Thinking Small in Nevada

We live in a world filled with an ever growing number of threats. Some of these threats include chemicals, explosives, and bio pathogens. As these threats become more complex so must the way in which we detect these threats. Current methods such as thermal analysis, impedance analysis, and chemisorption are used in detection of many of these threats. While these methods of analysis have come a long way, they still have much farther to go in order to be implemented efficiently throughout the country.

Jesse Adams NevadaNanoJesse Adams along with the rest of the NevadaNano team have developed the Molecular Property Spectrometer to address our country’s current safety issues. The Molecular Property Spectrometer or MPS consists of a tiny chip with four cantilevers the width of a human hair and a sensor card to interpret the data. This small chip is able to perform the same analysis as a thermal analysis machine, an impedance analysis machine, and a chemisorption machine. In addition to its utility, the chips size and ease of production make it useful for a number of different applications including checking shipping container for hazardous materials, detecting bio threats, and scanning for IEDs.

Jesse Adams began his research in nano technology at Stanford where he worked with atomic force microscopes or AFMs. During his research he designed a new type of AFM utilizing tiny cantilevers. In 2001 Jesse moved to the University of Nevada, Reno where he started the Nevada Ventures Nano Science program with Rob Smith and Stewart Feigin. While at the University of Nevada Jesse taught a class in nano technology. While teaching, Jessie was awarded a grant to write a text book on nano technology. At the time this was the first text book of its kind on nano technology. Work on the text book led way to the formation of NevadaNano as well as NanoLabz. During the formation of these companies Jessie along with Ben Rogers and Sumita Pennathur wrote Nanotechnology: The Whole Story. In 2003 the MPS was featured in Nature. Soon after being featured in Nature, NevadaNano wrote a proposal to the government to make shipping container detectors. In 2004 NevadaNano began a phase one contract. Since then NevadaNano has gone through phases two and three. In 2012 NevadaNano created a prototype and completed a successful demonstration of their shipping container detector.

NevadaNano MPSSince developing the prototype in 2012, NevadaNano has discovered a number of other application for the MPS including laboratory research, drug discovery, airport swab station sensing, hand-held high-speed sensing, and assembly line sensing. NevadaNano believes that the chips could be built into cell phones, wireless sensor units, and in various military drones. The discovery of these additional applications has lead to NevadaNano being awarded an R&D award in 2013.

Jesse’s second company NanoLabz currently owns the world record for the speed in which they can fire a proton. Currently this method of firing protons at high speeds is used in proton therapy to fight cancer. NanoLabz hopes to be able to create a machine that is more affordable and effective than the current proton therapy machines on the market. In the future, NanoLabz hopes that this technology could be used in fusion technology as well.

Jesse is now working on his third company Nanojems. Nanojems uses a similar technology as NanoLabz to microscopically engrave jewelry. Nanojems currently has a kickstarter up in which they are giving away pendants with the first million digits of pi to donors. Jesse is hopeful that Nanojems will reach their goal of $16,800 pledged by August 27th 2013.

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