Smart Materials – Future Technologies

December 23rd, 2010


A family of materials with an ability to change few of its original properties by the application of any external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, moisture, pH, electric and magnetic fields are called Smart Materials. Some of the materials which include in this class of materials are piezoelectric materials, magneto-rheostatic materials, electro-rheostatic materials, thermo-responsive materials, pH-sensitive polymers, halochromic materials, electro chromic materials, thermo chromic materials and photo chromic materials. Smart materials are lifeless materials that assimilate different functions such as sensing, actuation, logic and control to adaptively react to alterations in their environment to which they are exposed, in a constructive and mostly recurring way.

To quote a few illustrative examples of smart materials undergoing change in their property due to effect of any external stimuli, we will consider piezo electric materials.Piezo electric materials are those materials which generate voltage due to the application of stress. The reverse effect of production of stress when voltage is applied across the piezo electric materials also holds good. Hence, we find extensive application of piezo electric materials as sensors in different environments. They are mainly used to measure fluid compositions, fluid density, fluid viscosity, or the force of an impact. An example from our day to day life would be an airbag sensor in cars, where the piezo electric material senses the force of an impact on the car and sends an electric charge, there by triggering airbag inflation.

Another example of piezoelectric material would be electro–rheostatic and magneto-rheostatic materials, which undergo change in their viscosity. These are fluids which almost change to a solid substance from a thick fluid in a matter of a millisecond, when exposed to a magnetic or electric field. Electro-rheostatic fluids undergo viscosity change when exposed to an electric field whereas magneto-rheostatic fluids undergo similar changes when exposed to a magnetic field. Some common electro–rheostatic fluids are milk chocolate or cornstarch, while magneto-rheostatic fluids are minute iron particles suspended in oil.

Thermo-responsive materials such as shape memory alloys or shape memory polymers are smart materials which change their shape with change in temperature. Magnetic shape memory alloys experience shape due to considerable changes in magnetic field. pH-sensitive polymers enlarge or collapse when they experience change in pH of the surrounding medium. Halochromic materials change their color in response to change in acidity. One of the most common application of such materials would be in paints which undergo change in their color as an indication of corrosion of the material beneath them. Chromogenic systems change their color due to the effect of electrical, optical or thermal changes. Electro chromic materials change their color or opacity as a result of the application of voltage, thermo chromic materials change in color based on changes in temperature, and photo chromic materials change their color in response to a change in light. An application of electrochromic material would be in liquid crystal displays and an application of photo chromic materials would be in sunglasses which darken on exposure to bright sunlight.

Smart materials find a wide range of application areas due to their varied response to external stimuli. The different areas of application can be in our day to day life, aerospace, civil engineering applications and mechatronics to name a few. The scope of application of smart material includes solving engineering problems with unattainable efficiency and provides an opportunity for creation of new products that generate revenue. Sensual devices which can sense their environment and produce information to make use of in health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS) find applications in aerospace for the purpose of aircraft checking. An airline requires umpteen numbers of man power which conduct routine, ramp, intermediate and most important checks in order to check the health and usage of fleet. These checks involve quite a number of tasks that demands a lot of time. Hence, an aircraft constructed from a sensual structure has an advantage of self-checking its performance to a greater level than that of current data recording, and provide ground crews with improved health and usage monitoring. This would reduce the expenses associated with HUMS and thus such aircrafts could fly for more hours without human intervention.

These sensual structures also find application in the area of civil engineering. They are used to monitor the civil engineering structures to evaluate their durability. They are also used in food packaging to keep a check on safe storage and cooking. However, smart materials and structures are not restricted to sensing but they also adapt to their surrounding environment and such materials have an ability to move, vibrate and demonstrate various other responses, in addition to the sensual aspects. Few applications of such adaptive materials include the capability to control the aero elastic form of the aircraft wing to reduce the pull and improve operational efficiency, to control the vibration of satellites’ lightweight structures, etc.

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About author:
Ash Tankha, US patent attorney, works with inventors to develop their ideas into patent application for worldwide filing and patenting. Contact Ash Tankha atash@ipprocurement.com or visit www.ipprocurement.com.

Smart nanocomposite textile project develops washable, wearable electronics

December 14th, 2010

The ‘Integrating Platform for Advanced Smart Textile Applications’ (PASTA) project, announced in October, is preparing stretchable and washable modules for smart textile manufacturing.
Johan de Baets, coordinator of the EU-funded project, says the aim is to create sensors, lights and other modules that conform to the behaviour of conductive fibres.

