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Vol. 35 No. 4
July-August 2013

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

Description of Materials on the Nanoscale

Supported by an ICSU grant, CODATA (ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology) and VAMAS (the Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards) have established an international working group to develop the requirements for a unified description system for materials on the nanoscale as well as the minimum information categories required to describe such nanomaterials.

The requirements are being developed with input from a broad range of scientific disciplines, as represented by ICSU unions and including IUPAC, and by diverse user communities. This work will enable standards developers, regulators, and researchers to describe nanomaterials uniquely, accurately, and unambiguously. This project represents one of the largest inter-union programs supported by ICSU. Experts from chemistry, physics, materials science, toxicology, pharmacology, materials science, biology, medicine, and the environmental sciences—representing over 20 countries—are working together for the first time to provide a consensus set of requirements that must be met for a nanomaterials description system to be effective and useful.

This project is an outgrowth of the 2012 ICSU/CODATA International Workshop on this subject. That workshop recommended that CODATA undertake a multidisciplinary approach to provide ISO and other standards and regulatory groups with science-based recommendations for a nanomaterial description system (see Nov-Dec 2012 CI, p. 28–29, www.iupac.org/publications/ci/2012/3406/
cc2_230212.html
).

The work is timely; the European Union has proposed a new definition for nanomaterials, and regulators through the world are actively considering how best to approach health, safety, and environmental issues associated with nanotechnology. While ISO and other groups are working on various aspects of a nanomaterial description system, no group is attempting to bring together the views of the many scientific disciplines and user communities who are concerned with nanotechnology.

IUPAC participation in this project, bringing its expertise in chemical nomenclature, is through Division VIII, the Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division.

For more information, contact John Rumble <jumbleusa@earthlink.net>, chair of the CODATA Nanomaterials Working Group, or Richard M. Hartshorn <richard.hartshorn@canterbury.ac.nz>, president of IUPAC Division VIII.

 


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