• [7] The associated research and applications are equally diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular
    self-assembly,[8] from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to direct control of matter on the atomic scale.

  • • Molecular Beam Epitaxy allows for bottom up assemblies of materials, most notably semiconductor materials commonly used in chip and Top-down approaches These seek to create
    smaller devices by using larger ones to direct their assembly.

  • In its original sense, nanotechnology refers to the projected ability to construct items from the bottom up, using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete,
    high-performance products.

  • [12][13] C60 was not initially described as nanotechnology; the term was used regarding subsequent work with related carbon nanotubes (sometimes called graphene tubes or Bucky
    tubes) which suggested potential applications for nanoscale electronics and devices.

  • This definition reflects the fact that quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum-realm scale, and so the definition shifted from a particular technological
    goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and technologies that deal with the special properties of matter which occur below the given size threshold.

  • [31] Simple to complex: a molecular perspective Main article: Molecular self-assembly Modern synthetic chemistry has reached the point where it is possible to prepare small
    molecules to almost any structure.

  • However, Drexler and other researchers[32] have proposed that advanced nanotechnology, although perhaps initially implemented by biomimetic means, ultimately could be based
    on mechanical engineering principles, namely, a manufacturing technology based on the mechanical functionality of these components (such as gears, bearings, motors, and structural members) that would enable programmable, positional assembly
    to atomic specification.

  • [56] • Programmable matter seeks to design materials whose properties can be easily, reversibly and externally controlled though a fusion of information science and materials

  • Inspired by Feynman’s concepts, K. Eric Drexler used the term “nanotechnology” in his 1986 book Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, which proposed the idea
    of a nanoscale “assembler” which would be able to build a copy of itself and of other items of arbitrary complexity with atomic control.

  • • Development of applications incorporating semiconductor nanoparticles to be used in the next generation of products, such as display technology, lighting, solar cells and
    biological imaging; see quantum dots.

  • It is therefore common to see the plural form “nanotechnologies” as well as “nanoscale technologies” to refer to the broad range of research and applications whose common
    trait is size.

  • • Many technologies that descended from conventional solid-state silicon methods for fabricating microprocessors are now capable of creating features smaller than 100 nm,
    falling under the definition of nanotechnology.

  • Important for research on semiconductors, MBE is also widely used to make samples and devices for the newly emerging field of spintronics.

  • However, new therapeutic products, based on responsive nanomaterials, such as the ultradeformable, stress-sensitive Transfersome vesicles, are under development and already
    approved for human use in some countries.

  • [52][53] Nevertheless, progress on innovative materials and methodologies has been demonstrated with some patents granted about new nanomanufacturing devices for future commercial
    applications, which also progressively helps in the development towards nanorobots with the use of embedded nanobioelectronics concepts.

  • This ability raises the question of extending this kind of control to the next-larger level, seeking methods to assemble these single molecules into supramolecular assemblies
    consisting of many molecules arranged in a well defined manner.

  • The challenge for nanotechnology is whether these principles can be used to engineer new constructs in addition to natural ones.

  • Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, biomaterials energy production,
    and consumer products.

  • The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale
    products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology.

  • The upper limit is more or less arbitrary but is around the size below which the phenomena not observed in larger structures start to become apparent and can be made use of
    in the nano device.

  • In the “bottom-up” approach, materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular recognition.

  • [35] Though biology clearly demonstrates that molecular machine systems are possible, non-biological molecular machines are today only in their infancy.

  • [26] These new phenomena make nanotechnology distinct from devices which are merely miniaturised versions of an equivalent macroscopic device; such devices are on a larger
    scale and come under the description of microtechnology.

  • The emergence of nanotechnology as a field in the 1980s occurred through convergence of Drexler’s theoretical and public work, which developed and popularized a conceptual
    framework for nanotechnology, and high-visibility experimental advances that drew additional wide-scale attention to the prospects of atomic control of matter.

  • Another view, put forth by Carlo Montemagno,[34] is that future nanosystems will be hybrids of silicon technology and biological molecular machines.

  • • Progress has been made in using these materials for medical applications; see Nanomedicine.

  • Nanowire lasers for ultrafast transmission of information in light pulses Main article: List of nanotechnology applications As of August 21, 2008, the Project on Emerging
    Nanotechnologies estimates that over 800 manufacturer-identified nanotech products are publicly available, with new ones hitting the market at a pace of 3–4 per week.

  • Such bottom-up approaches should be capable of producing devices in parallel and be much cheaper than top-down methods, but could potentially be overwhelmed as the size and
    complexity of the desired assembly increases.

  • • More generally, molecular self-assembly seeks to use concepts of supramolecular chemistry, and molecular recognition in particular, to cause single-molecule components to
    automatically arrange themselves into some useful conformation.

  • • Nanoscale materials can also be used for bulk applications; most present commercial applications of nanotechnology are of this flavor.

  • • Atomic force microscope tips can be used as a nanoscale “write head” to deposit a chemical upon a surface in a desired pattern in a process called dip pen nanolithography.

  • [29] In the “top-down” approach, nano-objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level control.

  • [64] Also, to build structures for on chip computing with light, for example on chip optical quantum information processing, and picosecond transmission of information.

  • The premise was that molecular-scale biological analogies of traditional machine components demonstrated molecular machines were possible: by the countless examples found
    in biology, it is known that sophisticated, stochastically optimized biological machines can be produced.

  • Nanotechnology, also shortened to nanotech, is the use of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale for industrial purposes.

  • It is hoped that developments in nanotechnology will make possible their construction by some other means, perhaps using biomimetic principles.

  • Main article: Nanomaterials Several phenomena become pronounced as the size of the system decreases.

  • • Atomic force microscope tips can be used as a nanoscale “write head” to deposit a resist, which is then followed by an etching process to remove material in a top-down method.

  • [1][2] A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defined nanotechnology as the manipulation
    of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.

  • Giant magnetoresistance-based hard drives already on the market fit this description,[47] as do atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques.

  • These include statistical mechanical effects, as well as quantum mechanical effects, for example the “quantum size effect” where the electronic properties of solids are altered
    with great reductions in particle size.

  • By convention, nanotechnology is taken as the scale range 1 to 100 nm following the definition used by the National Nanotechnology Initiative in the US.

  • However, quantum effects can become significant when the nanometer size range is reached, typically at distances of 100 nanometers or less, the so-called quantum realm.

  • Materials reduced to the nanoscale can show different properties compared to what they exhibit on a macroscale, enabling unique applications.

  • Molecular nanotechnology: a long-term view Main article: Molecular nanotechnology Molecular nanotechnology, sometimes called molecular manufacturing, describes engineered
    nanosystems (nanoscale machines) operating on the molecular scale.

  • Biomineralization is one example of the systems studied.

  • [29] • Molecular scale electronics seeks to develop molecules with useful electronic properties.

  • [48] • Solid-state techniques can also be used to create devices known as nanoelectromechanical systems or NEMS, which are related to microelectromechanical systems or MEMS.

  • • Focused ion beams can directly remove material, or even deposit material when suitable precursor gasses are applied at the same time.

  • Projects emerged to produce nanotechnology roadmaps[21][22] which center on atomically precise manipulation of matter and discuss existing and projected capabilities, goals,
    and applications.

  • For example, this technique is used routinely to create sub-100 nm sections of material for analysis in Transmission electron microscopy.

  • Origins Main article: History of nanotechnology The concepts that seeded nanotechnology were first discussed in 1959 by renowned physicist Richard Feynman in his talk There’s
    Plenty of Room at the Bottom, in which he described the possibility of synthesis via direct manipulation of atoms.

  • [28] Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology.

  • One example is the increase in surface area to volume ratio altering mechanical, thermal and catalytic properties of materials.

  • These products are limited to bulk applications of nanomaterials and do not involve atomic control of matter.

  • • Synthetic chemical methods can also be used to create synthetic molecular motors, such as in a so-called nanocar.

  • These methods are used today to manufacture a wide variety of useful chemicals such as pharmaceuticals or commercial polymers.

  • Molecular nanotechnology is especially associated with the molecular assembler, a machine that can produce a desired structure or device atom-by-atom using the principles
    of mechanosynthesis.

  • The precursors of these techniques preceded the nanotech era, and are extensions in the development of scientific advancements rather than techniques which were devised with
    the sole purpose of creating nanotechnology and which were results of nanotechnology research.

  • Thus, two or more components can be designed to be complementary and mutually attractive so that they make a more complex and useful whole.

  • [60] Research and development See also: World Intellectual Property Indicators Because of the variety of potential applications (including industrial and military), governments
    have invested billions of dollars in nanotechnology research.

  • Biomimetic approaches • Bionics or biomimicry seeks to apply biological methods and systems found in nature, to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology.

  • [65] Nanotechnology may have the ability to make existing medical applications cheaper and easier to use in places like the general practitioner’s office and at home.


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