Welcome to the Oklahoma Nano Initiative website:

Nanotechnology will change your life, for the better! Within this century, nanotechnology will impact/improve everything man-made. This site's goal is to communicate information about nanotechnology in Oklahoma and to a much lesser degree the rest of the world.  

Nanotechnology has three parameters: it involves research and technology development at the 1 nanometer (about 3 atoms wide) to 100 nanometer range, it creates and uses structures that have novel properties because of their small size, and it builds on the ability to control or manipulate at the atomic level.

Nanotechnology began in 1959 when Caltech physicist Richard Feynman gave a talk entitled “There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom” in which he outlined the prospects for atomic engineering. The term nanotechnology was created in 1974 when Nano Taniguchi used it to describe machining with tolerances of less than a micron.

In 1981, Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer of IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory created the scanning tunneling microscope enabling researchers to both see and manipulate atoms for the first time. In 1985, Robert F. Curl, Jr., Harold Kroto, and Richard Smalley discovered buckminster fullerenes (buckyballs), which were the first nanostructures.

Today, new tools not only allow us to “see” things at the nano level, we can we can also “grow” and move them around to create new structures. Currently computer transistors have broken the 100 nanometer barrier, car air bags sensors are almost nano sized, and at least one home pregnancy test utilizes nanotechnology.  

In the next ten years, we expect to see cell phones with longer battery life, global positioning systems that are smaller and more accurate, computers that are faster, smaller memory storage that packs greater capacity into small space and uses less energy, and DNA fingerprinting that is quick and accurate. We expect to see new medical diagnostics and drug delivery and changes in cosmetics and in oil additives to get more out of our precious resources.

Oklahoma is doing cutting edge research in a number of areas of nanotechnology. We have nano companies in medical treatments, advanced materials, and energy. The federal government is investing over $1 billion in nanotechnology research this year.

Together we can work to see that more of these funds come to Oklahoma researchers and that additional collaborations can be developed beyond our state's borders. We welcome your thoughts on making this website more effective and better for everyone.

Sincerely,

Jim D. Mason,
Executive Director

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