Indium Blog

Nano: The Next Small Thing

I'm a nano guy, and for me the term "nano" can refer to my college degree, my interest in bug collecting, or my iPod.  For most consumers the word nanotechnology has been overused in marketing campaigns to attract interest, or, in most cases, is a term that is esoteric and unknown at best.  If I were to take a poll of random consumers, Family Feud style, and asked where to find nano (yes I am old enough to know what Family Feud is, it's that show with Louie Anderson right?), I suspect my answers might look like something like this:

1. IPod Nano 8GB
2. IPod Nano 16GB
3. Computers
4. Sunscreen
5. Mork (his catch phrase "Nanu Nanu", and no I'm not old enough to have lived through Mork and Mindy)

While the iPod nano is a microelectronics device that has thousands of small parts and numerous solder alloys and solder pastes, it is not a nano product.

So, just so we're clear, "nano", as I define it, is: a product that has at least one dimension that is on the order of 1 to 1,000 nanometers, OR was fabricated on the order of 1 to 1,000 nanometers. Our NanoFoil

® thin film product IS "nano" because, though it can be held in your hands (it is 40 to 60 microns thick by 43.5" x 9"), it is created by depositing nano layers an atom at a time.

A pretty thorough list of nano products has been nicely compiled at the The Project for Emerging Nanotechnologies blog.  As a preview to microelectronics and nanotechnology, you can check out an interview a colleague of mine, Dr. Andy Mackie, conducted with a nano/microelectronics forerunner.

Over the next couple of months I am going to highlight nanotechnology products and why you the consumer, or you the microelectronics expert, should care.  Golf clubs, computers, hand-held electronic devices, drug delivery, and super soldier suits; there is no doubt that nanotech is the science of today, we just have to find it and translate it!