Nanotech Goes Mainstream

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2005-05-23 Print this article Print

The commoditization of nanotechnology seems to be well under way.

The need for accurate measurement and process control was a pervasive theme at this months Nanotech conference and trade show in Anaheim, Calif.

I spoke there with Matthew Laudon, executive director of conference organizer Nano Science and Technology Institute, about the nanotech communitys convergence on this concern. In early years, Laudon said, there was much less sense of shared interests among, for example, cancer researchers and materials scientists. This year, he said, the nanotech industries seem to be more aware of their common core requirements.

The commoditization of nanotechnology seemed to be well under way, with conference exhibitor Cheap Tubes promising: "We search the world for the highest quality, lowest cost Carbon Nanotubes so YOU dont have to!!!" When a Web page sales pitch has three exclamation points, nanotech has arguably ceased to be a fringe or even exotic discipline but has rather become just the hardware store for next-generation products.

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Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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