Nanotechnology is spearheaded by a group of people who continue to creatively explore it. Here is a list of scientists and business
leaders considered the movers and shakers of the nanotechnology world.
A professor at Rice University, Smalley is credited with discovering C60,
the buckminsterfullerene. Also known as the buckyball, this is the
key to the molecular structures which are most often used in
nanotechnology. He founded the company Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.
CHARLES LIEBER: Charles Lieber is a Harvard University
professor who developed the synthesis, characterization, and development
of nano-scale wires. He founded the company Nanosys, Inc.
HONGJIE DAI: Hongjie Dai of Stanford University studies the
suitability of carbon nanotubes for future miniaturized devices.
Because of the small size of carbon nanotubes this calls for extreme
precision as he tries figure out their unique quantum effects.
JAMES HEATH: James Heath helped run the experimental apparatus
that helped Smalley discover C60 at Rice University. He pioneered the
molecular switch, using nanowires and molecules, and also developed a
scanning optical microscope used to noninvasively probe the electrical
functions of living cells.
JAMES VON EHR II: He is the founder, chairman, and CEO of
Zyvex Corporation, a company that specializes in nano-size manipulators.
These tools allow scientists to work with nano-sized structures under a microscope.
GEORGE WHITESIDES: A chemistry professor at Harvard and a
member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Board. George
Whitesides' research influences material science, surface science,
microfluidics, self-assembly, and nanotechnology.
PAUL ALIVISATOS: His major contribution to technology is his
work with semiconducting nanocrystals. The crystals come in
different shapes and sizes, such as quantum dots, nanorods, and tetrapods.
ANGELA BELCHER: Belcher pioneered the use of genetically
modified viruses in the self-assembly of nanowires, thin films, and other nanomaterials. Her work has a direct impact on drug discovery and
delivery, materials and catalysts, and self-assembling electronic materials.
Other movers and shakers include Richard Feynman and
K. Eric Drexler, whose vision of nanotechnology spurred its growth;
Naomi Halas and Jennifer West, who are working with nanoshells that find and "cook" cancer cells;
James Tour and Mark Reed, who are using nanotechnology to come up with an inexpensive replacement for
silicon-based computer chips; and venture capitalist Josh Wolfe, who has invested in nanotechnology.