He remarks: ‘There has been a lot of research on integrating conductive fibres: if we can add our modules so that they can be easily added to a conductive fibre, then they should have a reliable connection.’

Demonstrators
The consortium for the project, including clothing and textile firms Sport Soie, Decathlon and Ettlin, will produce four demonstrator devices that illustrate the applications of the smart textile devices.

These include bedding for hospital patients that senses movement and moisture; textiles with integrated signage; wearable lighting for cyclists, joggers and other sports users; and textiles to sense pressure in buildings.

The €6.5 million project will also work on making modules that survive typical washing cycles and are compatible with existing textile manufacturing over the next four years.

Supply chain
Previous efforts to develop wearable electronics have often been limited by the lack of standard modules and materials, produced in volumes, that would make smart textile products more commercially viable.

Nanocomposites – Synthesis and Applications

Paper-Thin Batteries and OLED Lighting Displays

December 14th, 2010

Stanford University scientists have created a new battery with impressive physical properties. The battery is an ultra-thin (as thin or thinner than paper) rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be bent and warped without any degradation of operation. The prototype battery is made of a sheet of paper to which is added a dual sided coating of carbon nanotubes, followed by an application of a lithium compound. The battery is expected to support 300 recharges before needing to be replaced.

The applications for such a flexible battery are nearly limitless. One technology that would mesh particularly well with these batteries is OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology. OLEDs are used for small device screens, television screens, computer monitors, and other similar things. More recent OLED development has led to flexible screens that can be rolled up or folded; these would be perfect applications for an internal battery that can roll and fold with the screen it is powering. Some research has even resulted in luminescent cloth; flexible batteries would be perfect for “light-up clothes”.

It is likely that the first and most prevalent use of these technologies would be for advertising. Cereal boxes, toy packaging, etc. could be first, followed by packaging for all manner of products, perhaps displaying the product in use. One could think up scenarios in which various technologies like the aforementioned batteries and OLEDs would be paired with disposable nano CPUs and harddrives to create “video stickers” and countless other devices.

Light bulbs could be made to harness these technologies. Standalone sheets of light that you could wrap around anything or fold into various shapes with no need for external power because the batteries would be wrapping and folding right there with the OLED sheets! OLEDs would be great for low-lumen patches to put on clothing for night exercisers/runners/bikers to increase safety by huge amounts without cumbersome flashlights or apparatuses. That’s just a tiny look into the vast possibilities from these new paper-thin batteries and OLED lights.

source: OLED Displays

Application of smart polymers to textiles

December 31st, 2009

Smart polymeric materials respond with a considerable change in their properties to small changes in their environment. Environmental stimuli include temperature, pH, chemicals, and light. “Smart” stimuli sensitive materials can be either synthetic or natural. Scientists have made many attempts to develop smart textiles by grafting the copolymerization of environment-responsive polymers (ERP) onto the surface of fabrics. Among the ERPs used for this purpose, poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) has attracted considerable attention due to its well-defined lower critical solution temperature (LCST) in an aqueous medium of temperature about 32-34°C, which is close to body temperature. This article summarises recent advances in the application of PNIPAAm and its copolymer hydrogels to temperature-sensitive hygroscopic fabrics, and temperature responsive fabrics. Another temperature sensitive hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) polymer is also briefly introduced, with regard to its application in thermally-sensitive water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) for breathable fabric.

In recent years, smart polymer/gels that experience reversible phase transitions to external stimuli have attracted special attention. These polymers/gels undergo reversible volume change in response to a small variation in solution conditions (external stimuli), such as temperature [1-6], pH [1, 7, 8], and solvent composition [9, 10]. Many temperature sensitive polymers such as poly (N-substituted acrylamide), poly (N-vinyl alkylamide), poly (vinyl methyl ether), and poly (ethylene glycol-co-propylene glycol) have been reported so far and they have been utilized in the gel form for diverse technological applications such as in controlled drug delivery, chemical separation and sensors.

Poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) is an intensively investigated temperature-sensitive polymer which has a simultaneously hydrophilic and hydrophobic structure and demonstrates a low critical solution temperature (LCST) at about 32 oC .In an aqueous solution, the macromolecular chains of PNIPAAm experience reversible solubility and exhibit a significant hydration-dehydration change in response to temperature stimulus. Due to its sharp temperature-induced transition and well-defined LCST, which is close to body temperature, the PNIPAAm (and in particular the PNIPAAm hydrogel) has been widely applied to temperature-sensitive drug delivery systems, separation membranes, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Recently, scientists have made many attempts to develop stimuli-sensitive textiles, or so-called smart textiles, by grafting the copolymerization of environment-responsive polymers (ERP) onto the surface of fabrics. Among the ERPs used for this purpose, PNIPAAm has attracted considerable attention, and research into it may lead to novel temperature-sensitive smart fabrics. In view of the great potential applications of smart fabrics in many areas, we will review the recent achievements in smart fabrics.

read full paper: http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/pdfdownload.asp?filename=132&article=132&status=new

Gold nanocages covered by smart polymers for controlled release with near-infrared light

December 31st, 2009

Photosensitive caged compounds have enhanced our ability to address the complexity of biological systems by generating effectors with remarkable spatial/temporal resolutions1, 2, 3. The caging effect is typically removed by photolysis with ultraviolet light to liberate the bioactive species. Although this technique has been successfully applied to many biological problems, it suffers from a number of intrinsic drawbacks. For example, it requires dedicated efforts to design and synthesize a precursor compound for each effector. The ultraviolet light may cause damage to biological samples and is suitable only for in vitro studies because of its quick attenuation in tissue4. Here we address these issues by developing a platform based on the photothermal effect of gold nanocages. Gold nanocages represent a class of nanostructures with hollow interiors and porous walls5. They can have strong absorption (for the photothermal effect) in the near-infrared while maintaining a compact size. When the surface of a gold nanocage is covered with a smart polymer, the pre-loaded effector can be released in a controllable fashion using a near-infrared laser. This system works well with various effectors without involving sophisticated syntheses, and is well suited for in vivo studies owing to the high transparency of soft tissue in the near-infrared region6.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri 63130, USA
These three authors contributed equally to this project
Correspondence to: Younan Xia1 e-mail: xia@biomed.wustl.edu

source: Nature Materials 8, 935 – 939 (2009)

http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v8/n12/abs/nmat2564.html

Smart Surfaces Enable Unique Applications – Nanoeurope

December 31st, 2009

mPhase Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: XDSL) is a U.S. based microfluidic and nanotechnology specialist. Through its wholly owned subsidiary Always Ready Inc., mPhase is commercializing its first nanotechnology product, the Smart NanoBattery.

The Smart NanoBattery offers novel functionality not usually seen in a battery, namely a shelf life of years, the ability to manage power in new ways, and a more environmentally friendly disposal option. This solution and other innovations from the field of nanotechnology will be presented to the interested specialist public at the sixth NanoEurope, which will be held in St. Gallen (Switzerland) on September 1 -17, 2008.
One of the most important components restricting the performance and maintenance of wireless sensor systems is the battery required for powering the sensors. mPhase/AlwaysReady, a company headquartered in New Jersey, is commercializing scientific findings from the field of microfluidics and nanotechnology. mPhase/AlwaysReady has developed a novel battery geared for sensor systems which will boost innovation initially in defense applications and later on also in commercial uses.

A smart battery based on a unique architecture

The nanobattery developed by mPhase/AlwaysReady utilizes knowledge from nanotechnology and microfluidics. It makes use of a unique membrane whose nanostructured surface is extremely water-repellent. This enables a liquid electrolyte to be kept separate from the battery’s electrode until energy is required. This allows the battery to be stored for an unlimited period of time before being used.

In addition, the battery is equipped with cells which can be individually activated for only those moments in which energy is needed. This is not possible in conventional batteries, where the chemical reaction cannot be interrupted until the battery has been entirely depleted. This energy on demand property gives the nanobattery a long, useful life and makes it the ideal choice for wireless light-current sensor systems.

Broad range of battery applications is conceivable

The Smart NanoBattery opens up new possibilities in the areas of energy storage and management. Initial concrete applications satisfy defense requirements. In the future, this technology may also be integrated in portable electronic devices.

Smart surfaces enable other applications

The unique nanostructured membrane can also be designed to function as a smart surface that can filter liquids. This ability opens up the potential to use the membrane design for applications such as water purification and desalination, as well as self-cleaning glass.

