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Nano-Impact. Jonathan P. Rothstein and Mark Tuominen. Challenges facing society Water Energy Health Sustainable development Environment Knowledge Economy. These are challenges that require interdisciplinary collaborations to solve!. Global Grand Challenges.

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Nano impact


Jonathan P. Rothstein and Mark Tuominen

These are challenges that require interdisciplinary collaborations to solve!

Global Grand Challenges

2008 NAE Grand Challenges

Top research areas of the nni for 2011
Top Research Areas of the NNI for 2011

Fundamental nanoscale phenomena and processes


Nanoscale devices and systems

Instrumentation research, metrology, and standards


Major research facilities and instrumentation

Environment, health and safety

Education and societal dimensions









Making a better bulletproof vest
Making a Better Bulletproof Vest

  • A group of researchers at Univ. Del. have impregnated Kevlar vests with a nanoparticle colloidal suspension resulting in a dramatic improvement in projectile impact.

  • The addition of a very small amount of fluid increased performance equivalent to doubling the number of Kevlar sheets while not changing flexibility of fabric. Why?

Kevlar & Nanoparticle Suspension


Lee, Wetzel and Wagner J. Material Science (2003)

Making a better bulletproof vest1
Making a Better Bulletproof Vest

  • A group of researchers at Univ. Del. have impregnated Kevlar vests with a nanoparticle colloidal suspension resulting in a dramatic improvement in projectile impact.

  • The addition of a very small amount of fluid increased performance equivalent to doubling the number of Kevlar sheets while not changing flexibility of fabric. Why?

Kevlar & Nanoparticle Suspension


Nanoparticle suspensions
Nanoparticle Suspensions

  • The nanoparticle (d = 13nm) suspensions are shear thickening – the faster you shear or stretch them more viscous (thick) they become.

  • The dramatic increase in viscosity dissipates energy as the Kevlar fibers are pulled out by the impact of the bullets.


Stretch Rate

Why size matters
Why Size Matters

1mm Particles

100nm Particles

  • For large particles the fluid remains Newtonian like air or water below 30wt%

  • Above 30% interactions between and collisions of particles result shear thickening and elastic effects – particles interact to form large aggregate structures

  • For nanoparticles, the effect of nanoparticle addition can be observed at concentrations closer to 1wt% - why?

    • Surface area increases with reduced particle size resulting in enhanced interparticle interactions

    • At same volume fraction smaller particles are packed closer together – electrostatic interactions are stronger and diffusion is faster so they interact more frequently.

10nm Particles

Surface tension keeping liquids together
Surface Tension – Keeping Liquids Together

  • What is surface tension?

  • It is an energy per unit area needed to create an interface.

    • More interfacial area – more energy

    • Liquids want to minimize surface area – form spheres

    • Two immiscible liquids will separate – oil in water

  • Liquids and solids interact through surface tension, g, and contact angle, q

From Dr. Seuss’ “Wocket in my Pocket”

  • The larger the surface tension the large the force a liquid can exert on a solid

  • If water likes a surface, the contact angle is small, q < 90o, and the surface is hydrophilic

  • If water dislikes a surface, the contact angle is large, q >90o, and the surface is hydrophobic

Water striders living on top of the pond
Water Striders – Living on Top of the Pond

  • The smaller you are, the more important surface tension becomes.

  • Water striders are more dense than water, but use surface tension and nanometer-sized hydrophobic hairs to support their weight to stay afloat.

Water Strider






FST=g * P ~ 0.072N/m*3mm*2*6 ~ 2.6x10-3N or 2.6x10-4kg or 260mg

The insect needs to be small!

The lotus effect superhydrophobic surfaces
The Lotus Effect - Superhydrophobic Surfaces

  • The leaves of the lotus plant are superhydrophobic – water beads up on the surface of the plant and moves freely with almost no resistance making the leaves self-cleaning.

Water Drops on a Lotus Leaf

  • The surface of the lotus leaf has 10mm sized bumps which are coated by nanometer sized waxy crystals – extremely hydrophobic

    • Superhydrophobic in fact!

  • The water does not wet the entire surface of the leaf, but only the tops of the roughness.

  • Contact angle approaches q = 180o (the contact angle with air)

Hydrophobic vs superhydrophobic
Hydrophobic vs. Superhydrophobic



  • Droplets don’t stick to superhydrophobic surfaces

    • Water-based stains don’t adsorb resulting in stain resistant textiles

    • Dirt is picked up by rolling drop as it moves resulting in a self cleaning surface

    • Droplets can be manipulated one at a time on these surfaces to synthesize or analyze nano or picoliters of material – nanofluidics

    • Snow and ice do not accumulate on these surfaces


Superhydrophobic Surface

Make your own superhydrophobic surfaces part i
Make Your Own Superhydrophobic Surfaces – Part I

  • Need: two identical pieces of Teflon, sandpaper (240 grit) and a pipette full of water.

  • Keep one piece of Teflon smooth.

  • Lightly sand the second piece of Teflon with a random motion of the sandpaper to impart micron and nanometer size surface roughness.

  • Experiment:

  • Place a small drop of water on the smooth Teflon surface.

  • Tilt the surface through vertical.

  • Does the drop stick or slide?

  • Now place a small drop on the sanded Teflon surface

  • Tilt the surface through vertical.

  • Can you get the drop to stick?

