Thursday, November 29, 2007


Nanotechnology is a field of applied science and technology casing a broad range of topics. The main unifying theme is the control of matter on a scale smaller than 1 micrometre, normally in the order of 1 to 100 nanometers, as well as the fabrication of plans of this size. It is a highly multidisciplinary field, drawing from fields such as functional physics, materials science, colloidal science, appliance physics, supramolecular chemistry, and even mechanical and electrical engineering. Much speculation exists as to what new discipline and technology may result from these lines of research. Nanotechnology can be seen as an extension of accessible sciences into the nanoscale, or as a recasting of existing sciences using a newer, most recent term.

Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology. In the bottom-up approach, materials and devices are built from molecular mechanisms which assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular appreciation. In the top-down approach, nano-objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level power. The impetus for nanotechnology comes from a renewed attention in colloidal science, coupled with a new invention of analytical tools such as the minute force microscope, and the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). Combined with refined processes such as electron beam lithography and molecular beam epitaxy, these instruments allow the purposeful manipulation of nanostructures, and led to the observation of novel phenomena.


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