About mPhase/AlwaysReady, Inc.

mPhase Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: XDSL), is a U.S. based microfluidic and nanotechnology specialist. Through its wholly owned subsidiary AlwaysReady, Inc., mPhase is focused on developing and commercializing its first nanotechnology based product. This new battery technology is based on a well-patented phenomenon known as electrowetting, which provides a unique way to store energy and manage power that will revolutionize the battery industry. For more information please visit our website at www.mPhaseTech.com .

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements related to future growth and earnings opportunities. Such statements are based upon certain assumptions and assessments made by management of companies mentioned in this press release in light of current conditions, expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate. Actual results may differ as a result of factors over which the company has no control.

NanoEurope: Platform for innovations in nanotechnology

At the Nano-based Electronic and Sensor Systems conference to be held in St. Gallen on September 17, 2008, Fred Allen, President and CEO of AlwaysReady, will present the nanobattery to the interested specialist public. This specialist conference is part of the sixth NanoEurope, the European specialist congress with exhibition for technology and know-how transfer in nanotechnology.
Broad range of battery applications is conceivable

The Smart NanoBattery opens up new possibilities in the areas of energy storage and management. Initial concrete applications satisfy defense requirements. In the future, this technology may also be integrated in portable electronic devices.

Smart surfaces enable other applications

The unique nanostructured membrane can also be designed to function as a smart surface that can filter liquids. This ability opens up the potential to use the membrane design for applications such as water purification and desalination, as well as self-cleaning glass.

About mPhase/AlwaysReady, Inc.

mPhase Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: XDSL), is a U.S. based microfluidic and nanotechnology specialist. Through its wholly owned subsidiary AlwaysReady, Inc., mPhase is focused on developing and commercializing its first nanotechnology based product. This new battery technology is based on a well-patented phenomenon known as electrowetting, which provides a unique way to store energy and manage power that will revolutionize the battery industry. For more information please visit our website at www.mPhaseTech.com .

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements related to future growth and earnings opportunities. Such statements are based upon certain assumptions and assessments made by management of companies mentioned in this press release in light of current conditions, expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate. Actual results may differ as a result of factors over which the company has no control.

NanoEurope: Platform for innovations in nanotechnology

At the Nano-based Electronic and Sensor Systems conference to be held in St. Gallen on September 17, 2008, Fred Allen, President and CEO of AlwaysReady, will present the nanobattery to the interested specialist public. This specialist conference is part of the sixth NanoEurope, the European specialist congress with exhibition for technology and know-how transfer in nanotechnology. www.nanoeurope.com

source: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_pwwi/is_200808/ai_n28019637/?tag=rel.res1

FujiFilm Smart Surface – The Duplex Fouling-Release coating

December 31st, 2009

Shipping companies, shoreline industries, and power plants have long used toxic anti-fouling paints and chemcials to combat aquatic biofouling. Growing concerns about the long-term environmental effects of these paints and chemicals, coupled with new federal and international regulations, has fueled research for environmentally benign methods to deal with the problem of biofouling.

Silicone-based materials have been tested by the U.S. Navy and others, and proven to be excellent materials for fouling release coatings. Because silicone-based coatings employ a physical rather than chemical means of reducing fouling, these types of coatings do not damage the marine environment as do traditional “metal-based” anti-fouling paints.

FUJIFILM Hunt Smart Surfaces now provides the Smart alternative. Our Duplex Fouling Release system is a patented, nontoxic, silicone-based coating technology that provides superior bio-fouling and environmental protection for the Marine and Power Generation Industry. Described as “one of the most promising systems” by the Naval Research Laboratory, our Duplex technology consists of four coats:

First coat – Marine or Industrial Immersion grade anti-corrosive / barrier epoxy or epoxy sealer in the case of application over concrete.
Second coat – Marine/Immersion grade anti-corrosive / barrier epoxy to which FHSM’s tethering agent is added.
FHSM Tie Coat. The Tie Coat is the heart of the Duplex System, imparting superior adhesion and toughness to the system while maintaining superb fouling release properties.
FHSM Surface Coat. The Surface Coat incorporates RTV silicone with added proprietary silicone oils for enhanced biofouling release properties.

