Report Probes Key Tools for Nanoscience Research
X-Rays and Neutrons: Essential Tools for Nanoscience Research is the report of the NNI workshop, held June 16-18, 2005, that explored how x-ray and neutron scattering techniques are being used to characterize and process materials, devices, and systems at the nanoscale and are considered prospects for advancing the field. The meeting participants and chairs propose a 20-year roadmap for x-ray and neutron nanoscience, and identify cross-cutting themes to catalyze future research.
The workshop was sponsored by the Science and Engineering and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET) and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).
Virtually all of the grand challenges in nanotechnology have as overriding themes the need to determine the structure over a wide range of length scales and to understand how the combination of the structure and dynamics leads to their unique properties. Both x-rays and neutrons cover all the length scales of interest in nanoscience, from the atomic structure of individual building blocks to the configuration of assembled, functional structures, making them essential tools for the elucidation of these challenges.
The workshop is one of a series of workshops in support of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Strategic Plan prepared by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Technology Subcommittee (NSTC), recently updated in December 2004 as part of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108-153).
As called for in the Strategic Plan, the workshop will provide a guiding strategy to policy makers for the development of essential scattering tools for R&D in nanotechnology. The workshop report will be developed by internationally renowned participants who will identify frontier problems in their fields from experimental and theoretical perspectives by addressing the essential questions:
A scholarship program will also provide the opportunity for selected early career researchers to participate fully in the workshop and the development of the ensuing report.
The workshop will bring together established experts and young scientists from the x-ray, neutron, and nanoscience/nanotechnology communities to discuss future research directions and opportunities. The goal of the workshop is to identify and promote the innovations in scattering techniques and related instrumentation required to tackle the exciting challenges of nanotechnology research now and for the future. The focus of this workshop will be to identify frontier problems in nanoscience such as understanding interfacial structures, nano-systems, confinement, and self-assembly of hard materials, soft materials, and biomaterials which can be elucidated through the use of x-ray and neutron scattering techniques.
After these research opportunities are identified, the workshop report will outline a roadmap for the prioritized development of these critical resources. Specifically, the workshop report will address the following goals:
The workshop report will be an effective tool for funding agencies, principal investigators, academia and industry to coordinate their long term investment strategies.
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