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Posted: Aug 23, 2012
EPNanoNet Summit: Nanotechnology developments across the exploration & production industry
(Nanowerk News) It is widely known that nanotechnology advancements in aerospace and medicine far exceed those in exploration and production (E&P) but the adaptation of existing nanotechnology outside the E&P industry could bring about a step-change and see nano adopted more widely by the sector. To encourage industry engagement and promote nano and E&P cross sector opportunities, the pioneering EPNanoNet network, through a joint collaboration with The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, will host a Summit in Houston on September 12th delving deeper into significant nanotechnology developments.
Key speakers include Dr Gaurav Agrawal, Baker Hughes; Dr Valerie Lafitte, Schlumberger; Jack Angel, Duraseak Coatings; Dr Philseok Kim, University of Harvard and under contract from NASA, Dr Harish Manohara from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). His team has developed a prototype CNT vacuum logic device that was originally intended to tolerate the extreme and harsh environments found during interplanetary exploration. The device uses carbon nanotube vacuum electronics and can be used in applications where conventional semiconductors start to fail. When asked how the CNT vacuum logic device could add value to the exploration and production industry, Dr Manohara said 'right now, only a laboratory prototype exists but the device can withstand high temperatures (up to 700°C), high radiation and corrosive chemicals, and for in-situ electronics, it will render E&P processes to be smarter and more efficient'.
Although performance of the device is not yet comparable to conventional semiconductors, Dr Manohara is optimistic about their potential adding 'conventional semiconductor devices operate at GHz speeds, whereas our first prototype operated at 100Hz. This is because the device design and component line widths are not optimised. However, it can be shown that with optimised devices the performance is comparable to that of conventional semiconductors. Of course, this requires focused development for several years'.
Find out more about JPL's technology and other key challenges including commercialisation processes for nanotechnology, tackling Arctic conditions and nanomaterials in fracturing applications by attending the Summit, which is scheduled to run in conjunction with the popular Energy and Clean Technology Forum held by the Rice Alliance.
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