Duplex refers to the ability of the Tie Coat to create superior adhesion and durability between the system’s vastly different epoxy anti-corrosive layer and the silicone Surface Coat, effectively interlocking the two by employing a unique thermoplastic elastomeric formula. This technology dramatically boosts the toughness and adhesion properties of the epoxy and silicone coatings, creating a new system far more durable than anything currently in use.

“The Duplex System is a super-slick, super-tough, environmentally-friendly fouling release coating.”

Our patented solution unites durability, longevity, clean-ability, reparability and cost-effectiveness in a single product. Additionally, the non-toxic Duplex System offers increased fuel efficiency, decreased maintenance costs, decreased downtime and total compliance with environmental regulations – all at the lowest release speed in the industry.

Smart windows – Air purifying church windows early nanotechnology

December 31st, 2009

Stained glass windows that are painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight, a team of Queensland University of Technology experts have discovered.

Associate Professor Zhu Huai Yong, from QUT’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences said that glaziers in medieval forges were the first nanotechnologists who produced colours with gold nanoparticles of different sizes.

Professor Zhu said numerous church windows across Europe were decorated with glass coloured in gold nanoparticles.

“For centuries people appreciated only the beautiful works of art, and long life of the colours, but little did they realise that these works of art are also, in modern language, photocatalytic air purifier with nanostructured gold catalyst,” Professor Zhu said.

He said tiny particles of gold, energised by the sun, were able to destroy air-borne pollutants like volatile organic chemical (VOCs), which may often come from new furniture, carpets and paint in good condition.

“These VOCs create that ‘new’ smell as they are slowly released from walls and furniture, but they, along with methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health, even in small amounts,” he said.

“Gold, when in very small particles, becomes very active under sunlight.

“The electromagnetic field of the sunlight can couple with the oscillations of the electrons in the gold particles and creates a resonance.

“The magnetic field on the surface of the gold nanoparticles can be enhanced by up to hundred times, which breaks apart the pollutant molecules in the air.”

Professor Zhu said the by-product was carbon dioxide, which was comparatively safe, particularly in the small amounts that would be created through this process.

He said the use of gold nanoparticles to drive chemical reactions opened up exciting possibilities for scientific research.

“This technology is solar-powered, and is very energy efficient, because only the particles of gold heat up,” he said.

“In conventional chemical reactions, you heat up everything, which is a waste of energy.

“Once this technology can be applied to produce specialty chemicals at ambient temperature, it heralds significant changes in the economy and environmental impact of the chemical production.”

Source: http://nanotechwire.com/news.asp?nid=6517

Precipitation-Strengthened, High-Temperature, High-Force Shape Memory Alloys

December 31st, 2009

Shape memory alloys capable of performing up to 400 °C have been developed for use in solidstate actuator systems.

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are an enabling component in the development of compact, lightweight, durable, high-force actuation systems particularly for use where hydraulics or electrical motors are not practical. However, commercial shape memory alloys based on NiTi are only suitable for applications near room temperature, due to their relatively low transformation temperatures, while many potential applications require higher temperature capability. Consequently, a family of (Ni,Pt)1–xTix shape memory alloys with Ti concentrations x ≤ 50 atomic percent and Pt contents ranging from about 15 to 25 at.% have been developed for applications in which there are requirements for SMA actuators to exert high forces at operating temperatures higher than those of conventional binary NiTi SMAs. These alloys can be heat treated in the range of 500 °C to produce a series of fine precipitate phases that increase the strength of alloy while maintaining a high transformation temperature, even in Ti-lean compositions.

The absolute minimum requirement for determining the operating temperature of an SMA is the temperature of the martensite-to-austensite, solid-state phase transformation, which is the source of the shape memory behavior. However, the present high-temperature, high-force SMAs can be used at temperatures up to 400 °C not only because they exhibit a range of high transformation temperatures, but because these materials also exhibit high strength (resistance to dislocation mediated deformation processes) in both the austenite and martensite phases, have a relatively high recovery temperature, and also exhibit excellent dimensional stability (little or no irrecoverable strain component during the transformation process). Consequently, these alloys are attractive for use in performing actuator and control functions particularly in the aggressive environments often encountered in aerospace, automotive, and down-hole energy exploration applications.

