The 2008 NASA Tech Briefs National Nano Engineering Conference (NNEC), be held November 12-13 at the Boston Colonnade Hotel, is for design engineers who want to know what’s real, what’s close to market, and what might be coming in the world of nanotechnology. The NNEC will help you keep pace with the engineering and technology innovations behind the latest nanotech breakthroughs. Included will be technical presentations and exhibits from companies leading the nanotech industry in application areas such as biomedical, electronics, advanced materials, energy and the environment, and business. Read about some of those advanced technologies below. You’ll also find networking opportunities, and the expert insight you’ll need to stay ahead of the small-tech curve.

The NNEC also features the presentation of the Nanotech Briefs® Nano 50™ Awards. This year’s fourth annual awards recognize the top 50 innovators, technologies, and products that have significantly impacted — or are expected to impact — the state of the art in nanotechnology. The Nano 50 will be presented at a special awards dinner held on Thursday, November 13. For a complete list of 2008 winners, visit Visit for more information and to register for the NNEC.

Carbon Nanotube Sheets and Yarns

Nanocomp recently unveiled the largest sheet of carbon nanotubingever made.

David Lashmore is a founder of Nanocomp Technologies of Concord, NH. Together with Joe Brown, Lashmore invented the process to produce single-wall carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles and high-strength carbon nanotube yarns now in production at Nanocomp. The textiles, made only of carbon nano tubes, have breaking strength much higher than steel on a per-weight basis with the yarns being even stronger.

Nanocomp’s platform technology has the potential to reduce energy consumption in two ways. First, indirectly, by improving performance. The CNTs will help create extremely strong, very light weight structural com posites used to produce highly fuel-efficient aircraft and automobiles. In addition, the technology could im prove human performance, such as reducing the energy and effort required to carry protective body armor or first-responder equipment, and could even be used in recreational sporting goods.

Secondly, the technology could have direct impact through the replacement of heavy metal conductors, creating highly efficient, ultra-light wires for antennas in wireless devices, conductors for electronic interconnects, power transfer, motors, transformers, and electro-storage devices. In addition, there is the potential to create new thermal management systems that will more effectively reduce heat buildup in electronics.

Recently, the company made the largest-ever sheet of carbon nanotubing, measuring 18 square feet. About the size of a beach towel, it contains one-billion-billion nanotubes, making it 200 times as strong as steel and 30 times less dense. The sheet also is flame retardant and conducts electricity, which would make it useful in tiny electronic devices.

Learn more about Nanocomp Technologies’ carbon nano - tube textiles from David Lashmore during the Nano - composites Session at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, November 12.