Magazine article National Defense

Pentagon Funding for Nano-Technology on the Rise

Magazine article National Defense

Pentagon Funding for Nano-Technology on the Rise

Article excerpt

The Navy is spending $20 million on research of so-called nano-structures. The Defense Department is spending $120 million this year on nano-technology, said James Murday, director of the national nano-technology coordinating office.

Nano-technology focuses on the miniaturization of structures.

Murday said that, in about 10 to 20 years, nano-structures could become a trillion-dollar-- a-year business. A study showed that the electronics, biology and pharmaceutical industries would profit from the development of nano-structures.

The Navy is looking at nano-sized clay particles packaged in plastic, a technology developed under an Air Force small business innovation research program (SBIR). These composites are fire-resistant and the Navy is interested in putting those onboard ships to make them lighter and more fireproof.

The nano-sized clay particles are also useful for packaging food, because they reduce the permeability. "It's harder for gas molecules to migrate into the plastic and, therefore, it lengthens the shelf life,' explained Murday.

The Navy is studying the use of nano-structures to develop a new sensing technology against chemical and biological warfare, said Murday. …

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