The composition of an alloy of this type is given generally by the empirical formula Nix–y–zPtyMzTi100–x, where M can be Au, Pd, or Cu; x, y, and z are atomic percentages; 50 ≤ x ≤ 55; 10 ≤ y ≤ 30; 0 ≤ z ≤ 10. These alloys are precipitation-hardenable, but unlike in prior Ti-rich NiTi alloys, the slightly Ti-lean composition prevents the formation of the Ti2Ni phase, which is a coarse globular phase that cannot be thermally tailored in as much as it appears during solidification. Instead, one can rely on precipitation of fine (Ni,Pt)3Ti2 structures and other intermetallic phases for enhanced performance. These precipitates are often lath-like in structure and, in many cases, submicron in size. The precipitate volume fraction can also be tailored through heat treatment and alloy composition. These precipitates result in additional strengthening of the austenite (high-temperature) matrix phase and increase the resistance of the martensite phase against slip, without exerting a significant effect on the detwinning stress. Thus, the over-all effects are greater specific work output with better dimensional stability, and superior mechanical properties, especially at high temperatures.

The desirable properties of these alloys include the following:

Their transformation temperatures variously remain stable or increase with aging time.
They exhibit specific-work-output levels >9 J/cm3 and good work performance, comparable to those of conventional binary NiTi alloys.
Unlike NiTi and other NiTi-based ternary SMAs, these alloys do not exhibit transformation temperatures lower than those of corresponding stoichiometric alloys; indeed, these alloys exhibit transformation temperatures higher than those of similar alloys that have Ti-rich compositions.
Unlike in the prior NiTi-based ternary SMA alloys, which exhibit decreases in transformation temperatures with increased aging time or thermal cycling, these alloys exhibit stabilization of, or increases in, transformation temperatures with aging.
These alloys can be processed into such bulk forms as bar, rod, sheet, plate, and wire through conventional thermomechanical processes. Because these alloys have high recrystallization temperatures (700 to 800 °C), they are amenable to heat treatment and aging after thermomechanical processing, without adversely affecting grain sizes.
The high recrystallization temperatures also make these alloys suitable for use in applications in which they could be subjected to significant heating above their rated temperatures.
This work was done by Ronald D. Noebe, Susan L. Draper, and Michael V. Nathal of Glenn Research Center and Edwin A. Crombie of Johnson Matthey, Noble Metal Products N.A.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. Refer to LEW-17993-1.

John H. Glenn Research Center
Aug 01 2008

Source: Nasa Tech Briefs, http://www.techbriefs.com/content/view/3000/34/

Nanomaterials -New calls FP7 Cooperation Work Programme 2010- NMP

December 31st, 2009

FP7 Cooperation Work Programme 2010- NMP

Calls for 2010 already open on November 2009 (see at the end of the message)

Objective

The principal objectives of this Theme are to improve the competitiveness of European industry and to generate knowledge to ensure its transformation from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive base, by creating step changes through research and implementing decisive knowledge for new applications at the crossroads between different technologies and disciplines. This will benefit both new, high-tech industries and higher-value, knowledgebased traditional industries, with a special focus on the appropriate dissemination of RTD results to SMEs. These activities are concerned with enabling technologies which impact all
industrial sectors and many other Themes of the Seventh Framework Programme.

