Forbes Wolfe Nanotech Reports

Forbes/Wolfe produce a monthly newsletter on nanotechnology called Nanotech Report and at the end of each year report on the top 10 nanotech products of the year. In 2004, the products included a nanotechnology-based footwarmer containing a nanoporous aerogel, golf clubs using "titanium fullerene materials'' in the head of their new driver, nanosilver-containing wound dressings with improved antibacterial effectiveness, an additive from BASF that improves the hydrophobicity of building materials and silica nanofillers in dental adhesives.75

In 2005, the follow-up report on the top 10 nanotech products led with Apple's iPod Nano as the number one product, but whether this product represents nanotechnology or is simply marketing hype was the question to consider.76 The report concludes that the answer to both parts of the question is a resounding "Yes" in that the nano connection certainly attracted attention, but inside the product there are memory chips that are produced with precision less than 100 nm.

Given the range of cosmetics using nanoparticulate metal oxides primarily for UV protection it is interesting to note a cosmetics product containing fullerene in the list. In this case the fullerene is claimed to have antioxidant properties. Carbon nanotubes have been used as a reinforcing component in a new baseball bat. Silver nanoparticles feature again, this time in socks where enhanced bonding of the 19 nm silver particles to the polyester fibres is claimed to provide enhanced and longer-lasting antimicrobial and antifungal performance. A novel chewing gum having chocolate flavour, which is apparently difficult to achieve, has been produced using "nanoscale crystals'' of unknown chemistry to enhance the compatibility of the cocoa butter with the polymers that are used to give the gum elasticity. So-called self-cleaning windows and paint surfaces are also included in the top 10. These are based on photoactive titanium dioxide with the windows gaining a further benefit when it rains, with the hydrophilic film created being washed off leaving a clear surface.

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