Institute for Research in Nanoscience (informative
The Aragón Institute
of Nanoscience was founded on the 8th of April
2003, by the decree 68/2003 of the Government
of Aragón, as proposed by the University
Its activity is based on the study, research
and development of structures and applications
at the micro- and nanoscale. Thus, INA is
devoted to R&D in nanoscience and nanotechnology,
collaborating with enterprises and institutes
of technology at different levels.
The three main research lines at INA are:
Nanobiomedicine, Nanostructured Materials
and Physics of Nanosystems.
In 2007, INA has 58 researchers, 43 of them
with a PhD, and 9 highly qualified technicians.
In addition, administrative and technology
promotion departments support the R&D
activity. The objective of the latter is to
promote links between enterprises and the
At this moment INA has seven laboratories
with last generation devices:
· Thin films growth.
· Local probe microscopy.
· Electron microscopy.
· Biomedical applications.
· Synthesis and functionalization of
· Characterization of nanostructures.
Today INA, joining qualified staff and state-of-the-art
instruments, is a reference in Europe in Nanoscience
studies, manufactures and develops applications
of structures measuring less than a micron
and near to a nanometer (10-9 m)
- Nanoscience is multidisciplinary: Physics,
Chemistry, Materials Science, Medicine, Biochemistry,
- Nanoscience is a subject of the future:
At R&D plans worldwide include Nanoscience
as a priority area
¡Of course it will!
We have only just started to explore this
field, but the potential applications are
so widespread and so far-reaching that they
will inevitably affect our lives – and
affect them a great deal! For now, scientists
and researchers prefer to talk of nanoscience
even though it has started to be divided up
into nanobiology, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine
etc. and they don’t want to say too
much so as not to be called visionaries.
However, the new nanoscience-based Technologies
are sufficiently clear and sufficiently close
that the governments of the United States,
Japan and Europe have set aside multi-million
dollar budgets for nanoscientific research
(e.g. the United States government alone has
directly allocated more than 700 million euros
to support research into nanoscience during
the current year - 2003). The same can be
said for private companies such as IBM, Motorola,
HP, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, NEC and 3M.
As examples, we list below some of the most
attractive applications that have already
- A new generation of computers.
We have grown used to seeing Moore’s
law, which tells us that computer capacity
doubles every 18 months, be obeyed. However,
using conventional technology, this development
has limits which are already in sight and
which will slow down what has up to now been
uninterrupted progress, Nanoscience will allow
us to move on to the next generations with
storage devices that operate on the nanometric
scale, and new methods of performing calculations
- New diagnostic methods.
It is already possible to imagine a "video
pill", which is a "tablet"
that is loaded with electronic nanocircuits
and sensors, which can be swallowed or injected
into us, and which will circulate our body
detecting any possible anomalies, or malignant
growths and carry out specific analyses...
- Miniaturization of surgical equipment.
In the same way, it will be possible to perform
minimally invasive surgery using micro-systems,
which when manipulated from the outside will
move to the decisive point and carry out specific
operations such as heat up to cauterize, repair
internal injuries, administer drugs, etc.
- A cleaner air.
Nowadays, we already have nanostructured devices,
which are capable of recognizing individual
molecules and differentiating some from others.
In a short while, we will be able to build
true molecular filters and use them to eliminate
contaminants or highly toxic products.
- Materials with dreamed? properties.
The carbon nanotubes, which can be synthesized
nowadays are unbelievably hard and able to
stand an electric current hundreds of times
more efficiently than traditional copper wire.
- New zero-contamination manufacturing processes.
By being able to manipulate materials atom
by atom, in theory all waste can be avoided,
recycling will be total and there will be
no unwanted byproducts.
And there are many other things: giant magnetoresistance
systems to efficiently store information,
nanoelectronic devices, nanomotors, nanoestrutured
catalysts, biosensors, cements, special paints,
cosmetics, water purification systems...