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Vladimir Bulovic
Age: 34
Associate professor, MIT
Uses organic and nanostructured semiconductors in devices such as light-emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, and chemical sensors. Startup companies have licensed many of his 30 U.S. patents.

Mayank Bulsara
Age: 32
Cofounder and chief technology officer, AmberWave Systems
Cofounded Salem, NH-based AmberWave to develop strained silicon, an advanced form of silicon that makes computer chips run faster and consume less power.

Dustin Carr
Age: 34
Principal member of technical staff, Sandia National Laboratories
Creates nanoscale silicon devices that can detect subatomic-scale movements. The nanodetectors could be used, for instance, in ultraprecise accelerometers for airplane navigation.

Martin Culpepper
Age: 32
Assistant professor, MIT
Builds the machines needed to make high-quality, low-cost nanofabrication a reality. His nanomanipulators are more flexible and offer higher performance than existing versions – at one-twentieth the cost.

LÆtitia Delmau
Age: 33
Research staff member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Helped solve fundamental problems in nuclear-waste treatment that led to an economical process for cleaning up more than 100,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, which manages the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

Martha Gardner
Age: 33
Statistician, General Electric
Created statistical models and design software to make materials development more efficient. Using her methods, engineers have cut product development time by 90 percent.

Verena Graf
Age: 32
Engineer, DaimlerChrysler
Develops fuel cells that are practical for powering cars: they’re robust, start up quickly, and have excellent power density, regardless of the weather.

Yu Han
Age: 27
Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (Singapore)
Synthesized nanoscale particles with tiny, precisely defined pores. His materials can be used for the controlled delivery of drugs or for gene therapy.

Stefan Hecht
Age: 30
Assistant professor, Freie Universität Berlin
Devised a new class of polymer nanotubes and other molecular building blocks. These novel materials have potential applications in the fabrication of nanosized electronic devices.

Darrell Irvine
Age: 31
Assistant professor, MIT
Crafts nanoparticles that would release chemicals inside the body to “program” immune cells to combat viral infections like HIV, to tolerate transplants, or even to destroy malignant tumors.

Rustem Ismagilov
Age: 31
Assistant professor, University of Chicago
Develops microfluidics technologies that use tiny droplets to characterize the function and structure of proteins and to model complex biochemical processes. The microfluidic models should yield insights pertinent to drug discovery and medical-device design.

Albena Ivanisevic
Age: 29
Assistant professor, Purdue University
Uses microscopic tips to deposit precise patterns of peptides directly onto tissues in the body. Her technique, which she’s testing in pigs’ eyes, could help treat or even cure blindness.

Ravi Kane
Age: 32
Assistant professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Created a highly potent anthrax treatment in which each drug molecule blocks multiple toxin molecules rather than just one. He’s extending the concept to anti-HIV therapies.

Kinneret Keren
Age: 32
Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University Medical School
Exploits biology-based self-assembly to build molecular electronics. She created a self-assembled molecular-electronic device – a carbon nanotube transistor – using a DNA template.

Jamie Link
Age: 26
Doctoral student, University of California, San Diego
Etched optical bar codes into micrometer-size pieces of silicon. She hopes to use the technology to detect pollutants in water or cancerous cells within the body.

Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo
Age: 30
Assistant professor, University of Texas at Austin
Invented nano transfer printing, an environmentally benign technique for patterning nanoscale features on organic electronics and plastic circuits. This nano patterning scheme could be used to make large-area flexible displays and cheap solar cells, and it could enable new medical therapies and diagnostics.

Tyler McQuade
Age: 33
Assistant professor, Cornell University
Creates catalysts to reduce the number of steps needed to synthesize drugs, diminishing environmentally hazardous by-products. He hopes one system will take the manufac-ture of Prozac, a top-selling anti-depressant drug, from four steps to just one.

Teri Odom
Age: 30
Assistant professor,
Northwestern University
Patterned silicon to create minuscule “beakers” that hold only zeptoliters (the silicon nanowells are only 50 nanometers across), ideal for growing individual nanoparticles of specific and uniform size. Such ultraprecision enables the tailoring of particles to specialized uses – as, for instance, ultrasensitive chemical sensors.

Erik Scher
Age: 28
Research and development scientist, Nanosys
Works on inorganic semiconductor nanomaterials that are helping Palo Alto, CA-based Nanosys develop cheap, flexible solar cells. Nanosys’s partner, Matsushita, plans to incorporate the nano solar cells into building materials.

Michael Strano
Age: 28
Assistant professor, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Arrived at a new understanding of carbon nanotube surface chemistry that allows carbon nanotubes to be sorted according to their semiconducting, metallic, or insulating properties. This breaks the major roadblock that has prevented nanotubes’ use in devices.

William Taylor
Age: 32
Director of engineering, ArvinMeritor
Spearheads efforts to commercialize the “plasmatron,” a pollution control device that converts diesel fuel to hydrogen, cutting nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90 percent.

Tsuyoshi Yamamoto
Age: 31
Researcher, NEC
Demonstrated the first-ever two-qubit logic gate in a solid-state device, an advance crucial to building an ultrafast quantum computer.

Shu Yang
Age: 33
Assistant professor, University of Pennsylvania
Designs “smart” photonic devices for lightning-fast computers and communications networks. While at Bell Labs, she codeveloped a liquid microlens that can be electronically focused in milliseconds to direct light signals inside optical fibers.

Yuankai Zheng
Age: 34
Research scientist, Data Storage Institute (Singapore)
Simplified the production of magnetic RAM, making this fast, nonvolatile form of computer memory cheaper and more practical. A thumbnail-sized magnetic-RAM chip could store 32 gigabytes of data.

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