Commentary

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  • Publicly accessible databases are core resources for data-rich research, consolidating field-specific knowledge and highlighting best practices and challenges. Further effective growth of nanomaterial databases requires the concerted efforts of database stewards, researchers, funding agencies and publishers.

    • Alexander Tropsha
    • Karmann C. Mills
    • Anthony J. Hickey
    Commentary
  • Despite graphene's apparent potential for anti-corrosion coatings, it is cathodic to most metals and can promote corrosion at exposed graphene–metal interfaces. This may accelerate dangerous localized corrosion that can seriously weaken the coated metals.

    • Chenlong Cui
    • Alane Tarianna O. Lim
    • Jiaxing Huang
    Commentary
  • The time has come to implement a regulatory framework tailored to manufactured materials. I propose a new legislative framework that combines registration, evaluation, authorization and categorization of nanomaterials.

    • Steffen Foss Hansen
    Commentary
  • The absence of nanotechnology-specific insurance policies could be detrimental to the development of the nanotechnology industry. Better communication between insurers and scientists is an essential step to provide a regulatory framework protecting both producers and consumers.

    • Finbarr Murphy
    • Martin Mullins
    • Trevor Maynard
    Commentary
  • The first NanoCar Race was an opportunity to see how far we have come in manipulating single molecules. As the team with the fastest molecule in this race, we share the synthetic challenges to building a fast nanocar and the experimental approach needed for rapid translation across a surface.

    • Grant J. Simpson
    • Víctor García-López
    • James M. Tour
    Commentary
  • Public perceptions of nanotechnology are shaped by sound in surprising ways. Our analysis of the audiovisual techniques employed by nanotechnology stakeholders shows that well-chosen sounds can help to win public trust, create value and convey the weird reality of objects on the nanoscale.

    • Norah Campbell
    • Cormac Deane
    • Padraig Murphy
    Commentary
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are involved in policy discussions surrounding the societal implications of emerging technologies. But what practices and strategies undertaken by these organizations are most influential in anticipating the longer-term societal implications of nanotechnology?

    • Evan S. Michelson
    Commentary
  • Strategic timing can be key for nano-drug-delivery ventures to get financing. Timely publications engage potential partners; early broad, blocking, relevant patents demonstrate the potential to appropriate value; and venture formation closer to clinical viability better aligns its timeline with that of venture capitalists.

    • Elicia Maine
    • V. J. Thomas
    Commentary
  • Discussions about nanotechnology and development focus on applications that directly address the needs of the world's poor. Nanotechnology can certainly make an impact in the fight against global poverty, but we need to broaden our imagination.

    • Koen Beumer
    Commentary
  • Increasing globalization means that traditional occupational epidemiological approaches may no longer apply, suggesting a need for an alternative model to assess the long-term impact of nanomaterial exposure on health.

    • Michaela Kendall
    • Iseult Lynch
    Commentary
  • Sequencing methods based on electron tunnelling could lead to breakthroughs in genomics, proteomics and glycomics, but the engineering challenges involved in delivering these devices are formidable.

    • Stuart Lindsay
    Commentary
  • Nanopores are on the brink of fundamentally changing DNA sequencing. At the same time, DNA origami provides unprecedented freedom in molecular design. Here, I suggest why a combination of solid-state nanopores and DNA nanotechnology will lead to exciting new experiments.

    • Ulrich F. Keyser
    Commentary
  • The electronic, chemical and mechanical properties of quantum dot structures may lead to thermoelectric devices with a range of advantages with respect to existing ones based on bulk polycrystalline materials.

    • Jeffrey J. Urban
    Commentary
  • Although research into colloidal quantum dots has led to promising results for the realization of photovoltaic devices, a better understanding of the robustness and stability of these devices is necessary before commercial competiveness can be claimed.

    • Maksym V. Kovalenko
    Commentary
  • Synthesis of semiconductor colloidal quantum dots by low-cost, solution-based methods has produced an abundance of basic science. Can these materials be transformed to high-performance light emitters to disrupt established photonics technologies, particularly semiconductor lasers?

    • Arto Nurmikko
    Commentary
  • Tackling the degradation of cultural heritage requires a global effort. We call on all material scientists to develop new nanomaterials and methods for the preservation of artwork.

    • Piero Baglioni
    • Emiliano Carretti
    • David Chelazzi
    Commentary
  • New non-volatile memory devices store information using different physical mechanisms from those employed in today's memories and could achieve substantial improvements in computing performance and energy efficiency.

    • H.-S. Philip Wong
    • Sayeef Salahuddin
    Commentary
  • Racetrack memory stores digital data in the magnetic domain walls of nanowires. This technology promises to yield information storage devices with high reliability, performance and capacity.

    • Stuart Parkin
    • See-Hun Yang
    Commentary
  • Solid-state memory devices with all-electrical read and write operations might lead to faster, cheaper information storage.

    • Andrew D. Kent
    • Daniel C. Worledge
    Commentary
  • Metal losses affect the performance of every plasmonic or metamaterial structure; dealing with them will determine the degree to which these structures will find practical applications.

    • Jacob B. Khurgin
    Commentary