Sustainable Nanomanufacturing – Creating the Industries of the Future

J. Alexander Liddle
National Institute of Standards and Technology, US

Keywords: nanomanufacturing, composites, carbon nanotubes, nanocellulose, metrology


The strong dependence of materials properties on size and shape at the nanoscale gives nanomaterials an inherent flexibility. Rational engineering of multifunctional materials and structures thus becomes an exciting possibility. However, to move from promising science to commercial reality, three requirements, set out in the NNI Signature Initiative*, must be met: 1] Production must be scalable up to the required throughput and yield, 2] The generation, manipulation, and organization of nanostructures must be accomplished in a precise, controlled, and environmentally responsible fashion, 3] Nanotechnology-based products must perform to specification over their expected lifetime without the release of dangerous or harmful nanomaterials into the environment. In order to accomplish this, the Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI) seeks to coordinate activities across the government in two thrust areas. The first is focused on materials development (cellulosic materials, carbon nanomaterials and optical metamaterials), while the second is directed towards high-throughput production (specifically using roll-to-roll techniques) and metrology. This presentation will provide an overview of the Sustainable Manufacturing NSI and, as an example, provide details of ongoing work in the area of carbon-based nanomaterials with particular reference to high-performance composites. *