You've both identified the critical question. Ferroelectric thin films have been able to move into production very easily for simple functions like RF substrates - folks like Matsushita, Panasonic use them regularly but don't talk about it. Nonvolatile memory, less successfully. Ramtron has had a decent specialty memory business for years, and has licensed tech to IBM, but it's never been at the right function and price point to challenge flash memory. Then, when we get to nano-structures for energy harvesting, well, you just upped the ante by ? factor of 5? factor of 10? I will bet that some ferro-nano amorphous technologies will emerge for solar PV cells, but there will be plenty of them that will never get out of the lab!
The bridge to high-volume production is a big one. It's amazing how much technology is fantastic on lab scale but not practical as a production material. It takes a ton of time, patience, money and conviction to get to the goal post.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.