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Vol. 34 No. 4
July-August 2012

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives.
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Terminology of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology in Polymer Science

With the advent of the application of polymers in high-resolution microlithography in the 1970s and thereafter the development of the all-embracing nanotechnology of the late 1980s, terms that are unfamiliar to polymer and materials chemists find ubiquitous use. Nevertheless, it is polymer science and material science that lead progress in these fields and by now scientists need a ready reference to the exact definitions of the unfamiliar terms that they will come across. Typically, microlithographers commonly use terms such as sensitivity, contrast, resolution, and dry etch resistance, and refer to techniques such as solvent development, aqueous-base development, and oxygen reactive ion etching. However, the explosion in so-called nanomaterials has added even less-familiar terminology. What, for example, is the correct definition of a nanostructure, a nanotube, a nanocomposite, a polymer nanofiber, a nanospintronic device, or nanoencapsulation? What is iontophoresis, superparamagnetism, or plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition? These and many other terms are now commonplace but precise definitions have never been compiled in one place for the benefit of polymer scientists and materials chemists.

The objective of this new project is to identify and define the terminology that is idiosyncratic to all aspects of the application of polymers in nanotechnology and in particular to high-resolution sub-micron lithography. This follows an earlier project "Analysis of the usage of nanoscience and technology in chemistry" (2007-040-2-200), the scope of which was confined to the mapping and critical evaluation the use of the prefix nano in various fields of chemistry. (See project report online; excerpts to be published in the Sep-Oct 2012 CI.)

Most materials of relevance are either polymers or other materials (usually inorganic) in a polymer environment, and the relevant technology invariably involves the manipulation of polymeric materials. Hence, this project will be led from within the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology. The Interdivisional Subcommittee on Materials Chemistry will be closely involved to ensure that there will be no development of definitions that might conflict with those arising from future activities in its arena.

For more information contact the task group chairs Chris Ober <cko3@cornell.edu> and Richard G. Jones <kapitimana@googlemail.com>.

www.iupac.org/project/2012-001-1-400


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