Nanotechnology's challenges = equipment manufacturers' opportunities
Even as nanoparticles become more commonly used in commercial products, it's clear that they won't be used widely until we discover how to make their value-enhancing properties more consistent and reliable. This won't happen until better processing and characterization equipment is available. This article discusses the challenges and opportunities in nanoparticle technology for powder and bulk solids industries.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are booming. The National Science Foundation projects the global market for nanotechnology to reach 1 trillion dollars by 2015. Several companies are mass-producing nanoparticles and nanoparticle-based materials for applications ranging from advanced catalysts to skin care products. Although the emergence of these products might suggest that industrial-scale nanomanufacturing is successfully underway, most nanoparticle processes are far from optimal. The reason is the lack of specialized processing and characterization equipment for use with these powerful, minute particles.