Approach for 2010

A key feature of the 2010 Work Programme (WP) is the participation in actions within the European recovery package. Indeed, as an answer to the recent world-wide economic crisis, these pluri-annual actions launched by the EU at the end of 2009 correspond to the four priority areas of the Lisbon strategy, namely: people, business, infrastructure & energy and research & innovation.
The action on research and innovation mainly includes a support of innovation in manufacturing, the construction industry and the automobile sector. This will be implemented under the scheme of three initiatives of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), namely: “Factories of the future”, “Energy efficient buildings” and “Green cars”. The objective is to promote the convergence of public interests with industrial commitment and leadership to define strategic research activities in key sectors. This first year of PPP implementation required an immediate reaction and benefited from the ongoing definition of the 2010 work programme which has been designed the complement the objectives of 2009 WP.
The nature of industrial technologies in the NMP programme made it a very appropriate tool to address, at different degrees, the core objectives of all three PPPs, in cooperation with other RTD Themes and other services. The 2010 exercise of PPPs will see the involvement of the NMP Theme with an amount of about EUR 100 million through the transfer and adaptation of a number of RTD
topics to the RTD efforts associated to the recovery package. This has resulted to a final NMP programme, complementary to the one of 2009, and it is described below.
Beyond the NMP participation in the PPP initiatives, the core objective of Theme 4 ‘Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies – NMP’ remains stable, that is to fund research, development, demonstration, and coordination projects that will contribute, either on their own or by enabling further development, to the transformation of European industry from a
resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industry, thus meeting the challenge imposed by the new industrial revolution and competition at global level, as well as environmental challenges. This transformation is essential in order to produce, in a sustainable manner, high added value products, embedding European cultural values through design and this in turn is essential not only to prevent
the relocation of European industry to other areas of the world, but also create new industries, and hence growth and employment within Europe. The competitiveness of more mature industries is also largely dependent on their capacity to integrate knowledge and new technologies.
The competitiveness of European industry is promoted by generating step changes in a wide range of sectors and implementing decisive knowledge for new applications at the crossroads between different technologies and disciplines. Research will be focused on generating high addedvalue products and related processes and technologies to meet customer requirements as well as growth, public health, occupational safety, environmental protection, and societal values and expectations. The sustainability concern (balance in economic growth, social well-being and environmental protection) resides at the centre of any industrial RTD development. Environmental challenges such as climate change and resources scarcity are the sources of both constraints and opportunities for technological developments.
Furthermore, during the last few years, much effort has been spent by the stakeholders within the European Technology Platforms (ETPs) around the definition of strategic research in about 30 EU sectors. Due to its multisectoral nature, the NMP Theme is the most concerned by the ETPs.
Integrating the long-term vision that industry itself provides will greatly enhance the effectiveness of RTD related to long-term challenges, also allowing benefits for additional sectors and other stakeholders to be included, through the development of generic technologies. A key issue will be to integrate competitiveness, innovation and sustainability into the NMP related research activities as well as initiatives capable of fostering the dialogue with society at large, together with education and skills development.
For the reasons described above, the NMP work programme 2010 is characterised by the same number of topics compared to the previous year. These topics are proposed on the basis of the NMP multiannual strategy as defined in the Framework Programme and the Specific Programme Decisions, as well as on the NMP project portfolio: the research activities proposed for 2010 either
address topics not yet covered or topics complementary to previous work programmes. The international dimension remains an important aspect of the NMP work programme 2010.
In ensuring continuity with previous programmes and calls, NMP has evolved on the basis of the acquired experience, of the challenges imposed by the needs of European industry as well as of the its projects’ portfolio. It is clear that with this very wide applicability, selective choices will have to be made as the Theme evolves over the duration of the Framework Programme and to address
emerging scientific and societal issues as well as new technological challenges. The strategic approach is strongly focused on demonstrable added value in EU industry arising from a proper appreciation of the potential of nanotechnologies, materials and production technologies. It will be essential to ensure the uptake of knowledge generated through effective dissemination and use of the results.

Theme 4 is structured as follows:

a) Three thematic activities:

- Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies activity in 2010 consists of 6 RTD topics and provides support to research and innovation to as many areas, most of them addressing aspects of: enhancing environmental sustainability, namely: “green nanotechnology”, thermoelectric energy converters, added value to mining, impacts on health and the environment and methodologies for management the risks of nanoparticles. Finally RTD on novel tools specifically targets SMEs while one coordinating action will handle best practices for communication and governance.

- Materials, in 2010 will focus on a number of RTD topics, spreading to a large diversity of areas,
from the design of tailored properties of organic-inorganic hybrids (for electronics and photonics) and scaffolds for bioactive materials (tissue regeneration), to chemical engineering (membranes for catalytic reactors) and materials for energy storage, as well as modelling work on crystalline materials.

- New Production Technologies is the NMP RTD area that was called to largely contribute with the initially designed NMP topics to the recovery package PPPs, namely those of “Factories of the future “and “Energy-efficient buildings.” The two topics that still remain within the NMP programme per se handle very specific issues, namely: industrial models for sustainable and
efficient production and manufacturing systems based on flexible materials.

b) ‘Integration‘, a fourth activity as such, aims at developing new applications and new approaches in different industrial sectors by combining research from the first three activities. This is a ‘deliverables-driven’ integration to generate high added value products, with particular – but not exclusive – reference to industrial and regulatory needs and challenges identified with the European Technology Platforms. For 2010, the focus is on two very different areas of nanotechnology-based solutions (systems for combating cancer, development of multi-parameter sensors) and two areas of manufacturing technologies (development of formulated products, fibre-based products by flexible manufacturing, the latter specifically targeting SMEs). Finally, three ERA-NETs are foreseen (on nanotechnologies, including nanotoxicology, on manufacturing, a follow on activity of last year’s programme and on catalysis) and a coordination action related to European Technology Platforms (ETPs).

CONTENTS OF CALLS

II.1 Activity 4.1 Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies

Nanosciences and nanotechnologies are widely seen as a multi-disciplinary and integrative RTD approach having huge potential to improve competitiveness and sustainable development across a wide range of industrial sectors. Here the strategic objective is twofold: to generate new knowledge by studying phenomena and manipulation of matter at the nanoscale, including biosciences and understanding or imitating the natural processes at nano-metric scale; and to
promote innovation by developing nanotechnologies that will enable the manufacturing of new nanotechnology-based products and/or innovative delivery of services. This will lead to a new generation of high added value, competitive products and services with superior performance across a range of applications.
The second half of FP7 will be marked by a gradual shift towards more application oriented research as nanotechnologies from the laboratory environment towards applications in various industrial sectors are evolving. The initial focus will be on the environment as a whole: energy efficiency and sustainable energy production and the emergence of sustainable products (material and energy consumption, environmental impact, etc). Continued support is directed towards applications in the health-care field and development of nano-analytical tools. Interdisciplinary,
integrating theoretical and experimental approaches must be promoted.
At the same time this activity will also investigate the impact of nanotechnology on society, human health and the environment, as well as look into the relevance of nanoscience and technology for the solution of societal problems as well as the societal acceptance of nanotechnology. This will include research on potential ethical, public health, occupational safety and environmental protection implications as well as safety, monitoring and sensing, metrology,nomenclature and standards which are becoming increasingly important to pave the way for industrial applications. Actions will be launched to implement the Commission’s integrated and responsible approach as well as the measures outlined in the associated Action Plan ‘Nanosciences and nanotechnologies.
Knowledge gaps in relation to the risk assessment of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies could currently constitute an impediment to the smooth implementation of regulatory requirements.
Coherently, actions may be funded that will facilitate this, thus enhancing industry’s capability to provide the full benefits of nanotechnologies, in conditions of trust of and transparency to citizens.

NMP Calls:

NMP.2010.1.1-1 Support to dialogue and engagement for responsible social
acceptance of nanotechnology

NMP.2010.1.2-1 Novel tools integrating individual techniques for real time
nanomaterials characterisation

NMP.2010.1.2-2 Substitution of materials or components utilising “green
nanotechnology”

NMP.2010.1.2-3 Thermoelectric energy (TE) converters based on nanotechnology

NMP.2010.1.2-4 Adding Value to Mining at the Nanostructure level (Coordinated
call with Mexico)

NMP.2010.1.3-1 Reference methods for managing the risk of engineered
nanoparticles

NMP.2010.1.3-2 Modelling toxicity behaviour of engineered nanoparticles
(Coordinated call with the USA)

NMP.2010.2.2-1 Organic-inorganic hybrids for electronics and photonics

NMP.2010.2.3-1 Development of standard scaffolds for the rational design of
bioactive materials for tissue regeneration

NMP.2010.2.4-1 New materials and/or membranes for catalytic reactors

NMP.2010.2.5-1 Modelling of degradation and reliability of crystalline materials

NMP.2010.3.1-1 New industrial models for a sustainable and efficient production

NMP.2010.3.4-1 Manufacturing systems for 3D-shaped, multilayered products
based on flexible materials

NMP.2010.4.0-1 Development of nanotechnology-based systems for detection,
diagnosis and therapy for cancer

NMP.2010.4.0-2 Capacity building for the development of nanotech-based multiparameter sensors

NMP.2010.4.0-3 High throughput technologies for the development of formulated
products

NMP.2010.4.0-4 A new generation of multi-functional fibre-based products
produced by new and flexible manufacturing concepts

NMP.2010.4.0-5 Support to coordination activities of NMP related to European
Technology Platforms – Coordinating actions

NMP.2010.4.0-6 Organisation of events related to the Presidencies of the
European Union Supporting actions

NMP.2010.4-0-7 ERA-NET on nanotechnologies, including nanotoxicology

NMP.2010.4-0-8 ERANET on Manufacturing

NMP.2010.4-0-9 ERA-NET on Catalysis

Source and more information at:

http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm