharagpur delivering the Presidential Address in the Materials Science Section as part of the 98th Indian Science Congress, mentioned that semiconductor nanostructures are attractive because of the substantial improvements they bring about in optical and electrical properties as compared to conventional two-dimensional structures. He said that silicon and germanium nanocrystals are promising candidates for light emission in the visible wavelength range and for flash electrically erasable and programmable readonly memory devices. This was made possible because of their compatibility with planar integration technology and the absence of the absorption band. The compatibility of silicon-based nanostructures with planar integrated circuit technology makes them attractive for next generation nanoelectronics and nanophotonics with ultrafast switching speed, high storage density and unique optical properties. Prof Ray also announced that after over a decade of work, his research group was close to developing novel semiconductor nanostructures for applications in the next generation electronic and photonic devices.

The one significant point that came out of the Science Academies Summit held as part of the 98th Indian Science Congress at SRM University, Chennai was that the various Science Academies in the country need to work in tandem and synchronize their efforts to attend to the various scientific issues faced by the country. In fact, as Prof N Mukunda of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore stressed in his presentation, the coming together of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the Indian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) to propose a road map for science education in the country over the past few years had not only increased the scope of the academies enormously but had also raised the prestige. Prof Mukunda stressed that the academies had grown, stabilised and matured and that the time had come when the academies would increasingly need to take up areas of public policy jointly. But at the same time he also said that the academies were still learning to work in synchronisation on scientific matters in the public turf. With almost all the presidents of the science academies in the

Prof Ray said that memory devices fabricated with metal nanocrystals in silicon based MOSFET technology are considered to be

NANO DIGEST

country gathered on the dais, Prof MS Swaminathan, who chaired the Science Academies Summit, took the opportunity to appeal to the academies to set up a task force to plan priorities for the year 20122013 that was declared as the 'Year of Science' by the Prime Minister while inaugurating the 98th Indian Science Congress. Prof Swaminathan said that the academies should take up this opportunity to plan programmes jointly that would give a quick push to science in India. IIPOF launched by CII Indian Intellectual Property Owners' Forum (IIPOF) was launched by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the 1st yearly Convention of Indian IP Owners. This convention will help structure and identify the issues faced by IP owners in India and finalisation of action plan and delivery mechanisms. The creation of IIPOF will make India at par with their international counterparts as it will be an advocacy forum and help in the growth of the country as well as benefits large sections of the society. The fruits of intellectual property (IP), being created by an inventor, should accrue to him rather than going largely to the investor community, this was stated by Director General of Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research Secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Ministry of Science & Technology while launching the country's first Indian Intellectual Property Owners' Forum� (IIPOF) here on Thursday. The forum, set up by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was launched at the first annual convention of Indian IP owners. The forum will aim to structure and identify the issues faced by IP owners in the country and prepare action plans and delivery mechanisms. Traditionally, it is the investor community which is more vocal in talking about the concerns of the

10

January 2011


and enforcement regime.

sector, rather than those who create products and processes. While investment perspective is important for reasons of finding a suitable market and ensuring the saleability of the product, it should not come at the cost of neglecting the interests of the creators of knowledge, said Brahmachari. The IP Forum brings India on par with other countries which have powerful advocacy forums to protect the rights of IP owners. The first-of-its-kind initiative in India will help make more and more people benefit from the wealth they create for society. Out of the 38,000 patents filed in the country, only 2 per cent have been filed by small and medium industries and individual inventors. The balance 98 per cent comes from multi-national companies and large corporates. It is the absence of an innovative and enabling environment which is the reason behind the dismal percentage of individual IP owners. Ruing this fact, Brahmachari stressed on the imperative of more IP rights being filed in India rather than abroad. “When it comes to health, we need to have a balanced view between health as a right and health as a business” he added. P H Kurian, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks emphasized the need for corporates to invest in creating intellectual property because of the huge benefits it accrues to the organization. IP owners are vital stakeholders of a nation's innovation ecosystem and are a key contributor to developing a strong edifice of the nation's intellectual property protection

NANO DIGEST

In Innovation driven economies like Japan, the US and Korea, IP owners' communities have been instrumental in creating a vital resource and thought leadership to drive innovation and intellectual property promotion, said Kurian. Higher Education Survey to access number of institutes, colleges The government is working on a survey to gather the statistics in higher education in the country. While there are authentic figures available on school education, there is absolute lack of clarity on numbers as far as higher education is concerned. A survey will establish what the real scenario is and also bring to light the fallacies propagated by various agencies which work with vested interest in mind. This was stated by Additional Secretary, Higher Education, Sunil Kumar at a national higher education summit organised by the CII in New Delhi recently. Inaugurating the two-day summit, which revolved around a draft white paper which KPMG is working on in partnership with CII on Discovering New Models of Increasing Private Participation in higher education, Secretary, Higher Education, Vibha Puri Das said that allowing for-profit education was not possible in the country as the interests of students could not be thrown to the vagaries of market forces. She lauded the efforts of the industry in providing a platform where discussion where various kinds of integrative models between government and industry could be discussed and said she looked forward to the white paper and its outcome. Industry, she said, could collaborate with the government specially on vocational education as far as devising and creating curriculum was concerned. The government is already working on a vocational education curriculum

11

framework in partnership with industry and talks with automobile companies have already been held on that. A meeting with the information technology sector is scheduled to take place on Thursday in that context, she said. The chairman of CII Education Council Arun Bharat Ram, who is also the chairman of SRF Ltd, said at the summit that industry would have to keep the quality aspect of teaching in mind while setting up institutes. “Cutting corners in spending on faculty is going to be detrimental in the long run,” he said. That education is an area of concern not just for policy makers in India, but also among leaders and experts abroad can be gauged by the fact that every visiting head of state in recent times has brought a significant

education team to India during bilateral visitswhether it is visiting Russian President President Vladimir Medvedev or Chinese premier Wen Jiabao who came to India last weekthey have all been looking at India not as a market for tapping students but also for forging exchange programmes for faculty development and research. Global Nanotechnology Market set for Stupendous Growth Nanotechnology is going to pave the way for a revolution in materials, information and communication technology, medicine, genetics, etc as it starts moving from the laboratories to new markets. It helps to improve products and production processes with better characteristics or new functionalities. In coming years,

January 2011


News

products based on nanotechnology will have a huge impact on nearly all-industrial sectors and will enter the consumer market in large quantities. Considering the future prospects of nanotechnology, countries across the world are investing heavily in this sector to reap maximum benefits from it. According to our research report “Nanotechnology Market Forecast to 2013�, the global nanotechnology market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 18 per cent during 20102013. The report expects that the global market for nanotechnology incorporated in manufactured goods will worth US$ 1.6 Trillion, representing a CAGR of around 50 per cent in the forecast period (2010-2013). This prospective growth will largely be driven by massive investment in nanotechnology R&D by both governments and corporates worldwide. The report also reveals that the Asia-Pacific region will experience the fastest growth in the market for nanotechnology enabled goods at a CAGR of nearly 52 per cent between 2007 and 2013. The recent move by the emerging markets such as South Korea and China to concentrate on nanotechnology Research and Development (R&D) will continue to play the most prominent role in the growth of nanotechnology. The report also contains comprehensive information about the development of nanotechnology market in the US, with focus on budget allocation for R&D, agencies working in this field, and federal funding.

NANO DIGEST

Our new research report thoroughly evaluates the past, current and future scenario of the global nanotechnology market coupled with an overview of emerging trends. The report has segmented the nanotechnology market by application and by R&D investment. The application section gives an overview of nanotechnology integration in the field of electronic, energy, cosmetic, biomedical and defense. The R&D investment section talks about investment made globally by governments, corporates and venture capital. The report has studied the nanotechnology market of other key countries separately to show their prominence in the sector. Besides, the report covers various growth potential areas at the global level to help clients understand the nanotechnology importance in sophisticated areas. TSD calls for Fresh Proposals Technology Systems Development (TSD), a programme under DST, intends to support and catalyse technology development projects in the upcoming areas of molecular electronics, conducting polymer electronics, non-invasive and other bio-sensors. The proposals should aim to establish the technical feasibility of emerging concepts in the areas of biomolecular sensors, conducting polymer based microactuators/artificial muscles, molecular electronic devices such as memory switching, logic gates, diodes, organic electronics devices like light emitting diodes (OLEDSs), organic field effect transistors, organic thin film transistors (OTFTs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs), biofuel cells, bio-photonics, ion selective FET (ISFET(, electronicnose-tongue-vision, bio-metrics, conducing polymer based sensors for biological fluids, bio-chips, tactile sensors, microfluidics, energy devices, super capacitors, information storage(memory) devices based on conducting

12

polymers, self-assembled monolayers, langmuir-blodgett films and othet hin films. The emphasis should be towards development of a device or a technology process leading to a device and not a mere academic research. The proposals could b submitted for financial support by scientists, engineers, technologists, working in academic institutions or registered societies or R&D institutions or laboratories which have adequate

Department of Science and Technology Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India

infrastructure to carry out technology development work. DST is encouraging multi-disciplinary proposals. IBM-IUSSTF Nanotechnology Fellowships The Indo-USSCience and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) in partnership with IBM announces the IBM-IUSSTF visiting fellowships. These fellowships are envisaged to provide research opportunities for Indian researchers in the fieldog nanotechnology to undertake research at IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Laboratory in Yorktown Heights, New York. The fellowship is intended to provide a platform for vibrant interaction between Indian and IBM researchers, thus fostering excellence and building long-term networks. The individuals availing this fellowship would be called an IBM-IUSSTF Fellow. Researchers and faculty members, holding a regular position in recognized Indian academic institution or R&D laboratory are eligible to apply for this fellowship. They should have a PhD in sciences

January 2011


or technology. Areas covered under the fellowship are: spintronics, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, materials and devices for energy conversion, and materials for memory devices.

The winner of the 2010 Feynman Prize for Theory is Gustavo E Scuseria (Rice University) for his development of quantum mechanical methods and computational programs that make it possible to carry out accurate theoretical predictions of molecules and solids, and their application to the chemical and electronic properties of carbon nanostructures. The annual Feynman Prizes are leading to the eventual awarding of

The duration of the fellowship is three months. And last date for submitting the application is January 31, 2011. Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology Awarded The Foresight Institute, a nanotechnology education and public policy think tank based in Palo Alto, has announced the winners of the prestigious 2010 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology. Established in 1993 in honor of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman, two $5,000 prizes are awarded in two categories, theory and experiment, to recognise researchers whose recent work has most advanced the field toward the achievement of Feynman's vision for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. The winner of the 2010 Feynman Prize for Experimental work is Masakazu Aono (MANA Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Japan) in recognition of his pioneering and continuing work, including research into the manipulation of atoms, the multiprobe STM and AFM, the atomic switch, and single-molecule-level chemical control including ultradense molecular data storage and molecular wiring; and his inspiration of an entire generation of researchers who have made their own ground-breaking contributions to nanotechnology. NANO DIGEST

the $250,000 Feynman Grand Prize, an incentive prize for making a nanometer-scale robotic arm and a nanometer-scale computing device, the most critical components in future molecular manufacturing systems.

demonstrated how a nanoscoop electrode could be charged and discharged at a rate 40 to 60 times faster than conventional battery anodes, while maintaining a comparable energy density. This stellar performance, which was achieved over 100 continuous charge/discharge cycles, has the team confident that their new technology holds significant potential for the design and realization of high-power, highcapacity Li-ion rechargeable batteries. “Charging my laptop or cell phone in a few minutes, rather than an hour, sounds pretty good to me,” said Koratkar, a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer.“By using our nanoscoops as the anode architecture for Li-ion rechargeable batteries, this is a very real prospect. Moreover, this technology could potentially be ramped up to suit the demanding needs of batteries for electric automobiles.”

'Nanoscoops' improve batteries An entirely new type of nanomaterial developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could enable the next generation of high-power rechargeable lithium (Li)-ion batteries for electric automobiles, as well as batteries for laptop computers, mobile phones, and other portable devices. The new material, dubbed a “nanoscoop” because its shape resembles a cone with a scoop of ice cream on top, can withstand extremely high rates of charge and discharge that would cause conventional electrodes used in today's Li-ion batteries to rapidly deteriorate and fail. The nanoscoop's success lies in its unique material composition, structure, and size. The Rensselaer research team, led by Professor Nikhil Koratkar,

13

Batteries for all-electric vehicles must deliver high power densities in addition to high energy densities, Koatkar said. These vehicles today use supercapacitors to perform power-intensive functions, such as starting the vehicle and rapid acceleration, in conjunction with conventional batteries that deliver high energy density for normal cruise driving and other operations. Koratkar said the invention of nanoscoops may enable these two separate systems to be combined into a single, more efficient battery unit.

