When Nanotech Disappears

A recent article in Industry Week posed the question: Nanotech: The Next American Revolution?

Okay, to start nanotechnology is better thought of as â''evolutionâ'' rather than as â''revolutionâ'' in that it essentially is the next step in fields such as material science, exploiting microscopy tools developed over the last 20 years to get new functionalities from materials, but I suppose this is just quibbling.

Another implicit question is posed in the article, if the US has such pressing challenges like energy, materials and labor costs that are making it difficult to remain competitive in the global economy, can nanotechnology fix these problems?

Sure, nanotechnology could fix some of these problems, although I am not too sure about how nanotechnology could directly fix the issue of labor costs.

But it will likely reach these goals when nanotech is no longer used as a term to describe a panacea for the worldâ''s ills.

As the article finally notes in commenting on a quote from Scott Rickert of Nanofilm: As nanotechnology moves from being cutting-edge to being a general-purpose technological process, the term itself could ultimately disappear from general use. "After all, nobody buys our products because they're nanotech based," Nanofilm's Rickert says. "They buy them because they do amazing things."

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