  • Adding micron and nanometer surface roughness can have a big impact on how drops adhere to and wet a surface

Smooth Teflon

Sanded Teflon

Make your own superhydrophobic surfaces part ii
Make Your Own Superhydrophobic Surfaces – Part II

  • In the first experiment we changed surface roughness to make a hydrophobic surface superhydrophobic here we will change the hydrophobicity of an already rough surface

  • Need: Regular sand and “Magic Sand” (sand treated to make it hydrophobic)

  • Need: Two shallow pans/plates, two cups, two spoons and water

  • Experiment 1:

  • Cover the bottom of one pan with regular sand and the other with magic sand.

  • Place a small drop of water on each.

  • What do you observe?

  • Agitate/shake the pan.

  • Does the drop stick or slide?

  • Experiment 2:

  • Fill two cups with water.

  • Pour regular sand into one cup and magic sand into the other.

  • What do you observe?

  • Does the magic sand get wet?

  • Use a spoon to move sand around. Bring it to the surface and see what happens!

Magic Sand

Using superhydrophobic surfaces to reduce drag



Using Superhydrophobic Surfaces to Reduce Drag

  • We are currently using superhydrophobic surfaces to develop a passive, inexpensive technique that can generate drag reduction in both laminar and turbulent flows.

  • This technology could have a significant impact on applications from microfluidics and nanofluidics to submarines and surface ships.

  • How does it work? The water touches only the tops of the post and a shear-free air-water interfaces is supported – effectively reducing the surface area.

  • Currently capable of reducing drag by over 70% in both laminar and turbulent flows!

Hierarchical Nanostructures

On Silicon



Can these surfaces have a real impact


(Japan Universal Shipbuilding, Tsu shipyard)

Can These Surfaces Have a Real Impact?

  • Current Energy Resources – Fossil Fuels

    • Increasing scarcity

    • Increasing cost

    • Dangerous to maintain security

  • Ocean-going vessels accounted for 72% of all U.S. imports in 2006

    • Technology could be employed to make ships more efficient or faster

    • Friction drag accounts for 90% of total drag experienced by a slow moving vessel

    • A 25% reduction in friction drag on a typical Suezmax Crude Carrier could…

      • Save $5,500 USD / day in #6 fuel oil

      • Prevent 43 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each day


Why size matters1
Why Size Matters

  • To support larger and larger pressures and pressure drops, the spacing of the roughness on the ultrahydrophobic surfaces must be reduced into the nanoscale.

  • Currently developing processing techniques for large area nanofabrication of superhydrophobic surfaces with precise patterns of surface roughness.

    • Roll-to-roll nano-imprint lithography – a cutting edge tool.


70nm Optical Gratings



Supply Drive




Receive Drive


Why roll to roll nanoimprint lithography
Why Roll-to-Roll Nanoimprint Lithography

  • Roll-to-roll technology will enable fabrication of nanostructured materials and devices by a simple, rapid, high volume, cost-effective platform.

  • Current cost of nanofabrication is $25,000/m2

  • This technology capable of pushing it to $25/m2

    • Will help address many of the challenges facing society.

Membranes and Filters



Supply Drive



- the essential link between laboratory innovations and nanotechnology products.


  • Processes must work at a commercially relevant scale

  • Cost is a key factor

  • Must be reproducible and reliable

  • EHS under control

  • Nanomanufacturing includes top-down and bottom-up techniques, and integration of both

  • Must form part of a value chain

Nanofabrication nanomanufacturing today
Nanofabrication & Nanomanufacturing Today

Liddle & Gallatin (NIST), Nanoscale – In press


The cost of complexity
The Cost of Complexity















Liddle & Gallatin (NIST), Nanoscale – In press


Important strides in nano environmental health and safety
Important Strides in Nano Environmental, Health and Safety

NIOSH: "Approaches to Safe Nanotechnology"

  • Emphasizing effective control banding

  • Now an ISO standard

    NIH: Nano Health Enterprise Initiative

    DuPont/EDF: Nano Risk Framework

    ACS: Lab Safety Guidelines For Handling Nanomaterials

    Lockheed-Martin: Enterprise-wide Procedure for Environmental, Safety and Health Management of Nanomaterials

    and many more efforts

Nsf centers dedicated to nano ehs
NSF Centers Dedicated to Nano EHS

  • University of California Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology

  • Duke Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT)

  • Rice University Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology

  • Components within other centers

Other Federal EHS Activities

  • National Institute for Environmental Health Science

  • NIH Nanomaterials Characterization Laboratory


  • EPA

  • FDA

Industrial EHS Testing

An open access network for the advancement of nanomanufacturing R&D and education

  • Cooperative activities (real-space)

  • Informatics (cyber-space)

Mission: A catalyst -- to support and develop communities of practice in nanomanufacturing.


• Nanotechnology meets Information Technology

• The development of effective mechanisms for collecting, sharing, visualizing, modeling and analyzing data and information relevant to the nanoscale science and engineering community.

• The utilization of information and communication technologies that help to launch and support efficient communities of practice.

The cathedral and the bazaar eric s raymond
"The Cathedral and the Bazaar" (Eric S. Raymond)

  • The open source movement:

  • The power of peer production by a large group with diverse agendas, expertise and perspectives

  • Yet an appropriate degree of editorial control (a filter) by an expert body of authority ensures quality control

"Connect and Develop" (P&G)

  • Open Innovation via a distributed network

  • Printed Pringles and other examples