David Bishop is vice president of nanotechnology research and physical sciences research (yikes!) with Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill and president of the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium, which helps companies and labs around the world get nanotechnology research and development services. If anyone can help us to understand the science of nanotechnology, it's David Bishop. Let's face it, it's pretty high-tech.
"Nanotechnology has been estimated by the National Science Foundation to be a $1 trillion industry by the year 2015," explains Bishop, adding that New Jersey has one of the best facilities for nanotechnology in the world, which has created a lot of excitement around the field in the state. The Bell Labs fabrication facility in Murray Hill is otherwise known as a semiconductor processing clean room or a production site for nanotechnology.
And the excitement doesn't end there, points out Bishop, particularly where the job market is concerned. "Countries will change their economic situation as a result of nanotechnology," he says. "We're aware of countries that have said it's a major strategic priority for them. It's a huge gold rush and there are going to be certain areas that will use nanotechnology to lift themselves into whole different places in terms of economic vitality, growth and job creation."
"Nanotechnology is going to impact everything from health care to food--you name it," explains Bishop. "There will be something in a carton of milk to let you know it hasn't been refrigerated. Automobiles will be made of super-strong, ultra-light material that is stronger than steel and lighter than plastic," he says. Nano-particles released into the bloodstream will search and destroy cancer cells. From mini-engines that can clean out arteries, computer networks that are billions of times faster, electronic noses (want to sniff the roses you see on your monitor?), to microphones and cameras in wallpaper, nanotechnology is almost everywhere. "Those with jobs in nanotechnology think it's the coolest thing in the world," adds Bishop. "They think they're lucky like crazy and we hope there are a lot of smart kids who want to get into it and have a ball with it."