"Nanotechnology is one of the most important key technologies of our times," says Prof. Johanna Wanka, Germany’s Minister for Education and Research (BMBF). According to the latest nano.DE report by the BMBF, the corresponding industry employs around 64,000 workers in Germany. Around 1,000 companies in this country are involved in nanotechnology, and research is being carried out by 10,000 scientists in 600 public institutions. The sector’s global turnover is estimated at 93 billion dollars and the indirect contributions to value creation by applications using nanotechnology is at three billion dollars.
Experts forecast that around 15 percent of all global commodities will be produced with the use of nanotechnology in 2015.
Major contributions are already being made in therapeutic hyperthermia to treat cancer, drinking water purification using nanoporous filters and corrosion protection using ceramic nano coatings to replace toxic chrome and nickel. With nanotechnology the ever larger rotors used in wind turbines can be made very lightweight while remaining stable.
At the Research&Technology fair, the joint WoN World of Nano stand has been a central part of the nanotechnology sector for many years. In 2015 it will focus on ultra-thin layers, lithography and electronics, nanobiotechnology, ultra-precise surface processing and the measurement and analysis of nanostructures, nanomaterials and molecular architectures. WoN World of Nano is under the umbrella of the Nano in Germany initiative. One of its partners is VDI Technologiezentrum which is presenting the campaign theme “Welcome to Nanotech Germany” on behalf of the BMBF in Hannover.
In addition to diverse joint stands by individual German states the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST) is also giving its attention to super small particles in Halle 2. "Sensor technology based on thin films offers perfect conditions for application-oriented solutions and innovations dealing with industrial production processes," say Dr. Saskia Biehl, Head of Fraunhofer IST in Braunschweig. IST has developed piezoresistive thin film sensors based on the amorphous hydrocarbon coating DiaForce®. A thin textured chrome layer is applied using photolithography and wet chemical etching. This layer system combines high wear resistance with piezoresistive behavior and enables measurements to be taken directly in the main load zones of cutting tools, deep drawing tools and wind turbines. Piezoresistive thin film sensors have also enabled a new type of washer to be developed that makes RFID broadcasts possible, serving to monitor the strength of screwed connections.
In Hall 3 the International Association of Microtechnology, Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials and Optics & Photonics (IVAM) is staging a joint display. The IVAM product market "Micro, Nano & Materials" showcases new trends for industrial use from various advanced technology fields.
"Microstructures and surfaces are on the same team. They work hand in hand so that microcomponents and nanocomponents can deliver what is expected of them."
For example, nanostructured surfaces in chemical microreactors can transport, channel and separate fluids from one another. A thermal transmitter that can convert heat to electricity as well as sensors to measure acceleration, tilt, vibration and rotation rates are other examples that can be found at the IVAM product market.