'Nanorings' could boost computer memory
: "Purdue chemist Alexander Wei
may have come up with a surprisingly simple and cheap solution to the shrinking data storage problem. Wei's research team has found a way to create tiny magnetic rings from particles made of cobalt. The rings are much less than 100 nanometers across – an important threshold for the size-conscious computer industry – and can store magnetic information at room temperature. Best of all, these "nanorings" form all on their own, a process commonly known as self-assembly." 2:13:10 PM
"the impression that VCs are falling all over themselves to get in on the nano action isn't really true. Government money, though, is a totally different story -- DARPA, NIST ATP, SBIR, the whole alphabet soup. It's really not the private sector that's boosting the industry right now. It's government spending. And that's a fairly normal phenomenon for an industry in its early phase. The government props it up, encourages it, gets R&D moving in the lab, helps it along into the startup phase, and then the Darwinian world of business kicks in.
Even there, though, startups can live to see another day primarily through government grants. And right now, the military is where the money is at. Shop your nanomaterial around and tell a VC that your superstrong, superlight nano-enhanced polymer would be useful for garage doors, and you might be shown the door. But go to DARPA and say it can help reinforce tank or aircraft or cockpit doors and can stop a speeding bullet, and you might have an easier time getting some dough.
The difference now, though, is that public relations people have taken over the business of nanotechnology, and so there's a perception that VCs just can't seem to stop blindly throwing their money at anything with the n-word as a prefix. That's what creates buzz and gets nano names in the news during evening drive times." 2:05:35 PM