Materials Science Professor Among World's Most Cited Nanotech Authors

Materials Science Professor Z.L. Wang has been named one of the world's most cited authors in nanotechnology research, according to Science Watch, a bulletin that reports on trends in basic research. In the July/August Vol. 14 edition, Science Watch tracked the major players in nanoscale research based on the number of citations to papers published on "nano" topics between 1992-2002.

Wang is ranked number 20 with nearly 2,350 citations to 121 nanotechnology papers published during the last decade. Wang also was a principal author of one of the most cited nano papers last year in the area of chemistry. The paper, "Nanobelts of semiconducting oxides," reports a remarkable way of making ribbon-like, metal oxide fibers, which the authors refer to as "nanobelts" because they have a rectangular cross-section.

Science Watch, which is published by Philadelphia-based Institute of Scientific Information, also ranks the top 25 institutions worldwide according to the number of citations received to papers published on nano topics in the last decade. Georgia Tech ranks number 12 with a total of 6,150 citations.

In an interview with Wang that appears in the bulletin, Science Watch writes that Wang's research "is clearly going places as his output of research papers shows." Some of his papers have been singled out for special mention, including his paper in Microscopy and Microanalysis on the structures of oxide nanobelts and nanowires, which the journal selected as the best paper it had published in 2002.

Wang's nanobelts have widths of 30 to 300 nanometers, can grown up to a millimeter or more in length, and can be synthesized with a large degree of control over their structure. According to Wang, their belt-like morphology appears to be a common structural characteristic for this family of semiconducting oxides.

Speaking to Science Watch, Wang outlined his plans for the future: "My research will focus on two aspects: the application and integration of nanobelt materials with other microsystems; and applications of nanobelts in biomedical science." Ultimately he predicts that his nanobelts will play a part in cancer treatment.

"One day, we may use these materials for in-situ, real-time, non-destructive and remote monitoring within the human body, using them to detect cancer cells-and this might even be possible by sending a single such cell," he said. "Meanwhile we are concerning on developing nanobelt structures from improving the performance of mico- and nan-electromechanical systems."