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Nanotechnology Trio Named to Scientific American 50 List

11 November 2006

A trio of nanotechnologists from The University of Texas at Dallas has been named to the 2006 Scientific American 50, a prestigious list published annually by the respected magazine that recognizes outstanding contributions in the fields of science and technology during the past year.

The Scientific American 50 pays tribute to individuals and organizations who, through their efforts in research, business and policy-making, are driving advances in science and technology that lay the groundwork for a better future

Included in the list are Dr. Ray Baughman, Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas, and two of his colleagues, research scientists Dr. Mei Zhang and Dr. Shaoli Fang. The trio was recognized for their research contributions to the development of nanotube yarns and sheets made of carbon nanotubes.

""The Scientific American 50 pays tribute to individuals and organizations who, through their efforts in research, business and policy-making, are driving advances in science and technology that lay the groundwork for a better future,"" said John Rennie, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. ""Not only does our list honor these prime movers, it shines a spotlight on the critical fields that are benefiting from their achievements.""

""My colleagues and I are greatly honoured to be recognized by Scientific American, which has such giant stature in the world of science and technology,"" said UT Dallas’ Baughman. ""We are grateful to our many collaborators whose seminal contributions have been so important, especially the associate director of the NanoTech Institute Anvar Zakhidov and our Australian colleague, Dr. Ken Atkinson from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Textile and Fibre Technology.""

The Scientific American honor is the latest for scientists at the UT Dallas NanoTech Institute for their breakthroughs in fabricating carbon nanotube yarns and transparent nanotube sheets that promise important industrial applications. Last June, Baughman and his colleagues shared the prestigious NanoVic Prize and a $10,000 cash prize from Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd., a venture involving three universities and the government of the Australian state of Victoria. On Nov. 9, the UT Dallas scientists will receive a Nano 50 award, which recognizes the top 50 technologies, products and innovators in the field of nanotechnology, at NASA Tech Briefs’ National Nano Engineering Conference.

The UT Dallas researchers successfully assembled trillions of carbon nanotubes into strong, tough, electronically and thermally conducting nanotube yarns and transparent nanotube sheets and demonstrated their utility for such diverse applications as electronic textiles, protective clothing, artificial muscles, supercapacitors, organic light-emitting displays, solar cells and high-intensity sources of field-emitted electrons for lamps and miniature x-ray tubes.

The research leading to the awards was funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Texas Advanced Technology and Research Programs, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology and the National Science Foundation.





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