January 2011


SPECIAL STORY

Small Grants Loom Large A recent evaluation of the TWAS research grants programmes for individual scientists showed how small grants can make a big difference in the careers of researchers from poor countries. In the following article, Sujatha Byravan, senior fellow at the Centre for Development Finance in Chennai, India, who conducted the survey and wrote the report, presents some of the lessons that can be learned from TWAS's experience in small grant giving.

F

or more than three decades, beginning with a declaration emanating from the UN Conference on Science,Technology and Development, held in Vienna in 1979, poor countries have been encouraged indeed the countries themselves have often pledged with great fanfare to set aside at least 1% of their gross domestic product (GDP) for science and technology. The ultimate goal, both science advocates and political leaders have repeatedly emphasized, is to lay a strong foundation for science-based economic growth and development.

looked at how the grants have been implemented in broad aggregate terms. The primary goals of the study were to highlight areas of strength and propose strategies for improvement. To date, nearly 2,000 scientists have been awarded TWAS research grants. Recipients have been chosen from a pool of more than 7,500 applicants. That translates into a success rate of just over 25 per cent. Funds for the grants have come from two sources: core funding for TWAS provided by the Italian government and programmatic grant money from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). Thus far, scientists from 79 countries have received grants. The largest number has come from Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by Asia and the Pacific and then Africa and the Arab region. The average grant totals just USD 7,000. Scientists can use the funds to purchase instruments, scientific literature and consumables.

While efforts to achieve this goal have been slow in coming, over the past several years several large developing countries, most notably, Brazil, China and India, have passed the one per cent threshold. Nevertheless, many other developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, have not (in some countries, expenditures for science have actually declined). TWAS has identified some 80 countries as scientifically lagging countries. Not surprisingly, these countries are among the world's most impoverished. These mixed trends have led proponents of scientific capacity building in the developing world to continue to search for ways to turn their rhetoric into reality. At the same time, donors have continued to look for ways to provide grants both to scientists and scientific institutions that would help promote the careers of individuals and, over the long term, create fertile ground for nurturing an enduring culture of science in poor countries.

The grants have been given almost exclusively in the basic sciences, nearly half in biology, a quarter in physics, 20 per cent in chemistry and 7 per cent in mathematics. Applications from men far outnumber those from women in all subjects. However, women applicants have enjoyed the same success rates as men. As a result, the study suggests that special efforts should be made to attract more qualified women to apply, especially in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Making a Difference

Think Small Based in part on interviews with recipients, the study indicates that small grants can often have a lasting positive impact on the careers of scientists, especially those living and working in poor countries. As one recipient noted, the grant served as “a pillar of my research career�. But the survey also showed that donors must be mindful of some key factors for these grants to achieve their maximum effect. Timing, for example, is critical. Simply put, youth can be well served with little money in ways that older scientists may not. To a young scientist, even a modest grant can prove

Modern science is expensive. Yet, for scientists in many developing countries, even small grants, if properly managed, can prove to be as effective as large ones. This is the unmistakable lesson that emerges from a recent study of the TWAS research grants programme for individual scientists who are less than 45 years old. The programme has been in continuous operation since 1986, just three years after TWAS was launched. The study examined the overall procedures that have been put in place to administer these grants and also

NANO DIGEST

14

January 2011


institution if and when the awardee leaves. This easyto-implement grant provision can contribute a great deal to institutional capacity building. As is well known, a broad range of challenges exist for those pursuing science in less developed countries, where inadequate funding, poor working conditions and scant job opportunities are often the reality. For example, during a workshop in Nairobi held as part of this study, scientists from sub-Saharan Africa noted that there were a number of problems at the national level that have impeded scientific development. These problems include a lack of institutional capacity to support research, inadequate in-country funding and no national roadmaps directing how science can contribute to development.

quite helpful and have a lasting impact on his or her career. At the very least, it sends a positive signal at a critical juncture in a scientist's career. Indeed seed funding for exploratory research that is made available in the first few years after the awarding of a PhD can propel a career to greater heights. Such funding also becomes a magnet for their financial assistance and awards. Moreover, it creates opportunities to attract and train students and to improve the quality of research. In other words, grants often beget grants as capacity strengthens and productivity increases. As one recent grantee noted, “one of the best roles that TWAS can play is to provide seed money that allows young scientists to cultivate new ideas, in part by leveraging other sources of money.�

Increasingly, however, regional opportunities are emerging that could help overcome national shortcomings. Donors should take advantage of such opportunities and encourage grantees to do the same. For instance, there are growing regional knowledge networks as well as increasing interest among the scientific diaspora to participate in scientific activities in their home countries. These interactions, which do not require a great deal of funding, provide scientists with opportunities for learning and growth.

Maximum flexibility should also be built into the grant programme. Grants should preferably be open-ended, with scientists being allowed to use the money for the purchase of materials for their research and/or for expenses such as fieldwork and travel as they see fit. Scientists also benefit from support that is less prescriptive in terms of whether the award is for basic or applied research and the area or topic that they can pursue. In return, of course, scientists must accept the need for transparency and accountability.

Efforts to promote collaboration might entail, for example, organizing regional workshops for their grantees or sponsoring visits from scientists living in other countries. These strategies are central to the TWAS grants programme. But perhaps more than anything else, grant givers should encourage donors to be nimble and eager to try new ideas and launch pilot programmes. Donors should also seek to persuade governments to remove existing barriers such as high customs duties on scientific instruments, strengthen scientific research councils, and establish such councils where they do not exist.

Another key point is that grants should be given, whenever possible, to teams of scientists that are preferably organized as research units focusing on clearly delineated challenges. Such units, over time, have the potential to form a nucleus around which science flourishes and attracts more talent. Nevertheless, when there are very few scientists in a given country or in a particular field of research, grants to individual scientists can prove of immense value. Targeting areas of research where synergies already exist is ideal. But helping individual scientists may be where the grant programme must begin. The final key point is that donors should emphasize excellence in the selection of awardees; yet, they should not sacrifice the good for the perfect, especially when it comes to proposals from scientifically lagging countries. We may view excellence in science as a universal goal, which it is. But the reality is that, when it comes to small grants, it may be necessary on occasion to measure excellence on a sliding scale.

Think Small While some developing countries such as Brazil, China and India are now on a fast track to building scientific capacity, much work remains to be done in scientifically lagging countries, particularly in subSaharan Africa. The lessons that TWAS has learned in small grant giving can help donors find more effective ways to help such countries. Money is important. But how, where and when the money is spent may be even more important when it comes to generating large returns on limited investments. As the TWAS experience shows, small grants can indeed loom large in the careers of many scientists.

Be Practical There are also some practical considerations that can be easily taken into account to help strengthen the impact of a grant well beyond the specific funding provisions of the agreement. For example, as part of the terms of the grant, the donor and the institution in which the awardee works should agree that items purchased with the grant money remain at the

NANO DIGEST

The author is Senior Fellow with Centre for Development Finance (IFMR) Chennai and can be reached at sbyravan@yahoo.com Courtesy: TWAS Newsletter

15

January 2011


COVER STORY

NANO IN CHEMISTRY This year being the International Year of Chemistry, Nano Digest presents this articles which talks about chemistry and how things have fascinated people at nano-scale and the emergence of new discipline called Nanochemistry. In fact most of nanotechnology is dependant of chemistry of materials and when we look them at nano-scale the particles have shown different properties thus leading to a whole new set of innovations, primarily being carbon nanotubes, which is the primer mover of the future technological discoveries

T

he discovery of a new form of elemental carbon 20 years ago changed thinking in chemistry. Philip Ball investigates whether the buckyball has lived up to the hype and what legacy it has left: Robert Curl, Harry Kroto and Richard Smalley won the 1996 Nobel Prize for chemistry for their 1985 discovery of buckminsterfullerene ●

C60 compounds show promise for use in solar power, ultra-thin electronic displays and slow-release drugs C60 has drawn chemistry to nanotechnology

Explaining about the new discipline, Prof T Pradeep of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, says, “Though nanochemistry is a new entity in the world of science, the basic principles were not entirely unknown earlier.” True to his words, Michael Faraday created “finely divided gold”, which in fact consist of nanoparticles of gold. What is nanochemistry?

“Though nanochemistry is a new entity in the world of science, the basic principles were not entirely unknown earlier.”

NANO DIGEST

Nanochemistry is a new discipline concerned with the unique properties associated with assemblies of atoms or molecules on a scale between that of the individual building blocks and the bulk material. At this level, quantum effects can be significant, and also innovative ways of carrying out chemical reactions become possible. It is the science of tools, technologies, and methodologies for chemical synthesis, analysis, and biochemical

16

diagnostics, performed in nanolitre to femtolitre domains. Nanochemistry is the use of synthetic chemistry to make nanoscale building blocks of desired shape, size, composition and surface structure, charge and functionality with an optional target to control self-assembly of these building blocks at various scalelengths. Nanochemistry use semi-conductors that only conduct electricity in specific conditions. As the semi-conductors are much smaller than normal conductors the product can be much smaller. In recent years nanoscale science and technology have grown rapidly. Nanochemistry, in particular, presents a unique approach to building devices with a molecular-scale precision. One can envision the advantages of nanodevices in medicine, computing, scientific exploration, and electronics, where nanochemistry offers the promise of building objects atom by atom. The main challenges to full utilization of nanochemistry center on understanding new rules of behavior, because nanoscale systems lie at the threshold between classical and quantum behavior and exhibit behaviors that do not exist in larger devices. Although nanochemical control was proposed decades ago, it was only recently that many of the tools necessary for studying the nanoworld were developed. These include the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), atomic force microscope (AFM), high resolution scanning and transmission

January 2011


electron microscopies, x rays, ion and electron beam probes, and new methods for nanofabrication and lithography. Studies of nanochemical systems span many areas, from the study of the interactions of individual atoms and how to manipulate them, how to control chemical reactions at an atomic level, to the study of larger molecular assemblies, such as dendrimers, clusters, and polymers. From studies of assemblies, significant new structuressuch as nanotubes, nanowires, threedimensional molecular assemblies, and lab-on-a-chip devices for separations and biological researchhave been developed. Single Atoms

The ultimate frontier of nanochemistry is the chemical manipulation of individual atoms. Using the STM, single atoms have been assembled into larger structures, and researchers have observed chemical reactions between two atoms on a surface. The use of atoms as building blocks opens new routes to novel materials and offers the ability to create the smallest features possible in integrated circuits (IC) and to explore areas like quantum computing. Until now the ever-decreasing size of IC circuitry has been well described by Moore's law, but further shrinkage of circuit size will halt by 2012 because of quantum mechanical effects. Quantum computing provides a way to circumvent this apparent roadblock and use these quantum effects to advantage. Atomicscale devices, although promising, present major challenges in how to achieve spatial control and stability. Dendrimers

NANO DIGEST

Dendrimers are highly branched three-dimensional nanoscale molecular objects of the same size and weight as traditional polymers. However, dendrimers are synthesized in a stepwise fashion, allowing for extremely precise control of their size and geometry (see Figure 1, a molecular model of a dendrimer). In addition, the chemical reactivity and properties of their periphery and core can be controlled easily and independently. Dendrimers are already being used in molecular recognition, nanosensing, light harvesting, and optoelectrochemical devices. Because they are built up layer by layer and the properties of any individual layer can be controlled through selection of the monomer, they are ideal building blocks in nanochemistry for the creation of more complex threedimensional structures. Nanocrystals and Clusters Nanocrystals are crystals of nanometer dimensions, usually consisting of aggregates of a few hundred to tens of thousands of atoms combined into a cluster. Nanocrystals have typical dimensions of 1 to 50 nanometers (nm), and thus they are intermediate in size between molecules and bulk materials and exhibit properties that are also intermediate . For example, the small size of semiconductor quantum "dots" leads to a shifted light emission spectrum through quantum confinement effectswith the magnitude of the shift being determined by the size of the

17

January 2011


COVER STORY nanocrystal. Nanocrystal s are of great interest because of their promise in high density data storage and in optoelectro nic applications , as they can be efficient light emitters. Nanocrystals have also found applications as biochemical tags, as laser and optical components, for the preparation of display devices, and for chemical catalysis Nanotubes Recently, hollow carbon tubes of nanometer dimensions have been prepared and studied. These nanotubes constitute a new form of carbon, configurationally equivalent to a graphite sheet rolled into a hollow tube (see Figure 2, a molecular model of a carbon nanotube). Carbon nanotubes may be synthesized, with sizes ranging from a few microns to a few nanometers and with thicknesses of many carbon layers down to single-walled structures. The unique structure of these nanotubes gives them advantageous behavior relative to properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, strength, stiffness, and toughness. Carbon nanotubes can also be functionalized with molecular recognition agents so that they may bind specifically to discrete molecular targets, allowing them to be used as high resolution AFM probes, as channels for materials separation, and as selective gates for

NANO DIGEST

18

molecular sensing. Nanowires Like nanotubes, nanowires are very small rods of atoms, but nanowires are solid, dense structures, much like a conventional wire. Controlling the atom (material) used for building the wire, as well as its impurity doping , allows for control of its electrical conduction properties. Ultimately, chemists wish to fabricate and control nanowires that are a single atom or molecule in diameter, thus creating an unprecedented laboratory for studying how small structures affect electron transfer within the wire and between the wire and external agents. Clearly, nanowires offer the potential for creating very small IC components.

Nanocomposites Nanocomposites encompass a large variety of systems composed of dissimilar components that are mixed at the nanometer scale. These systems can be one-, two-, or three-dimensional; organic or inorganic; crystalline or amorphous. A critical issue in nanocomposite research centers on the ability to control their nanoscale structure via their synthesis . The behavior of nanocomposites is dependent on not only the properties of the components, but also morphology and interactions between the individual components, which can give rise to novel properties not exhibited by the parent materials. Most important, the size reduction from microcomposites to

January 2011


nanocomposites yields an increase in surface area that is important in applications such as mechanically reinforced components, nonlinear optics, batteries, sensors, and catalysts.

addition, a new understanding of effects such as friction and wear is required as the nanoscale components obey a different set of rules than their macroscopic counterparts.

Lab on a Chip

Indian angle

Lab-on-a-chip devices are designed to carry out complex chemical processes at an ultrasmall scale, for example, synthesizing chemicals efficiently; carrying out biological, chemical, and clinical analyses; performing combinatorial chemistry; and conducting separations and analysis on a single, miniaturized device. When the amount of material in a sample is small or when it is highly toxic or dangerous, lab-on-a-chip devices offer an ideal way to complete complex chemical manipulations with extremely small sample sizes. Further, because the volumes used to carry solutions are extremely small, even very small sample amounts can be present in reasonable concentrations. Lab-on-a-chip technology has been aggressively pursued in biotechnology, where better ways to separate and analyze DNA and proteins are of great interest. It has also sparked great interest in the analysis of dangerous materials where it can be used, for example, by law enforcement or the military to analyze explosives and biological or chemical agents, while maintaining low risks.

Recently at the Indian Science Congress Dr Michiel Kolman, vice president of Elsevier, pointed out that India excels in chemistry. He said that India is in the global top 10 (at number 10) in article output and growing at an impressive rate of eight percent but behind China

Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems Nano-electro-mechanical systems have also generated significant interest in the creation of tiny devices that can use electrochemical energy to carry out mechanical tasks, for example, nanomotors. One can envision that the coupling of chemical energy to mechanical transducers will enable the construction of devices that may be applied in medicine to treat illnesses, explore dangerous areas, or just reach places that larger-scale devices cannot. Research in this area focuses on understanding the preparation of nanoscale components to build such devices as well as the interactions between the components, especially the coupling between the electrochemical and mechanical components. In

NANO DIGEST

and Brazil which have more than ten percent growth rates. Further, India is among the top 20 countries in terms of citations per article which Dr. Kolman said, is an indication of quality. Although China is ahead of India at number two after USA in terms of the number of articles published, he said, it falls behind India on the quality criterion of citations per article. India's citation per article is 2.4 whereas the same for China is lower at 1.7. Indeed these findings are a shot in the arm for people working on nanochemistry. With huge work happening in India, we are sure see many more innovation that will help in taking nanochemistry to the level of product development and much more chemists embracing this new science.

19

January 2011


REVIEW

2012-2013 is the

"Year of Science� T

and administrators to think of ways of drawing upon this huge pool of young scientists.

he 98th Indian Science Congress kicked off to a grand start today at the SRM University in Chennai with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh giving a call to celebrate the year 2012-2013 as the 'Year of Science' and the next decade as the 'Decade of Innovation'. The year 2012-2013 also happens to be the centenary year of the Indian Science Congress.

Earlier, in his address to the large gathering of scientists, educators and students, Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development, Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Communication & Information Technology, also referred to the huge demographic dividend of young people that the country enjoyed at this point in time and stressed on the need for policies to capitalise on this dividend.

Referring to the theme of the 98th Indian Science Congress, “Quality Education and Excellence in Science Research in Indian Universities�, the Prime Minister in his inaugural address stressed that a university is the vital link in the chain of science teaching and research. And unless we strengthen the educational system, we could never hope to achieve excellence.

Referring to the theme of this year's Indian Science Congress, Sibal said that currently as far as research in Indian universities was concerned, Indian science could only be called average. The goal should be to raise this to excellent. And to realise this aim it was necessary to concentrate on some of the immediate hotspots such as increasing industry-academia linkage, recognising the contributions of young researchers, enhancing public funded research and providing incentives to businesses that collaborate with universities.

The present government, he said, has tried has tried to pay special attention to the growth and development of our university system by sanctioning funds for the creation of new universities and increasing the capacity of existing ones. In the past five years, the Government has established eight new IITs and five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research to provide high quality education and carry out research in frontier areas of science and technology. An Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research which seeks to produce more than 1,000 doctoral and post graduate fellows every year is also being established.

The five-day extravaganza at the SRM University hosted 14 sections apart from deliberating on topics of significant importance such as enhancing academia-industry interactions, minimising and managing waste, climate change, energy security and the like in the Plenary Sessions. With almost 7,000 delegates from around the country and numerous Nobel Laureates the 98th Indian Science Congress tried to tackle a host of scientific issues of critical importance for the country.

The Prime Minister urged the teaching community to strengthen both the teaching and research sides of our University system. He called upon science educators to create an innovation eco-system so that innovation becomes a way of life in our knowledge institutions. He stressed that our Universities have to be more hospitable to creativity and genius, and less captive to bureaucracy and procedure. They should be more open to talent and to the challenge of new ideas. In this connection he referred to the vision document brought out by the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM), which set out a vision and a roadmap for India to become a global leader in science. The Council recommended measures to attract the best of young talent to the study of science. The Prime Minister said that in his visits abroad he came across innumerable bright young people doing science who were very keen on doing good science in India. He called upon the community of scientists

NANO DIGEST

20

January 2011


THEME

Chemistry of

The Future P

rof CNR Rao made an impassioned appeal to the science managers of the nation to give chemistry the highest priority among the Sciences in this “International Year of Chemistry”. He was speaking in the plenary session “International Year of Chemistry” at the 98th Indian Science Congress being held at the SRM University, Chennai. The session was chaired by Prof T K Chandrasekhar, Director, IISER, Bhubaneswar. Speaking on the topic “Chemistry of Future”, Prof CNR Rao, Honorary Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore traced the several major landmarks in Chemistry research along with the persons associated with them beginning with Electrochemistry and Michael Faraday. Prof Rao then took the audience on a historical journey describing the investigations on atomic structure by Earnest Rutherford, elucidation of the nature of the chemical bond by Linus Pauling and the beginning of Supramolecular chemistry with Jean Marie Lehn. Prof Rao further discussed the contribution of Harold Kroto in the discovery of Fullerenes and the development of nanotubes. He also briefly touched upon the immediate present and future challenges to chemistry and the direction chemistry should take to help humankind overcome the problems of the energy crisis, climate change, environmental pollution, etc.] In his presentation titled “Nanochemistry”, Prof T Pradeep from the Department of Chemistry, IIT-Madras highlighted the role of the new science of Nanochemistry in producing novel materials by control of the size and shape of particles at the nanometer scale. Prof Pradeep emphasized the role

NANO DIGEST

of particle size along with the structure, bonding and reactivity of different materials. He also demonstrated that though nanochemistry is a new entity in the world of science, the basic principles were not entirely unknown earlier. He gave the example of Michael Faraday creating “finely divided gold”, which in fact consist of nanoparticles of gold.

Prof CNR Rao

Prof Pradeep mentioned new applications of nanochemistry like the decomposition of Endosulphan (a pesticide) over gold nanoparticle surface. He also listed the possible applications of nanochemistry for the production of pure (potable) water, renewable energy production, carbondioxide sequestering and cleaner environment. Next was Prof Uday Maitra from the Department of Chemistry, IISc Bangalore with his presentation on “Chemistry of Future: Highlights of Organic Chemistry”. Prof Maitra listed the future focus areas of Organic Chemistry as: Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Physical/Mechanistic Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry/Chemical Biology and Supramolecular Chemistry/Organic Materials.

Prof Pradeep

Prof Uday Maitra

Prof Maitra enumerated the upcoming challenges for the synthetic organic chemist as: Fewer steps with high selectivity and efficiency, Zero protective groups, High atom economy and Novel catalysis. Prof Maitra highlighted novel applications of organic materials like conducting polymers, organic Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), Organic photovoltaics and Biomaterials. He ended his enlightening talk by giving examples of biomaterials in actual use like hybrid bone implants and self associated peptide gels for regenerating nerve cells. Courtesy: NISCAIR, CSIR

21

January 2011


COLUMN

India:

First in Nano Social Networking!

D

uring the winter holidays I found some time to watch behind the member profiles of our social network - The International NanoScience Community. The result was very interesting. And I thought it would be very apt to share these findings with our readers. At the beginning, in 2007 I had the idea, that a scientific webpage started in Hungary, in the middle of Europe will firstly reach students and researchers from Germany, UK, France and East-Europe. The reality was absolute different. As it is visible on the diagram, 50 per cent of the 4100 registrated nanofans coming from INDIA (also thanks for Nano Digest, our strategic partner). What is behind this number? The interest about nanotechnology, the mentality which shows “we are open to interact with others”, the visions in the futures… I really don't know the exact answer, so I am interested to get feedbacks from our readers (you can find my e-mail on left side of the page!). Back to the numbers, the second largest visitor's community is based in Europe (13 per cent European Union + 2 per cent nonEU countries). Around 10 per cent is the representation of USA, Canada and the Middle East. Far East is represented with 7 per cent. As we can conclude from the statistics, Nanopaprika should give special focus on the nanoresearchers in Latin America, Russia, Africa and Australia also. Maybe in the coming months lets get these people also into social networking. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable, informative and very educative experience for me and I think also to our members.

NANO ON NET

BY ANDRAS PASZTERNAK

András Paszternák is the Editor of The International NanoScience Community and he can be reached at andras.paszternak@ nanopaprika.eu

NANO DIGEST

As usual I give you some more nano-links for your free time between two issues of Nano Digest. Metamodern.com - Eric Drexler's blog, focused on progress and research objectives in nanotechnology. It spans a range of other topics related to new technologies. The blog focuses on news, directions and objectives in science and technology, often with a specific perspective in mind: how current progress can contribute to the development of advanced nanosystems.

22

2020science.org - 2020 Science is about the relationships between science, technology and society. The blog is written by Andrew Maynard, a scientist with an unhealthy interest in the dark side policy, communication and all that. Nanodic.com - This is an online, searchable and descriptive dictionary about nanotechnology. This site classifies the terms related to nanotechnology to nine different categories: General Nanomaterial - Nanoelectronic Nanomedical - Nanobio & Bionano Carbon nanostructure Nanocharacterization - Nanofabrication and Molecular Nanotech. The definitions of each term have been collected from different scientific sites and references. Nanotechnology.alltop.com This has

updated collection of the most visited nanoportals and nanoblogs as on one place. Hope these new links will throw more light to your search about nano on the Internet. Interestingly exciting sites are coming up and much interesting works are being talked about. Let us keep up to the tradition of encouraging these sites as well as Nano Digest, which is only source for most authentic and very informative print version. I will come back with my promise of giving you more links and more information in my next column.

January 2011


nanoprimer FOCUS ON EDUCATION & CAREER


Nano primer

Nanotechnology:

The New Chemistry A

— Alan Smith

The author is an associate Director of the UK government's Micro Nano Technology Network, which is coordinating activities in nanotechnology throughout the UK. He is a member of the IUPAC Bureau and a member of the Committee on Chemistry and Industry. He can be reached at SmithAZT@aol.com

lthough nanotechnology is not something new, the term itself is a relatively recent way of describing work at the atomic or molecular level. If you look back at the Nobel laureates in chemistry or physics, many of the recipients could be described as nanotechnologists. Physicist Richard Feynman, who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965, is regarded as the father of nanotechnology since he had the vision to realize that changes in properties would be found at the nanoscale. However, it was not until 21 years later, in 1986, that two other Nobel laureates in physics, Heinrich Rohrer and Gerd Binnig, used scanning tunnelling microscopy to observe objects on the nano-scale. Another 21 years on, and we wonder how we managed without the term nanotechnology. In the interim, some chemists have received the Nobel Prize for their nanoscale work, the most notable being Rick Smalley, Harry Kroto, and Robert Curl for their work on fullerenes.

We hear so much about the flagging popularity of chemistry, but it is encouraging to see that nanotechnology is spicing things up for the chemist. There is not one division or standing committee in IUPAC that is unaffected by the advances in nanotechnology. In

NANO DIGEST

24

this feature, I would like to review how nanotechnology relates to the many disciplines represented in IUPAC.

Physical and Biophysical Chemistry Physical chemistry is an essential part of understanding the interactions that go into achieving novel properties that are now being found at the nano-scale. Practical applications range from modelling to produce nanoparticles of a consistent size to examination of interactions at interfaces that provide improved biocompatibility for tissue engineering. Inorganic Chemistry Nanoparticulate titanium dioxide is being used in a diverse range of products, from sunscreens that offer protection from cancer causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation to nanocoatings on windows where the titanium dioxide actually uses UV light to break down dirt in self-cleaning windows. There also are air purifiers on the market that use similar catalytic processes, such as NanoBreeze. Other examples include the cerium oxide nanoparticles used in diesel fuel, which make it more efficient for engines, provide better mileage, and reduce emissions from exhaust pipes. Precious metals offer another interesting area of nanotechnologoy in chemistry. Scientists have found, for example, that gold nanoparticles offer significantly improved catalytic properties. And nanoparticulate silver, which provides anti-microbial properties, is being used in a variety of products, such as wound dressings, baby milk cartons to prevent cross-contamination, food storage

January 2011


containers, and in the plastic parts of refrigerators to prevent mold formation. If Napoleon only knew that he lost his campaign in Russia because (although he had silver cutlery) his troops were using wooden spoons that supported microbial growth! Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Organic chemistry is having a large influence on the pace of nanotechnology development. For example, improved composites are not achievable if the nanoingredient is not dispersed well in the polymer, so selection of the right "compatibilizer" is essential. There also is a great deal of work going on related to functionalizing carbon nanotubes for sensors. A roadmap for the application of dendrimers into new materials-another discovery produced by nanotechnology -has been produced by scientists in Europe, and it describes their use in new inks, paints, and composites. Medical applications are at an early stage for these organics, but they offer great potential since dendrimers represent engineering at a biological-size scale. They show excellent potential as carriers for imaging contrast agents for enhanced organ, vascular, or tumor imaging, and for diagnostics.

the aviation industry is revolutionary. It is interesting to note, too, that car tires have been using carbon black nanoparticles for about a century now. This is the largest use of nanoparticles worldwide, at 6 million tonne per annum. Clay-based nanocomposites also provide barrier properties, and are being used in food packaging applications to give longer shelf life by eliminating oxygen and UV. Functional films are just thin nanocomposite layers, which offer surfaces that are anticorrosive, antiglare, antimicrobial, antiscratch, and heat resistant. The Polymer Division's project in nanoscience is aimed at proposing a list of terms and definitions for aggregation and self-assembly in polymers. Analytical Chemistry There is considerable analytical activity in nanotechnology, especially with developments in atomic force microscopy. Viewing nanoparticles, for example, is essential, since novel properties are only achieved at the nano-scale. In addition, there is a need to develop equipment to assess the extent and variety of new properties that are

Nanocomposite s are already finding extensive applications, where modified clays, carbon nanotubes, and particulates are providing barrier properties, lighter weight and stronger polymers, and functionalized surface applications

Polymer Nanocomposites are already finding extensive applications, where modified clays, carbon nanotubes, and particulates are providing barrier properties, lighter weight and stronger polymers, and functionalized surface applications. In order to save energy, most car manufacturers are using clay composites to replace heavy metal parts in cars. Even the fuel lines in new cars are going plastic through the incorporation of carbon nanotubes into the polymers to dissipate a charge. However, it is with carbon nanotubes that we will see real weight reductions because they may offer components that are 50 to 100 times stronger than steel, at one sixth the weight. The implication of this for

NANO DIGEST

25

January 2011


Nano primer achievable with nanotechnology. Although there is currently emphasis on particle size and distribution, it is becoming clear that surface area is a crucial factor.

intended targets, eliminating waste and soil contamination. Longer-lasting surfaces, improved by particular nanocoatings, should extend the life of many products and processes.

Chemistry and the Environment

IUPAC chemists are involved with these issues as well; at the recent IUPAC Congress in Torino, Italy, scientists described how nanoparticulate titanium dioxide is incorporated into cement for buildings thereby helping to break down environmental pollution in the atmosphere.

In 2002, Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park and other science fiction books) published Prey, a story that depicted clouds of nanorobots turning every living thing into grey goo before the hero manages to stop them. Unfortunately, many people thought that this type of catastrophe was possible, and nanoparticles became the focus of environmental and health groups and non-governmental organizations. The resulting publicity led some groups to demand a complete moratorium on manufactured nanoparticles, while others suggested that the best policy is to proceed with caution. The essential point is that the majority of what is described as nanotechnology has been around since creation. However, for certain nanoparticulates we need to carry out the usual tests and risk assessments that would be carried out with any new substance. Free nanoparticles, as opposed to those locked into a composite, for example, are more likely to be a problem, and manufacturers are most likely to be affected. In the same way, major companies are not going to take risks by putting untested material into their products. Many developments in nanotechnology are viewed as having a beneficial effect on the environment. Pesticide companies are looking at nanotechnology to ensure that their products reach the

NANO DIGEST

26

Chemistry and Human Health Some of the most significant developments in nanotechnology will come in the field of healthcare. Work on new diagnostics indicate that increased sensitivity at the nano-scale will enable problems to be detected before they have affected the body, thereby reducing patient suffering and the length of hospital stays. Developments in nanotechnology also are benefiting tissue engineering, with new materials and surfaces that are more biocompatible. Nanotechnology also is providing benefits to the field of drug delivery. Nanotechnology is being focused on some of the most significant healthcare problems, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal and inflammatory conditions, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, diabetes, and infectious diseases. In the USA, significant funding is going to nanotechnology and cancer therapy, some of which is directed toward investigating better targeting of problematic cells. This has a project that could be described as nanotechnology entitled Prototype Analysis of Molecular Biomarkers in Cancer. Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation This division has undertaken the complex task of nomenclature for rotaxanes and for fullerenes.

January 2011


Although it is not possible to mention all the exciting nanotechnology developments in this space--we are only seeing the "tip of the iceberg"--it is likely that many more Nobel Prize winners will be nanotechnologists.

clicking the mou se ! Nano Talk

â– 

` 100/-

Nanomedicine

India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology Vol - 2

Issue - 6

December 2010

www.nanodigestmag.com

ER

RE

CA

ON &

pr

TI

Nano Helps Oil & Gas Extract Benefits

im

er

A Sunrise Technology for Indian Farming Nanotech in Carpet Manufacturing Snapshots of Nanotech Apps Helping to Generate New Technology! "Indian Researchers are Hungry to Learn More"

CA

This enables you to over the exhaustive process of writing cheques and filling forms. Make use of this facility and get your favourite magazine delivered at your fingertips easily.

â– 

DU

Yes, Nano Digest offers to subscribe the magazine online. With secured payment gateways and trusted website, the magazine can be subscribed right from your desktop or laptop!!

RNI No: APENG/2009/28291 n Postal Regn. No: HD/1113/2009-11

Nano Bhasha

no

ine z a Digest mag no

NE

N

st

Courtesy: International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Gale, Cengage Learning

SO

ow get your Na

by

ju

CHEMRAWN XIV: Towards Environmentally Benign Processes and Products, described new catalytic routes to chemicals, but more recent work on nanoscale catalysts suggests that there is great potential here for new production routes. Chemrawn XV: Chemistry for Water, discussed using nanotechnology membranes to provide clean water.

Some people have suggested that nanotechnology is the next industrial revolution, and there is not one industry sector that is currently unaffected by nanotechnology.

na

Chemrawn Committee

Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI)

CU

CCE has nanotechnology on their agenda. It is estimated that there are now over 500 products on the market that are based on nanotechnology. These are interesting and varied products, so it is easy for both children and the general public to grasp the significance of nanotechnology.

Because there are concerns in some quarters about nanotechnology, reports about its beneficial effects are being issued, specifically as they relate to the developing world. These effects have the potential to be a future CHEMRAWN conference topic.

FO

Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE)

Log into www.nanodigestmag.com

NANO DIGEST

27

January 2011


Nano primer

"University Overhaul Needed"

D

r K C Pandey, General President of 98th Indian Science Congress, held at SRM University in Chennai, made a strong pitch for private initiatives in university education. While delivering his Presidential Address, Dr Pandey asked why we hesitate to encourage private initiative in the field of university education when we have opened the doors to private investment in agriculture, industry, business and transport. Especially in today's scenario when several foreign universities had expressed interest in collaboration with Indian counterparts. However, he stressed that while encouraging such private initiatives it should be ensured that factors such as nepotism, arbitrariness and favouritism do not come into play. There should be no compromise on eligibility norms, teaching standards and infrastructure requirements so that quality of teaching does not suffer.

Dr K C Pandey

The General President was lamenting the slow decline in research in Indian universities, which had once been traditional sources of research. Very few Indian universities are known for good standards in teaching and research, he said. In fact, the country is fast losing its competitive edge in research to other countries, which till recently were far behind. Among one of the reasons he cited was the scarcity of quality researchers. In the last six decades there had been tremendous expansion of the knowledge base but most universities had not even made efforts to keep up with it. Today, being

NANO DIGEST

28

recognized as a center of excellence and producer of knowledge research has to be one of the primary agendas of universities. Dr KC Pandey also strongly stressed on the need to strengthen the teaching backbone in Indian universities. One way of doing this could be by promoting the concept of 'star' researchers and professors as followed in USA, UK and even China. He said that the university must also encourage the faculty to undertake research with multidisciplinary perspectives, conduct research jointly in groups, and have collaborations with national laboratories, other research institutions, and industry. A special Plenary Session on 4th January, “Enhancing Academia-Industry Interactions�, will dwell on this issue at some length. Universities also needed to outgrow the archaic and rigid courses they have been following, which were irrelevant to emerging needs. Dr Pandey said that our courses and programmes in the universities have to be redesigned to meet the growing needs of specializations, to facilitate mobility between programmes and courses, to update and modernize curricula and to facilitate the introduction of reforms in the evaluation procedure. In this context he said that the present examination system contributed to inordinate strain, slackness, corruption and inefficiency. It encourages rote learning, discourages innovative teaching and serious and sustained study. He called for dismantling such a system and replacing it with a system of continuous and comprehensive internal assessment which would eliminate the fear of examinations, evaluate the student's proficiency, encourage regular study habits, facilitate continuous feedback on performance and also ensure teacher's accountability.

January 2011


Challenges & the Way Forward number of students per year in B Tech is 285, M Tech 175 and Ph D only 30. The scenario is not very different and encouraging for the computer science and geology disciplines. India is also witnessing an acute shortage of faculty in engineering discipline which is about 50,000.

Prof P Rama Rao,

E

mphasizing the present status of technical education in India, Prof P Rama Rao, ARCI, Hyderabad suggested the need for a policy framework for improving the quality of technical education in the country. In terms of the data, 97 per cent of 10,60,000 annual intake of students are being accounted by the private institutions. The annual intake of students in all Indian Institute of Technology is 7,500, National Institute of Technology 35,000 and the rest i.e. 10,17,500 is accounted by the private institutions. This, viewed along with the lowering of quality of engineering education, highlights the dysfunctional accreditation process and the need for strengthening the process to improve the quality of technical education. Comparing the number of engineers graduating in a year, at different levels for India and the USA, Dr Rao indicated that only 5 per cent of the Bachelor degree holders from India go for the Masters degree whereas the corresponding figure for USA is about 50 per cent. The total Ph D degree holders in engineering discipline in India for the year 2009-10 is only 1500 whereas for USA it is 7500. Looking at sector-wise data, in the field of aeronautical engineering the total

NANO DIGEST

There is also a regional imbalance in engineering education establishments. More than 505 of the engineering colleges are located in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu which does not auger well for the balanced socio-economic development of the country. Dr Rao also identified problems like absence of international flavor in both student and faculty, low research activity across the disciplines and asymmetry in technology assessment which are areas of concern and need policy guidelines. India has success stories in technical education and human resource generation which can guide in policy formulation. Dr Y Nayudamma's model of balanced development of the Indian leather sector through an academiaindustry partnership and Institute of Chemical Technology established in the year 1933 are among the few examples that can be emulated. The level of excellence, resources and level of autonomy should be synchronised in a policy for achieving quality technical education in India in the next five years. Public-Private partnership is a complex relationship which needs well thought out policy guidelines along with proper checks and balances. Drawing upon the US experience in generating wealth for the nation by investing in academic Research and Development, Dr Rao stressed the need for increasing the R & D funding in India for building and sustaining a modern and vibrant nation.

29

Only 5 per cent of the Bachelor degree holders from India go for the Masters degree whereas the corresponding figure for USA is about 50 per cent

January 2011


Nano primer

EXPERT SPEAK Dr Shanti Kumar Nair, Director of Amrita Centre for Nano Sciences, will month-onmonth answer questions and other doubts regarding education and career in nanotehnology. You can send-in your queries to nanodigest@ gmail.com

Hello Sir, I need a small favour from you. As you know quite a lot of people in India specially the academicians in Nanotechnology, I would like you to ask any one of them to recommend a book for 'nanobiotechnology' or 'applications of nanotechnology in medicine' by an Indian author. As I am from Biotechnology background and started nano work at research level sometimes I feel to read more of the concepts thoroughly. Later I can refer to International books. I intend to buy the book as my friend can buy and send it to me via post. I really need one or some of these..!! It would be great if possible. Manu Smriti Singh Bonn, Germany There is a book Comprehensive Nanobiotechnology by Sreekrishna V from Osmania University and published by New Age International, but I have not reviewed it and have no comments to offer about the book. Sir, I have an query regarding the properties of nanoparticles:- whether the number of particles in nano and bulk forms will same or not , when they were filled in two separate vessels having same volume ? Kindly send me the reply and oblige. Kanika Dept.of Bioseciences and Biotechnology Banasthali University For the same volume fraction the number of nanoparticles will be much large than microparticles or other larger particle sizes. Respected Sir, I have keen interest to pursue PhD in nanomedicine. I am working as asst prof in physics in a private engineering college in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. There is no such facility here to be guided for research in my topic of interest.

NANO DIGEST

30

Please help me in this regard by providing guidance and information. Bikash R Mohapatra. NMIET, Dept of Physics Bubhaneswar You may wish to look into nano biosensor applications or imaging applications where a background in physics would be an asset. If you have a flair for computation or mathematics then computational biology is an area with tremendous potential for nanomedicines. Hello Sir, I did my B Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation, M Tech in Nanotechnology. At present I am working as teaching assistant in Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Institute of Science and Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad. I am eager to do job in nanotechnology companies. Can you suggest me how to get job in a nanotechnology company? Rakesh D Hyderabad It should not be hard to get a list of such companies by a simple web-based search and then write to each and every company with a biodata that carefully describes your expertise and interests. Sir, I'm studying in third semester of B Sc having subjects: biotechnology, chemistry and zoology. I wanted to know more information about nanotechnology, sir please guide me, after my degree, which field should I prefer in masters. Qudsiya Khanapuri Belgaum, Karnataka If you have a lot of interest in Nanotechnology you can try doing an M Tech in Nanotechnology which is now available in many institutes. It appears that with your background you should be looking for nanotechnology applications in the biomedical area.

January 2011


India's Premiere

otechnology Magazine on Nan

Invitation

nd ll -w ri tt e n a e w l, a in g o ri rtise in s t in v i te s writers' expe e th t c e fl N a n o D ig e re t articles tha unpublished y. We are looking for g duct nanotechnolo se-studies, pro a c , s le ic rt a ed and specialis ● Technical tc. ey information, e ral articles, th e n e g d n a s n colum nd to write for r style. ● If you inte u en in pop la should be writt ptable. sm is not acce ri ia g la p f o rt s. Short o ● Any s nd 2500 word u ro a e b ld u o ngth articles c 650 words. ● The full-le ld be around (via Features shou s in soft copy u h c a re ly b ra and s should prefe uld be in MS Word Format ● The article at. ). The text sho e-mail or a CD and in JPG form n o ti lu o s re I P D should images in 300 with a photo g n lo a r te ri w te about the ● A short no e article. h the accompany th ct and publis le e s to t h g f ri the used in any o e b est reserves ld u o c d ● Nano Dig n a by the writers articles sent . magazine tc to sections in the duct profiles, e ro p , s w e n , s p rticles, write-u Send in your a The Editor, Nano Digest th Floor, 416, C & D, 4 state, Babu Khan E , Basheer bagh 9 2 0 500 Hyderabad 3 2 235414. Telefax: 040 com igest@gmail. E-mail: nanod

NANO DIGEST

46 31

September January 2009 2011


NANO TRENDS

COMMERCIALISING TECHNOLOGY SING TECHNOLOGY

P

rof Samir K Brahmachari, Director General of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) presented talk on “Catalysing R&D and its commercialisation through evolving contemporary PPP models”. In the talk, Prof Brahmachari's message was simple, crisp and clear. We need to nurture creativity, provide excellent financial and marketing ecosystems but get out of the way of the innovators who will then go ahead to create wealth for the nation and the poorest of the poor. There is no need to make a scientist out of businessman and businessman out of a scholar. However, the role of the industry-academia partnership is not to be denied. Hubs of education such as SRM University can provide a wonderful and nurturing environment to develop the creativity of the students and smart MBAs to develop smart businesses. Once these two come together, further development should take place through incubator space. Which is to say the innovation process and the industry process should ideally remain segregated and not mix for optimal delivery because there are very few Craig Venters who are equally adept at knowledge generation and knowledge application. Prof Brahmachari said that universities should create human resource who will go forward and create wealth. The human resource must not be eliminated. Universities must not get into the business of creating wealth directly. He said, that

NANO DIGEST

32

many students had asked him why India had not got more Nobel Prizes. His answer was that in the early days of modern Indian science, people like Dr G N Ramachandran and Dr Sasisekharan had never looked for a Nobel Prize…and so had not got one. Post-independent India has seen tremendous change. In the initial years, the emphasis on science that would save foreign exchange and create wealth for the people but it did not create lead to the creation of the multi-billion industry. So, although as a result of this life expectancy doubled from 32 to 64, it did so without concomitant economic growth. In the post-liberalization era, CSIR's positioning also changed with dramatic outcome. For example, India's first carbon fibre plant is based on CSIRNAL technology. Sulphate of potash came from CSIR-CSMCRI. CSIR-IMTECH licensed thrombolytic molecules to Nostrum Pharma. It was the highest ever licensing deal from CSIR at US $ 150 million plus royalty. The specialty chemicals for bagasse recovery has excited industry. It is a NMITLI/NCL initiative. Last year, CSIR got the Thomson Reuters Award for Innovation. CSIR has surged forward, gone beyond NMITLI by crowd sourcing for Open PPP which is a trend setting, ground breaking initiative of which OSDD is a stellar example. CSIR is now moving forward from low risk, low gain market and exploring multiplier effect in technological development. In his final message, DG CSIR exhorted everybody to emulate P C Ray, one of India's first technopreuners and chemist extraordinaire. He emphasized the need to invest in knowledge as equity and to evolve effective marketing and financial strategies; nurturing environment for creativity and a clear field for catalyzing advancement.

January 2011


Nanomedicine MEDICINE

NANO UPDATES

—Manu Smriti Singh Extending shelf-life of Listeria susceptible food In an interesting study, researchers at Food Science, Purdue University have been able to form nanoparticles which can be adhered to an anti-microbial peptide 'nisin'. This peptide is known to combat a lethal food borne pathogen- Listeria monocytogenes, which can contaminate dairy products, raw vegetables, sausages, raw or cooked meats, poultry and fish items causing blood poisoning

also called as septicaemia. Nanoparticles were developed by altering the surface of photoglycan found in sweet corn which resulted in several forms of particles. By making the surface of nanoparticle negatively charged and partially hydrophobic, lead to stable adhesion of nisin. Also, the controlled release studies showed their anti-microbial activity against the pathogen up to 21 days. The group proposed spraying of nisin nanoparticle solution onto the food items for practical purposes in order to raise their shelf-lives. The study appears in the 'Journal of Controlled Release'.

finding their way in healthcare, electronics and as pharmaceuticals in bulk quantities, their usage development and storage becomes equally significant. University of Missouri Scientist Dr Kattesh Katti, who has been at the forefront of green nanotech, led team showed that the spice and cinnamon can replace all the toxic chemicals evolved during the preparation of gold nanoparticles. Scientists added cinnamon to a mixture of gold salts, during preparation of gold nanoparticles, followed by stirring in water. This resulted in leaching out of phytochemicals from cinnamon which neutralised the toxicities of hazardous chemicals present in the solution. The process does not depend on electricity neither it generates toxic compounds. Moreover the phytochemicals from cinnamon having anticancerous property, aid the nanoparticles in tumor cell destruction in a biologically active manner. The work has appeared in the latest issue of Journal 'Pharmaceutical Research'. The microsensor 'breathalyzers' The easiest and speedy way of diagnosing a patient is to detect specific disease affiliated biomarkers in their breath. For

Safer and better gold nanoparticles

this, the sensitivity of sensor must be veritably high. Scientists at NIST and Purdue University, US have developed a template which can ascertain parts per billion biomarkers, 100 times more than the earlier known breathanalyzing sensors. These microhotplates bearing electrodes were coated with a drop of polymer microparticles which itself is surfaced by numerous metal oxide nanoperticles. After drying, the polymer evaporates leaving metal oxide film with capacious 'sensing surface area'. To mimic breath, gas was passed with parts per billion of acetone, a marker of diabetes and was traced by the 'breathalyzer'. This works by analysing differences in conductance or electrical resistance of gas. The technology can be employed to screen various diseases in their preliminary stages. Finally the cellular endoscope!

In a major breakthrough, researchers at Drexel University have designed carbon nanotubes (CNT) that can probe cells without causing any damage. It can not only analyse the molecular components within the cell, but also deliver quantum dots (QD's) without affecting cellular integrity. This advancement could lead to broader insight in cell biology. This technology would be able to remit electrical as well as optical signals from within the single cell. The research article 'Multifunctional carbonnanotube cellular endoscopes' has been published in recent issue of 'Nature Nanotechnology'.

While gold nanoparticles are

NANO DIGEST

33

January 2011


feature

Nanorobots:

The Ultimate in Nanomedicine — Aparajitha Ghosh

The author is Post Doctoral Fellow at Molecular Science Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi and can be reached at ghosh_aparajita@ yahoo.in

T

he recent developments in the field of nanoelectronics, with transducers progressively shrinking down to smaller sizes through nanotechnology and carbon nanotubes, are expected to result in innovative biomedical instrumentation possibilities, with new therapies and efficient diagnosis methodologies. The use of integrated systems, smart biosensors, and programmable nanodevices are advancing nanoelectronics, enabling the progressive research and development of molecular machines.

Traversing Human Body

Within this century, with the convergence of human gene sequencing and advances in nanotechnological engineering and our deepening understanding of the function of cellular systems, nanotechnologists believe it will be possible to design medically-active microscopic machines to fight disease and effect physiological repairs at the cellular level. Diagnosis of disease will no longer rely upon patient history and the results of laboratory tests, but will result from an ongoing internal examination of deviations from the encoded molecular blueprint and programmed repair functions designed to correct anomalies at the molecular level. Cell damage attributed to aging will be repaired from the inside out.

Nanomedicine's nanorobots are so tiny that they can easily traverse the human body. Scientists report the exterior of a nanorobot will likely be constructed of carbon atoms in a diamondoid structure because of its

Current developments in nanoelectronics (Microelectron. Eng 2002, 64 (1), 391397) and nanobiotechnology (IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern. Part C- Appl Rev 2007, 37 (3), 325336) are providing feasible

The emerging field of nanorobotics deals with both the design of nanoscale machines and the controlled manipulation of nano-sized objects. But work is largely hypothetical and no artificial nonbiological nanorobots have yet been built. Nanorobots are theoretical microscopic devices measured on the scale of nanometers (1nm equals one millionth of 1 millimeter). When fully realized from the hypothetical stage, they would work at the atomic, molecular and cellular level to perform tasks in both the medical and industrial fields that have been the stuff of science fiction.

NANO DIGEST

inert properties and strength. Supersmooth surfaces will lessen the likelihood of triggering the body's immune system, allowing the nanorobots to go about their business unimpeded. Glucose or natural body sugars and oxygen might be a source for propulsion, and the nanorobot will have other biochemical or molecular parts depending on its task. Such devices have been designed in recent years but no working model has been built so far.

34

January 2011


development pathways to enable molecular machine manufacturing, including embedded and integrated devices, which can comprise the main sensing, actuation, data transmission, remote control uploading, and coupling power supply subsystems, addressing the basics for operation of medical nanorobots. For Nanomedicine A follow up to a group of researchers working on nanorobots for nanomedicine have been enumerated in Fig. 1-6. In the 3D simulation, the nanorobots were able to efficiently detect alpha-NAGA signals in the bloodstream, with the integrated system retrieving information about a person infected with influenza. The model provided details on design for manufacturability, major control interface requirements, and inside body biomolecular sensing for practical development and application of nanorobots in medical prognosis. Researchers from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have created a hybrid “nanodevice� composed of 4.5-nm nanocrystals of biocompatible titanium dioxide semiconductor covalently attached with snippets of oligonucleotide DNA.57 Experiments showed that these nanocomposites not only retain the intrinsic photocatalytic capacity of TiO2 and the bioactivity of the oligonucleotide DNA, but more importantly also possess the unique property of a light-inducible nucleic acid endonuclease (separating when exposed to light or x-rays). For example, researchers would attach to the semiconductor scaffolding a strand of DNA that matches a defective gene within a cell, then introduce the nanoparticle into the cell nucleus where the attached DNA binds with its defective complementary DNA strand, whereupon exposure of the bound nanoparticle to light or x-rays snips off the defective gene.

NANO DIGEST

Improve Health Instrumentation The use of microdevices in surgery and patient monitoring is a reality that has brought many improvements for clinical procedures in recent years. For example, catheterisation has been used as an important methodology for many cardiology procedures and aneurysm surgery. Implanted devices are currently in use to improve the health condition of patients with various medical problems. In the same way as the development of microtechnology in the 1980s has led to new tools for surgery, emerging nanotechnologies will similarly permit further advances providing better diagnosis and new devices for medicine through the manufacturing of nanoelectronics based on new CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technologies. Nanorobots are considered a new possibility for the health sector to improve medical instrumentation, diagnosis, and therapeutic treatments. Patients with diabetes must take small blood samples many times a day to control glucose levels. Such procedures are uncomfortable and extremely inconvenient. To avoid this kind of problem the level of sugar in the body can be observed via constant glucose monitoring using medical nanorobotics. This automatic information can help doctors and specialists to provide a real-time health care, mproving the patient's medication regimen. Moreover, the integrated platform, with nanorobots for diabetes monitoring, discloses painless and useful information for persons with diabetes. It offers a practical way to improve the person's awareness with regard to daily intake of proteins and caloriesthus effectively reducing the patient's time spent suffering from hyperglycemia.

Within this century, with the convergence of human gene sequencing and advances in nanotechnological engineering and our deepening understanding of the function of cellular systems, nanotechnologists believe it will be possible to design medicallyactive microscopic machines to fight disease

Now DNA Robot Researchers are developing a molecular sized 'DNA robot' to detect disease markers on a cell, diagnose it and

35

January 2011


feature

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 1-6. Screenshots with nanorobots and red blood cells inside the vessel. The real time 3D simulation optionally provides visualization either with or without the red blood cells. The influenza infection with cell hostage begins to spread from infected to nearby uninfected cells. The nanorobots flow with the bloodstream sensing for protein overexpression

Successful nanorobotic systems must be able to respond efficiently in real time to changing aspects of microenvironments not previously examined from a control perspective

NANO DIGEST

deliver a 'cargo of cancer killing drugs'. Prof Milan Stojanovic at Columbia University, New York, developed the molecular sized robot to resemble a spider, with the ability to use its 'tentacles' for self propulsion. During its early development, it was capable of 'walking' though a field of DNA molecule, cutting and bonding with them to propel itself. By programming the environment with 'breadcrumbs', the robot was able to follow an established trail. At such tiny scales, proteins like the DNA itself remained the best bet for creating such a trail. The team found the material it needed in the work of CalTech Prof Paul Rothemund, who had invented what he named DNA origami. Using 'sequencerecognition in base pairs', DNA origami are 'folded' from a long single strand of DNA, with several shorter helper strands that 'staple' the long strand into the desired shape. By programming the shape of each DNA origami with specific intentions on which way the robot should go next, the researchers were able to direct the spider to follow prescribed routes. These autonomous molecular DNA robots were

36

demonstrated to start, move, turn and stop while following a prescribed path. Applications include therapeutic medical devices that navigate by following natural DNA markers that identify cancer cells and enable the robot to deliver drugs only to those cells. Successful nanorobotic systems must be able to respond efficiently in real time to changing aspects of microenvironments not previously examined from a control perspective. The automation, control, and manufacturing of nanorobots is a challenging and very new field. Realizing revolutionary applications of nanorobots to health or environmental problems raises new control challenges. The design and the development of complex nanomechatronic systems with high performance should be addressed via simulation. The research and development of nanorobots for common application in fields such as medicine and defence technology should lead us for a safer and healthier future.

January 2011


Subscribe to Nano Digest

for Students Rs.900/- per year for others Rs.1,100/- per year I enclose Cheque / Demand Draft No. Dated

Leap into the World of Nano Technology

drawn in favour of Nano Digest, Hyderabad. Subscriber's Name: Dr/Mr/Ms Designation: Organisation: Mailing Address:

Nano Digest, India's Premiere Magazine on Nano Technology is a one-stop-shop source for information and news about the latest in this emerging knowledge field. It's your chance to keep yourself updated about the new and most happening events in the industry. Nano Digest introduces you to the new comers and early adopters of the science, that is transforming the lives of many. Subscribe to this monthly magazine which promises to give you a complete insight into the world of Nano Technology.

City: State: Pin Code: Phone: Mobile: Email:

` 100/-

RNI No: APENG/2009/28291 n Postal Regn. No: HD/1113/2009-11

Nanomedicine

* All outstation cheques should add Rs.25/- for bank charges. India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology Issue - 7

January 2011

* Students should attach their proof of Identity.

N&

T IO

CA

DU

no

pr

ER

RE

CA

im

er

* Please allow up to 4 weeks for delivery of your first issue.

NE

Vol - 2

SO

â– 

na

Nano Talk

CU

â– 

FO

Nano Bhasha

Send in your subscription form to NANO DIGEST 416C, 4th Floor, Babu Khan Estate, Basheer Bagh, Hyderabad - 500 001. Phone: 040-23235414. Email: nanodigest@gmail.com


feature

A POWERFUL TOOL FOR CHEMISTS There is an increasing need for complex chemicals. Humanity wants new medicines that can cure cancer or halt the devastating effects of deadly viruses in the human body. The electronics industry is searching for substances that can emit light, and the agricultural industry wants substances that can protect crops. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010 rewards a tool that has improved the ability of chemists to satisfy all of these wishes very efficiently: palladium-catalyzed cross coupling.

A

t the end of the 1980s, scuba divers in the Caribbean Sea collected the marine sponge Discodermia dissoluta. At a depth of 33 meters (108 feet) they found a little creature that lacks eyes, a mouth, stomach and bones. At first sight it appears primitive, but its inability to escape enemies has turned Discodermia dissoluta and other marine sponges into masters of chemistry. They have a remarkable ability to produce large and complex chemical molecules that are poisonous and that prevent other organisms from exploiting them. Researchers have discovered that many of these poisons have therapeutic properties; they can function as antibiotics or as anti-viral or antiinflammatory medicines. In the case of Discodermia dissoluta, the first laboratory tests revealed that the substance discodermolide could in the future be used as a chemotherapy drug. Among other things, it stopped cancer cells from growing in test tubes.

organisms, so called organic molecules, is the fact that they consist of a more or less complex skeleton of carbon atoms. Carbon-carbon bonds are the basis of the chemistry of life itself, and its importance to chemists is well illustrated by the fact that the subject matter has now been rewarded with a total of five Nobel Prizes. The previous four are: the Grignard reaction (1912), the Diels-Alder reaction (1950), the Wittig reaction (1979), and olefin metathesis (2005). Palladium point of rendezvous for carbon atoms The palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction is unique since it is possible to carry it out under mild conditions and with very high precision. Previously, chemists had to kick-start the chemical reaction between two carbon atoms using reactive substances. Such substances do their job, but the carbon often also reacts with other atoms leading to the creation of unwanted by-products. When chemists want to create large molecules such as discodermolide they build up the molecule in several steps. If the wasteful generation of by-products in each reaction is too large, there will eventually not be any material left to work with. In the palladium-catalyzed reaction, scientists use the element palladium as a point of rendezvous for the carbon atoms. They attach to the palladium atom and are thus positioned close enough to each other for the reaction to start. Palladium functions as a catalyst. It takes part in and facilitates the process, but is not itself consumed.

Removes a significant obstacle to progress After more in-depth studies, scientists have been able to demonstrate how discodermolide defeats cancer cells in the same manner as Taxol, one of the most commonly used cancer drugs in the world. Finding a substance with such huge potential is a thrilling experience in itself, but without the discoveries being rewarded by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010, the story of discodermolide would probably have ended. Progress would have come to a halt due to a lack of material, as it is not possible to develop medicines based on a substance found only in small quantities deep in the Caribbean Sea. However, with the addition of palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions to the chemist's toolbox by Richard F Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki, scientists can now artificially produce discodermolide. Negishi's variant of the reaction was used as a central step in its synthesis. Other scientists have subsequently optimized the process and managed to obtain sufficient quantities of discodermolide to begin clinical testing on humans suffering from cancer. Only the future will tell if discodermolide turns out to be a life-saving drug.

Inspired by industrial progress The possibility of using palladium as a catalyst began to arouse interest during the 1950s. At that time, a German chemical company, Wacker Chemie AG, began to use palladium in order to transform ethylene to acetaldehyde, an important raw material used in paint binding agents, plastic softeners and in the production of acetic acid. Richard Heck was working for an American chemical company in Delaware, and as the chemical industry got increasingly curious about the successful Wacker-process he began experimenting with using palladium as a catalyst. In 1968 he published his successful work in a series of scientific articles. Among other things, he was able to link a ring of carbon atoms to a shorter fragment of

In any case, it is one of many examples of how naturally occurring chemicals inspire the work of chemists. Common to all molecules in living

NANO DIGEST

38

January 2011


carbon in order to obtain styrene, a major component in the plastic polystyrene. Four years later he had further developed his reaction and today the so-called Heck reaction is one of the most important for creating single bonds between carbon atoms. It is, for instance, used in large-scale production of the antiinflammatory drug naproxen, the asthma drug montelukast and to produce a substance used in the electronics industry.

its outermost layer, and would prefer to get rid of them both. In the substance called the Grignard reagent, the magnesium atom therefore pushes the two electrons in the bond so that they mostly end up on the carbon atom. Electrons are thereby added to the outermost electron cloud of the carbon atom, but at the same time an imbalance is created between the positively charged atomic nucleus and its negatively charged electron clouds. The carbon becomes unstable, and therefore seeks another atom with which to bond.

Eight a magic number in organic chemistry

Precision the key to gigantic molecular constructions

In order to understand the importance of Richard Heck's discovery we need to plunge into the world of atoms; into the cloud of electrons that circle around the atomic nucleus. Electrons are often illustrated as small particles spinning around the nucleus of an atom. But the electron is actually more akin to a negatively charged cloud that envelopes the positively charged nucleus.Around the nucleus there are several different layers of electron clouds and the larger the atom the greater the number of layers. Chemists are interested in the number of electrons found in the outermost layer, because all chemical reactions are essentially about the need of the atom to make this layer complete. In the smaller atoms central to organic chemistry, e.g. carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, there should always be eight electrons in the outermost layer. Eight is the magic number in organic chemistry.

The Grignard method of coupling carbon atoms has been enormously important in chemistry. But when it comes to creating large and complex molecules, the method has its limitations. The carbon atom in the unstable Grignard reagent does not behave predictably. When the reagent has several different carbon atoms to react with, too many unwanted byproducts are created.The palladium-catalyzed crosscoupling reaction solves this problem and provides precision in the process. When the carbon atoms meet on a palladium atom, chemists do not need to activate the carbon atom to the same extent. This entails fewer by-products and a more efficient reaction. Instead of the Grignard reagent Richard Heck began to use chemical compounds called olefins. In an olefin the carbon atom is naturally slightly activated and when it binds to the palladium atom it becomes even more likely to react with another carbon atom. In 1977, Ei-ichi Negishi developed a variant of the Grignard reagent when he substituted magnesium for zinc. The carbon becomes less reactive when using zinc, but the zinc atom transfers the carbon atom to the palladium atom. When the carbon atom subsequently meets another carbon atom on the palladium atom, they are then prone to couple.Two years later, Akira Suzuki used the element boron. It is the mildest activator so far and is even less toxic than zinc, which is an advantage when it comes to large-scale applications. For instance, Suzuki's reaction is used in the commercial synthesis (thousands of tons) of a substance that protects agricultural crops from fungi.

In its naturally occurring form, the carbon atom has only four electrons in its outermost layer. Therefore it strives to attach to other atoms so that electrons can be shared via chemical bonds. For example, in the simplest organic molecule, methane, the carbon atom shares electrons with four different hydrogen atoms. In this way its outermost layer becomes complete and the atom is satisfied. Fooling a satisfied atom When chemists build complex molecules such as discodermolide they take a short-cut and use preexisting smaller molecules as building blocks. However, linking these small molecules is easier said than done. The carbon atoms in the smaller molecules are already sharing electrons with other atoms in the molecule; they already have eight electrons in their outermost electron cloud and are thus stable. They have no reason to react with a carbon atom in another molecule.

Richard Heck experimented with palladium as a catalyst and linked a short olefin to a ring of carbon atoms. When the two meet on the palladium atom they react with each other. The result of the reaction is styrene, a fundamental component of plastics.

The task of the chemist is to try to wake the carbon atom up and make it more inclined to react with another carbon atom. Victor Grignard, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1912, found a solution to this problem. Using various chemical tricks he coupled a magnesium atom to a carbon atom that he wanted to make more reactive. Magnesium has two electrons in

NANO DIGEST

39

January 2011


THEME feature

Organic chemistry began to develop in the middle of the nineteenth century. In one of the first reactions, the German chemist Hermann Kolbe obtained the simple molecule ethane (C2H6) from acetic acid (top). About 150 years later, scientists were able to create palytoxin, one of the world's most complex molecules. In order to keep illustrations simple, scientists do not depict all the carbon and hydrogen atoms. In the illustration every intersection represents a carbon atom. Palytoxin consists of 129 carbon atoms, 223 hydrogen atoms, three nitrogen atoms, and 54 oxygen atoms.

Today the Heck reaction, Negishi reaction and Suzuki reaction are of considerable importance to chemists. One of the most spectacular examples where palladium-catalyzed cross coupling has been used is in the test tube creation of palytoxin - a dinosaur in the chemical world. It is a naturally occurring poison that was first isolated from a coral in Hawaii in 1971. Palytoxin consists of 129 carbon atoms, 223 hydrogen atoms, three nitrogen atoms, and 54 oxygen atoms. In 1994, scientists managed to re-create this enormous molecule, partly with the help of the Suzuki reaction.

Another example is dragmacidin F, which has been isolated from a sponge living off the coast of Italy. Preliminary laboratory testing shows that dragmacidin F affects both the herpes virus and HIV. Chemists also use palladium-catalyzed cross coupling to modify naturally occurring medicinal substances to increase their efficacy. An example of this is vancomycin, an antibiotic that was first isolated in the 1950s from a soil sample taken in the jungles of Borneo. Today, vancomycin is used against MRSA and entero cocci, bacteria that have become resistant to our more commonly used antibiotics. Both these bacteria are usually quite harmless, but they can infect wounds as well as cause problems after transplantations. Because of this alarming development, scientists are attempting to modify vancomycin so that it is also effective against vancomycin-resistant strains. Using palladiumcatalyzed cross coupling they have created variants of vancomycin that work on resistant bacteria....and thinner computer screens The electronics industry is also making use of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling, for example when it comes to finding better light sources for diodes. Organic light emitting diodes, OLEDs, consist of organic molecules that emit light. They are used in the electronics industry in the production of extremely thin monitors, just a few millimetres thick. Scientists have used palladiumcatalyzed cross coupling in order to optimize the blue light in the OLEDs.

Very challenging creations such as palytoxin force chemists to fine-tune their tools. Furthermore, it is important to re-create, for purposes of research, naturally occurring molecules in test tubes. When scientists find a new molecule they use different chemical methods to establish how its atoms are positioned in relation to each other. However, the only way to verify this structure is by re-creating the molecule artificially and making a comparison. A tool in the search for new medicine…As is evident from the introductory tale about the marine sponge, palladium-catalyzed cross coupling is an important tool in the search for new drugs. Today, scientists around the world use the oceans as a large pharmacy. They have isolated thousands of substances from organisms living in the sea, and these substances have inspired further scientific progress. Besides discodermolide, palladium-catalyzed cross coupling has also helped chemists to artificially synthesize diazonamide A, a substance originating in a Philippine ascidian. In laboratory experiments, diazonamide A has proven effective against colon cancer cells.

NANO DIGEST

Article Courtesy: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

40

November January 2011 2010


NANO TALK "Foreign Equipments are Good, Technical Support

Is a Big Question" Dr John Philip is heading the “Smart Materials and Radiation Technique (SMART)" section in Metallurgy and Materials Group of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam. He obtained his Ph D from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) in 1992. Before joining DAE, he worked for nearly five years as postdoctoral fellow and visiting faculty at various institutions abroad such as CRPP- CNRS, France, University of Hull, UK and ESPCI, Paris. He is also a faculty of Homi Bhabha National Institute. He has received several awards such as Science and Technology excellence award of DAE (2006), INS medal (2007) of Indian Nuclear Society, ISNT NDT national award 2009 and MRSI medal 2011. He has executed an IndoFrench project on nano-emulsion during 2000-2003. He is a recipient of perspective research grant of BRNS on development of advanced nanofluids. He has six patents in his credit. Dr Philip spoke to of Aayaam Team of NIT, Tiruchirapalli. Excerpts from the conversion: Nano Digest: What motivated you to pursue a career in physics? Dr Philip: During my pre-degree, I was more interested in Biology. After attending lectures of physics by a good faculty, I became fascinated with physics, thus shifted my focus on to physics. Since then, I continued to study physics. Nano Digest: What contributed to your becoming a successful physicist? Dr Philip: I was interested in Physics and decided to remain in that subject, though there was compulsion to venture more exciting areas (engineering/medicine). I had compulsions to venture software field during the IT boon in 1995-2000, but I was not charmed by the boom and I remain firmly in my domain of interest. Perhaps, this could be the reason behind my success. Nano Digest: Could you brief us about your educational background? Dr Philip: After completing my 12th class in 1981, I pursued my B Sc from Kerala University and M Sc in Physics in

NANO DIGEST

Gandhi University, Kerala. After that, I went to IIT Madras to pursue my Ph D. During Ph D, I published around 12 papers in journals, which was a good achievement! Based on my work output, I got post doctoral fellowship from many institutions abroad - Japan , France, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, etc but I took the position in CNRS, France. Nano Digest: What is your opinion about the technological stand of India in comparison with the abroad labs? Dr Philip: You have pioneers and mediocre everywhere. Indian researchers are no different from abroad, however the facilities used by abroad people is far more advanced than in India. Foreign universities invest heavily on research and development projects. Many of the researchers are fully dedicated and devoted to their work. They are not interested in big money by switching the jobs or running after prestigious positions like directorship, etc. I know many good scientists refused to become director of a centre in France due to their passion for research- a rare thing we see in India!

41

January 2011


nano talk the patience and I worked very hard to realise a good lab. Finally my hard work paid off, now I have good labs and facilities to pursue high quality research and we have been doing very well in the field of nanofluids and magnetic nanomaterials. Nano Digest: You seem to be content with your association with IGCAR‌

Nano Digest: Are advanced instruments a necessity for high quality research? Dr Philip: It depends on the domain of study. If you work on theoretical physics or simulation, then a good computing facility is a must. However, if your work involves experimentation then you need advanced instruments and apparatus to help you to work. Especially in nanoscience we heavily depend on foreign suppliers for costly equipments and we often encounter problems in getting technical support from the suppliers to fix the problems when the equipment worth crores become faulty. This is a very difficult situation for the researchers. Nano Digest: The path of success had always been full of hardships. Did you face any during your research at IGCAR? Dr Philip: Yes, I did . . . a lot! In the beginning I had no facilities to do research in India. It took me 3-4 years just to mobilise the funds and setup facilities for the experiment. But I have

NANO DIGEST

42

Dr Philip: I am here because of my mentor Dr Baldev Raj, Director, IGCAR. He is a special person with several exceptional qualities! He has been encouraging youngsters to do some extraordinary work. He does everything for doing great science. I attribute my stay at IGCAR for this long to him, if not for him I may not have been. Moreover, today I am enjoying my work at IGCAR and this means a lot to me. Nano Digest: What have you been working on lately and also are you planning to commercialise your products? Dr Philip: We are working on clean water technology, advanced cooling fluids, sensors and nano-based diagnostic kits using nanofluids. We are also interested in making some of our patent-based products available to common man. We are trying to commercialise some of them. Nano Digest: You are heading the SMARTsection. Where you think your group will stand after five years?

January 2011


Dr Philip: Already we have made a mark in the field. If the work continues at the current pace, I am sure that our group will be one of the leading research groups in the world. Nano Digest: Could you explain about the various research activities happening at your lab with your team? Dr Philip: We have obtained the following technological achievements in our SMARTS lab and doing many activities in field of nanomaterials, nanofluids and ferrofluids, smart materials and sensors, intermolecular forces, optical studies in soft-matter and complex fluids, thermal imaging, radiography, computed tomography, etc. Important achievements are: n Developed a force apparatus capable of measuring weak forces (~0.1pN) between nanometer sized droplets. n Developed a new ferrofluid based optical probes for detection of defects in ferromagnetic component & tunable optical filter. n Developed ferrofluid based leak-free dynamic seal. n Developed a laser based etching technique for ceramic and metallic specimens. n Developed laser based ultrasound facility for nondestructive material characterisation.

students passing from the premium institutes of the country are jumping to other domains like management, administration, software and the likes. What do you think about this scenario? Dr Philip: A person who is too good in his domain should never change his field. This is the major difference that I find between people in India and abroad. In abroad a person in a particular research field doesn't change his domain. One should switch only if he is not confident of his domain or the domain becomes obsolete. Nano Digest: What message would you like to say to the youth of the country? Dr Philip: I believe each one of us should have a dream and should work towards realising it. Also, we should have a few options in case if we fail to achieve the primary goal. We should have patience and should learn how to face problems. Always work towards your area of interest. Try to face and overcome difficulties rather than escaping from it. A person who switches his jobs frequently often finds unhappiness everywhere.

Nano Digest: Today most of the engineering

NANO DIGEST

43

January 2011


feature Science Policy - Agenda for

Next Five Years I

nitiating discussion in the first plenary session of the 98th Indian Science Congress, Dr K Kasturirangan, Member, (Science) Planning Commission, Government of India stated that the process of formulating the 12th Five Year Plan is underway and approach papers are being prepared to provide the broad policy framework for the 12th plan. It will reorient the directions and will focus on the theme, content and governance. To involve all the stakeholders to generate the idea, science policy researchers, representatives from industry and academia are being consulted. He also highlighted the report on Science and Technology by Prof CNR Rao providing insights into the research component, social relevance etc.

th

The 12 plan would focus on transforming India from Poor Economy Status to Middle Economy Status country and by the end of the plan period aim to achieve the per capita income of USD 7000

NANO DIGEST

The thrust areas of the science policy component of the 12th plan would include solar energy, sustainable agriculture and Himalayan geology. The 12th plan would focus on transforming India from Poor Economy Status to Middle Economy Status country and by the end of the plan period aim to achieve the per capita income of USD 7000. The key question is how the scientific community is prepared to respond to these changes. The Planning Commission of India has set 12 key strategic challenges for the 12th plan with an objective for faster and inclusive growth, energy security, access to education and climate protection. To achieve these goals the S & T base should be expanded and made effective. Ways to absorb and get optimum results out of the current 0.98 GDP investment in

44

science and technology need to be thought out and incorporated in the S & T policy. There is an enhancing knowledge base reflected by the increase in the number of research publications. However, the process of linkages with industry and international collaboration needs to be accelerated. An example of this is India's participation as a major partner in the 30- meter telescope project. Dr Kasturirangan further indicated that by the year 2020, investment in R & D will be shared equally by the government and industry. He stressed the need for meeting the challenges of water, energy, health and agriculture through public private partnership. The need for enhancing the role of state S & T councils in providing academy industry linkages has been recommended by the review committee headed by Prof CNR Rao. The report lays down the vision and the roadmap for effective public private partnership. On strategic areas like space and atomic energy, the possibility of involving private civilian research programmes with sufficient checks may be initiated to provide impetus to innovation. Evolving a policy for innovation is essential during the decade of innovation. India should evolve an affordable innovation ecosystem. Dr Kasturirangan expressed hope that the deliberations of this plenary session will provide critical inputs to public policy and also give insights for the approach paper and the main plan document of the 12th Five Year Plan.

January 2011


review

Inspiring Meet for Students!

T

wo-day National Symposium on “Trends in Nanoscience and Related Areas” was organized by Department of Chemistry of Behala College, an undergraduate college under Calcutta University in Kolkata from December 9, 2010. The occasion was to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray and the International Year of Chemistry, 2011. Speaking at the inaugural Professor Gurunath Mukherjee, Rashbehary Ghose Professor, Department of Chemistry, Calcutta University on theme 'Nanoscience and Technology' stressed on the life and works of Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, a pioneer in original knowledge of chemistry in India. While describing many path-breaking research contribution of this great chemist, Professor Mukherjee vividly described, with emphasis, the tricks through which PC Ray produced the famous Mercurous Nitite in stabilised form. Interestingly all speakers in their talk at the symposium stressed the importance of stabilisation of the synthetic nanomaterials. “This lesson from this remarkable teacher will definitely remain as a source of inspiration to all his 'present day students'.” Professor P L Majumder, the Honorary Secretary, Indian Chemical Society, delivered the key-note lecture on the role of Acharya Ray as an entrepreneur for the development of Bengal Chemicals and other industries in Bengal. Professor Dulal Chandra Mukherjee, ex-Professor of Chemistry, University of Calcutta delivered the second key-note lecture on Indian Chemical Society and the journal of Indian Chemical Society. The multidisciplinary subject of nanoscience and technology is no doubt a pointer to college students for their future course in life. It is indeed a pleasure to know from Dr Ujjal Kumar Sur, convenor of the symposium that major part of the audience is their undergraduate students. “We found they actively participated in the discussion that followed after the invited talks. Thanks are also due to the eminent speakers who presented the specialised topics in a lucid and down to earth level in presence of college students.”

Nuclear Physics presented talk on “Why nano?”; “Biosynthesis of nanoparticles: An overview of their Technological Applications” was presented by Balaprasad Ankamwar of Pune University's Chemistry department; and many other speakers from various institutions' chemistry departments spoke on nanotechnology and chemistry. Overall the symposium presented interesting sessions for young minds to get ignited about nano. Several contributory papers were presented besides the invited talks from eminent scientists. Dr Abhijit Bandyopadhyay, Polymer Science and Technology department of University of Calcutta, delivered a talk on the recent advancement in the field of various nanomaterials with special emphasis in biological arena. Dr A K Panda, of North Bengal University's Chemistry department, made an excellent presentation on the synthesis and characterisation of various nanoparticles such as zinc and lead chromate, tungstic acid and copper ferrocyanide in water-in-oil microemulsion media by a simple and low-cost method. The second day began with the talk of Prof Tarasankar Pal. He showed how to use transition metals like Ni, Pd, Pt nanoparticles as SERS substrate in addition to common SERS substrates such as Au, Ag and Cu nanoparticles. Prof Alokmoy Datta demonstrated that some liquids behave as solid at the nanoscale. Dr Balaprasad Ankamwar showed the biosynthesis of various metal and semiconductor nanoparticles with special emphasis on their technological application in catalysis, biosensing, drug delivery, cancer detection and diagnosis. Apart from the listed lectures, Dr Chittaranjan Santra of Netaji Nagar College, made a presentation on the environmental issues of various nanomaterials. Finally, there was a panel discussion on the topic of social, ethical and environmental issues of nanomaterials. The speakers and the audience participated in this panel discussion. It shows that nanotechnology also presents new challenges for measuring, monitoring, managing and minimising contaminants in the workplace and the environment. Nano-scale science and technology may generate new risks to workers, consumers, the public and the environment.

Shyamal Chakravorty, Head, Chemistry department of Calcutta University spoke on “Prafulla Chandra : Scientist, Teacher and Visionary”; Prof Alokmay Datta of Applied Material Science Division, Saha Institute of

NANO DIGEST

- Sanjukta Ganguli

45

January 2011


BOOKS

Primer on Chemistry

I

t is indeed very astonishing to pick up the book “Chemistry Today”, especially because it has been written none other than Prof CNR Rao, world's leading chemist, scientist and father of Indian Nanotechnology. Astonishing because, this new book which has come out as celebration of International Year of Chemistry 2011, is written in layman's language and explains the developments of chemistry over the years.

inspire young minds to work on chemical sciences. In fact the entire of this book from Prof CNR Rao is to inspire younger generation to understand and study basic sciences instead of running behind fast buck. He mentions: “Chemistry is central science that responds to societal needs.” What more do the youngsters need to decide on studying chemical sciences then this simple sentence! Mentioning about his inspirers, Prof Rao says, “If I am asked to pick the greatest chemist of the 19th century, I would pick Michael Faraday. For the 20th century, Linus Pauling seems to be the obvious choice. If I am asked whether there will be a person who will change chemistry in a big way in the 21st century, I do not have the answer. It may be difficult to find one person at the end of the 21st century, because the way chemistry works today.”

Aimed as a tribute to chemistry by Prof Rao, this book is must for all, students and teachers worldwide. Written in crispy and neat format which is easily understandable to all, Chemistry Today should be read to understand how chemistry has influenced over lives, knowingly or unknowingly over few centuries. In the preface Prof Rao says, “Human beings started making use of chemistry several centuries ago, but the early practitioners did not know how and why things happened.” With huge experience and extra-ordinary work done in chemistry, Prof Rao is definitely an ideal person to explain the progress of this science to the young minds.

Mentioning about Indian perspective Prof Rao wishes, “It will be wonderful if we can discover new molecules to combat some of the dreaded diseases. A few such molecules would not only make the industry rich but also make us proud.” Well presented book by an extraordinary person on the developments in this extraordinary subject.

The small book has been divided into 14 chapters, explain from the what is chemistry to scope to new directions it is taking, the book explain in brief. Written to be a guide for all those you love chemistry and try to make career in this interesting subject, this book will be a sure winner amongst the students.

- K Jayadev Chemistry Today Author: CNR Rao Publishers: Education Technology Unit, JNCASR Price: Not Mentioned

“Chemical science is an old subject. Chemistry, in some form or the other, has been practiced for several centuries. In countries like India, dyes were used to make clothes attractive at least 5000 years ago,” observes Prof Rao in the second chapter. He goes on to say how today's chemists are working on interdisciplinary areas including nanotechnology. Most informative aspect is the presentation of all the great chemists in the world and how they have impacted on the development of chemical sciences. The book has indepth information on various legendary names: from Father of Chemistry Lavoiser, Dalton, Berthollet, Humphry Davy, JJ Berzeliuc Kekule, Le Bel and Van't Hoff, Michael Faraday, Dmitri Mendeleyev, etc. The book also gives information on various Chemistry Nobel Prize winner till date: Seaborg, Emil Fischer, Victor Grignard, Richard Willstatter, Wilhelm Ostwald, Svante Arrhenius, Nernst, William Ramsay, Henry Moissan, Alfred Werner, GN Lewis, Linus Pauling, etc. These are not just information to be remembered but

NANO DIGEST

46

January 2011


Column

Nano Secrets of

Bare Bones Nano Bhasha with Sanjukta Ganguli

T

he living body's skeletal system has become a treasure trove for nano-scientists. The deeper they 'dig', the more rewarding are the discoveries! The enthusiasm of current research is making it bonanza time for technology applications.

organised manner upon protein scaffolding, imbuing the tissue with the required mechanical properties. The major building blocks of bone structure are 1) collagen fibers, a fibrous protein synthesized and extruded into the matrix of the tissue, and 2) calcium crystals mostly in the form of Hydroxyapatite Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 and little calcium carbonate, CaCO3 in calcite or in aragonite phase. Inorganic calcium minerals constitute 67 per cent of bone tissue, while the rest is the organic component containing predominantly the collageneous part. Calcium carbonate varies from 5-15 per cent. The size of the inorganic mineral component is in nanometer range. Scientists are in deep quest to find out how the organic materials including proteins regulate the size and shape of bio-mineral crystals and how biomatrices guide the bind up of nano-size bio-minerals within those matrices.

The skeleton is the major support system that gives shape and to the entire human body, maintaining both its aesthetic form and its postures. Unfortunately it is also fraught with great vulnerability. The challenges to the skeleton can come in various ways, one of which is trauma, and another congenital defects or defects acquired during development. Hazardous changes in the inherent mechanical properties of the basic materials of the bony structures bring on other conditions, such as osteoporosis in elders, rickets in juniors. What is a bone? It may be worthwhile to have a clearer understanding. Bone has been described as hard tissue. “Hard� refers to the physical properties that contribute to the mechanical function of the skeleton. These are properties like considerable intrinsic tensile strength, high elasticity, and compressive strength. Bone is a tissue because it is an assembly of specialised cells. This agglomeration of cells is responsible for development and maintenance of the structure it forms.

The hardness, rigidity, and the great compressive strength of bone is directly dependant on the specific composition of these two bio-minerals. The collagen fibrils of bone possess high elasticity, little compressive strength, and considerable intrinsic tensile strength. The tensile strength of bone depends, however, not on collagen alone but on the intimate association of mineral with collagen. The structural organisation of bone is admirably adapted to give maximal strength for its weight-bearing function with minimum weight. Thus bones as we see are a composite material consisting of the association of the organic and the inorganic resulting in a diverse range of characteristics depending on the judicial choice of both. Accordingly there are bones strong enough to support the weight of an elephant and others light enough to give internal support and leverage for the wings of birds!

During the growth of the human form from its embryonic stage, it is fascinating to follow the stages of development of every single bone. Particularly impressive is the precise control of the system whereby the structure develops exactly as it is required. The cells involved in bone formation are quite unique. These cells work in unison to re-order their immediate environment so that deposition of inorganic materials like calcium compounds occurs in an

NANO DIGEST

Current research in this field is focused in understanding the processes of association of organic and inorganic materials of nano-meter size. The wishlist is long. Scientists and technologists hope to control natural processes and produce synthetic materials that can be used to reinforce or replace natural tissue. The achievements? Wait until the next issue.

48

January 2011


GRAFFITI

Getting Down to Nanometers! One nanometre is 0.000000001 m. It can be written as 1 nm or 1 x 10-9 m. Here is the scale of

The metre is the standard (SI, or Système International d'UnitiÊs) unit of length. Every other unit is stated as a number bigger or smaller than this. The short word put before metre is called a prefix. Many of these are from Greek. The same prefixes are used to change the unit of mass, the kilogram, into smaller and larger units. Atoms and molecules are nano- and picometre-sized. Science involving nano-and pico-sized particles is called nanoscience.

NANO DIGEST

49

January 2011


NANO ADS

This exclusive section offers the readers of Nano Digest a unique opportunity to spread across your message to the entire Indian Nanotech Community in a costeffective manner. To avail this offer contact: nanodigest@gmail.com or 09391328697

Printed & Published by K. Hari Prasad & Owned by K. Radha Kumari, Printed at Karshak Art Printers, 40, A.P.H.B. Blocks, Vidyanagar, Hyderabad - 500 044. Published at Typical Creatives, H.No.2-2-186/18/4,Ramakrishna Nagar, Bagh Amberpet, Hyderabad-500 013, A.P. Editor K. Hari Prasad.

NANO DIGEST

50

January 2011


I N D I A N N A N OT E C H D E V E LO P M E N T F O R U M

in association with

India's Premier Magazine on Nanotechnology

will host st

1 Nanotech Education Summit In May month ✪

Country's First Nanotech Education Summit will help in harnessing the most required talent pool for this emerging segment.

The Summit will highlight the new path in pursuing a scientific career for students.

Experts from all across the country will deliver talks that will not just inform about nanotechnology, will enlighten the career prospects in this sunrise sector.

Leading nanotech education providers from across the country will participate in the First Nanotech Education Summit's exhibition.

Venue: Hyderabad Come join the nanotech moment… stride a new path in your career! For Details contact : Mr. Ashok on 08121694160 inanoforum@gmail.com / nanodigest@gmail.com



Nano Digest Magazine Jan'2011