Personal Finance: Focus on Nanotech

12/26/2003 12:00 am EST

Focus:

Neil George

Editor-in-Chief, Income Publication and Products, Agora Financial

"New ideas make a market," says Neil George, editor of Personal Finance"Along with managing editor Damon Carroll, we look at one of the more exciting-but speculative-new technologies that's causing a stir in the investing world: nanotechnology." Here's an overview and some top stocks in the emerging sector.

"Long term, nanotechnology promises some of the most revolutionary advances in design, development, and manufacturing that humankind has ever seen. Simply put, nanotech is molecular-level engineering. The term applies specifically to the ability to arrange atoms and molecules to create materials with radically new structural, electrical, chemical, and optical properties. Nanotech could very well change our world in unimaginable ways. But as with every new and wondrous technology, a huge gap exists between the laboratory and the marketplace. It's impossible to know this early which companies will succeed, but here's a couple it wouldn't hurt to watch.

"One of the major companies in the forefront of nanotech research is NEC (NIPNY NASDAQ). NEC has been involved with nanotechnology R&D for well over 10 years, and in 1991 created the carbon nanotube (CNT). CNTs are unique atomic-sized, diamond-strength forms of carbon, and can be used to make an array of devices, from the world's smallest transistors to nano-bio chips capable of analyzing proteins and DNA strands to identify diseases instantly. CNTs may also hold the key to crafting the fuel cells of the future. Because NEC holds several CNT patents, it has an advantage in the race to make more efficient fuel cells for mobile phones and computers."

"One of the myriad smaller companies specializing in nanotechnology, JMAR Technologies (JMAR NASDAQ) is the world's leading developer of collimated laser plasma lithography (CPL), a next-generation nano-based microchip technology. To produce smaller features, scientists require shorter wavelength light. JMAR claims its  nanotechnology creates light with a wavelength 100 times shorter than the light used in conventional chip manufacturing. The Dept. of Defense has issued more than $60 million in R&D contracts to JMAR for high-performance communications and radar chips, and the company is also exploring new opportunities in the Homeland Security market. If you're a gambler, JMAR is an interesting long-term bet below 2.10."

Neil George will be participating in Investing for Growth & Income at The World Money Show in Orlando, Florida, February 3, 2004. Tickets are $89.00 through January 22, $109.00 afterwards. Click here   for more information or to purchase tickets.

Related Articles on