Dr. Clayton Teague of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, Stan Williams of HP, Holger Neuhaus of the SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Cell, and Alan Nelson of VisionGate (a WTC client) were among the highlights of the 2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, a regional showcase for an audience of more than 300 global nanotechnology leaders.
Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) and Washington Technology Center co-hosted the event in Portland, Oregon on September 10-12, 2007 as part of our efforts to promote regional cooperation around nanotechnology.
Using a mixture of scientific overview and business talks, the conference covered research and commercialization topics in energy, biofuels, photovoltaics, forest products, green nanotechnology, environmental health & safety, and medical diagnostics, devices and therapeutics.
Dr. Clayton Teague, Director of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, captivated the audience with an overview of the origins of the nanotechnology boom (see Richard Feynman’s 1959 speech “Plenty of Room at the Bottom”) and a vision of the not-so-distant future of nanotechnology where large amounts of materials may be created by assembling atoms one by one.
Stan Williams, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Senior Fellow & Director of Quantum Science Research, discussed the use of titania as a storage medium for the world’s smallest electronic storage devices developed in HP Labs. HP uses nanoimprinting to produce the ultra-small electrodes to wire the storage elements.
Holger Neuhaus, Head of Technology for the SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Cell, presented a fascinating overview of state-of-the-art silicon solar cell fabrication using screen printing — a technology that accounts for almost 90% of the solar cell market. SolarWorld, an international solar concern based in Germany, has recently acquired a silicon factory in Hillsboro (Oregon) from Japan’s Komatsu-Group. SolarWorld is upgrading this facility to become the largest solar factory on the American continent.
Alan Nelson, CEO of VisionGate, explained the context and potential impact of their technology for cancer cell screening. With research funding through Washington Technology Center, VisionGate and UW researcher Eric Seibel are expecting to break new ground in 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis which will lead to new capabilities in pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research.
“The conference was a very good snapshot of research and business activities in Oregon and Washington in the fields of nano and microtechnology,” said Dr. Dirk Weiss, Senior Research Scientist at Washington Technology Center. Dr. Weiss, who will co-chair the 2008 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, notes that the annual event is a valuable opportunity to make new contacts with experts in the field. At next year’s event, Dr. Weiss plans to include a special symposium on nanoscale lithography, drawing together experts from across the Pacific Northwest.