“SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIENDS”
THE RISE OF NANOTECHNOLOGY
|The carbon-60 buckyball molecule is shaped like a soccer ball. This carbon molecule has the ability to produce, among other applications, molecular-sized electronic devices.
Credit: Image from Science Beat, Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Nanotechnology is an aspect of material science that deals with structures that are less than 100 nanometers in size (a nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter). For comparison, the thickness of a human hair is about 50 microns (or 1/20th of a millimeter), or 50,000 nanometers. Nanotechnology can be applied to a range of purposes, including industry, medicine, and other types of research. It is basically concerned with manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale.
Nanotechnology can include work with semiconductors (using electronic properties of different materials), constructing materials using the chemical and electrical properties of their component molecules (“molecular self-assembly”), and development of new nanomaterials. Applications of nanotechnology include drug delivery materials, materials that are found in sunscreens, easy-to clean surfaces made of ceramic, glass, and metal surfaces, and wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Future applications could include carbon “nanotubes” for low-energy computer displays, for developing lighter and stronger materials for construction and the aerospace industry, and in optics, for energy production. Many companies and universities today are developing nanotechnology research centers to explore its potential in the future. We will almost certainly find in the future that “Little” is, in fact, very big…
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Nanotechnology could, in the future, revolutionize your life. There are probably applications of nanotechnology that we cannot even imagine at the present, but which may become very important in our lifetime.
This National Nanotechnology Initiative webiste provides facts and resources for nanotechnology.
This is an informational website from the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN).
This is a video about a Lawrence Berkeley National Labs nanotechnology program.
This video about the History of Nanotechnology is by a Duke University student, who submitted this for an e-studies Nanotechnology course.
This video is about the use of nanotechnology in cancer research.
Berkeley researchers fashion first transistors from single buckyballs
The Foresight Institute is involved in “advancing beneficial nanotechnology”: