lasers. Such R&D funding action matures the technology faster so that it becomes clearer at an earlier stage how the technology can uniquely contribute to military applications, and the probability is increased that the U.S. military will be first to deploy the technology. As was the case with microelectronics and lasers, the commercial applications of nanophotonics are likely to overwhelm the military uses, requiring a healthy nanophotonics industry. Government R&D investment in nanophotonics is equally important for the emergence of this nascent industry.

For the United States to maintain a leading role in the development of the interdisciplinary field of nanophotonics, a stable funding profile must be maintained. For the Department of Defense to have assured access to nanophotonics capabilities, a healthy commercial nanophotonics sector with the ability to conduct pioneering R&D is essential. Historically, feedback from basic research to applications and back to basic research has been a major factor in U.S. technological success; in an interdisciplinary field this cycle is even more vital.

The committee recommends that the U.S. government funding agencies continue to support the research and development of nanophotonics technology in the United States across all phases from basic research to applications development. (Recommendation 6-2)


JTEC (Japan Technology Evaluation Center). 1996. Optoelectronics in Japan and the United States. Baltimore, Md.: Loyola College. February. Available at Accessed on January 17, 2008.

NRC (National Research Council). 2005. Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology Advances. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available at Accessed on January 16, 2008.

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