SOUTH AFRICA’S CSIR MARKS 10 YEARS OF WORLD CLASS RESEARCH IN NANOTECHNOLOGY

PRETORIA, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is celebrating 10 years of conducting world-class research and development (R and D) in the field of nano-technology, the multidisciplinary field which studies materials at the very small scale of between 1 and 100 nanometres.

At this scale, materials may have unique optical, mechanical, physical and chemical properties, which can be used to develop new materials for a variety of applications. The CSIR’s National Centre for Nanostructured Materials (NCNSM) was launched in 2007 as part of the implementation of government’s National Nanotechnology Strategy.

CSIR Chief Researcher Professor Suprakas Sinha Ray told SA News here Monday that the centre played a crucial role in availing its high-tech instrumentation to various stakeholders within the nanotechnology research space.

Research and development at the nano centre supports the manufacturing of bulk materials with improved properties, such as plastics, that are able to tolerate very high and low temperatures, and plastics that possess fire retardant properties or high resistance to tearing. This includes the development of detection devices that use nano-materials capable of detecting gases at parts-per-million levels with greater sensitivity and accuracy, said Ray.

Nanotechnology research is a key pillar of the CSIR’s activities which is focused on finding solutions that address the broader societal challenges of South Africa. Professor Ray said nanotechnology holds the future as it will be the most used technology in the coming years.

In the last decade, the centre has undertaken innovative research on nano-structured materials and established an extensive research network with key local and international research organizations.

The centre is well equipped with cutting-edge scaling up, polymer processing, characterisation and testing facilities, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to undertake research and develop technology skills in nano related areas.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK