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Nanoforum reports on security for nanotechnology

Ian Grant

Nanoforum, the European information exchange for nanotechnology matters, has reported on security applications for tiny tech.

Nanotechnology has been a key EU priority. The EU has spent several hundred millions of pounds researching the technology.  Three research projects have dealt specifically with security applications.

TERAEYE aims to develop a range of passive inspection systems, based on terahertz (THz) wave detection, to detect materials harmful for homeland security. DINAMICS is developing a lab-on-chip device to detect pathogens in water supply systems. NANOSECURE aims to be a widely-deployed early warning and detoxification system for harmful airborne substances.

This report describes nanotechnology applications for civil security in four broad sections:
• detection, including imaging, sensors and sensor networks for the detection of pathogens and chemicals;
• protection, including decontamination equipment and filters, and personal protection;
• identification, including anti-counterfeiting and authentication, forensics, quantum cryptography and the market for counterfeit and grey goods;
• societal impacts, including current regulatory and ethical frameworks, potential impacts on ethics and human rights, and public perception.

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