- Nanotechnology 101
- Nanotechnology and You
- About the NNI
- What is the NNI?
- Nanotechnology-Inspired Grand Challenges
- Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives
- The NSET Subcommittee
- NSET's Participating Federal Partners
- Working Groups & Coordinators
- Contact Information
- National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
- Resources & Funding
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USDA/FS)
Established in 1905, the Forest Service manages 193 million acres of publically-owned National Forests and grasslands. It has three major subunits: the National Forest System; State and Private Forestry; and Research and Development (R&D). Its R&D mission is to develop and deliver knowledge and innovative technology to improve the health and use of the Nation’s forests and rangelands.
FY 2016 Proposed $4.5 million
Nanotechnology offers an efficient and effective means to capitalize on a major national asset to make forest-derived materials the “materials of choice for the 21st century.” Wood is made up of nanodimensional building blocks that: (1) have strength properties greater than Kevlar® and piezoelectric properties equivalent to quartz, (2) can be manipulated to produce photonic structures, (3) are remarkably uniform in size and shape, (4) possess self-assembly properties, and (5) can be renewably produced in quantities of tens of millions of tons.
FS R&D is developing internal nanotechnology research capacities to effectively partner with industry, academia, and other federal entities and developing the precompetitive science and technology critical to the economic use of nanotechnology-enabled, forest-based materials and products. Current FS R&D focus areas are to: 1) efficiently liberate and produce quantities of cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibrils for research and scale up; 2) characterize cellulose nanomaterials; 3) develop the means to efficiently modify the functionality of cellulose nanomaterial surfaces; 4) develop the enabling science and technologies needed to capture the performance properties of cellulosic nanomaterials and produce nano-enabled macroscale composites; and 5) develop multiscale modeling for nano-enable composites.
The U.S. forest products industry, through the American Forest & Paper Association Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance, signed a memorandum of understanding with the NSET Subcommittee to form a Cooperative Board for Advancing Nanotechnology (CBAN). The industry is in a unique position to tap the huge potential nanotechnology provides. The industry can upgrade its processes and produce new high-performance consumer products, and become a producer and developer of novel, sustainable nanomaterials to replace non sustainable materials such as those from fossil fuels.
Dr. World Nieh, National Program Leader, Forest Products and Utilization, USDA Forest Service
Dr. Theodore H. Wegner, Assistant Director, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
Office: (608) 231-9434
Forest Service Research & Development Programs
The term "nanomaterial" refers to nanoscale materials, or materials that contain nanoscale structures internally or on their surfaces. These can include engineered (or man-made) nanometer-scale objects such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, and nanofilms, as well as naturally occurring nanoparticles such as volcanic ash, sea spray, and smoke.
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