What is Nanotechnology: Definition and 158 Discussions

Nanotechnology, also shortened to nanotech, is the use of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale for industrial purposes. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Nanotechnology as defined by size is naturally broad, including fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, energy storage, engineering, microfabrication, and molecular engineering. The associated research and applications are equally diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to direct control of matter on the atomic scale.
Scientists currently debate the future implications of nanotechnology. 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. On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted.

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  1. D

    How hard and costly is it to manufacture a few nanometer-wide substance containing layers?

    How hard and costy is it to manufacture a layer of substance a few nanometers wide and how useful such structures would be?
  2. gggnano

    I Is it possible to have "ideal surface" whose highest peak is ~1 nm?

    I mean you could buy a mirror or silicon wafer but they give say 0.5 nm or 5nm 'roughness' which I suspect is the mean average roughness but this doesn't rule out a high "bump" way above the mean average such that for example 1 million bumps of 1 nm and just one of 5 will result in...
  3. gggnano

    Can I get any macro object of very small thickness such as 10 nm?

    I know graphene particles are small but how do I work with them separately? If you tell me easy-to-accomplish way for handling a single grain of graphene at home...OK. I was thinking about something like a very thin sheet of graphene, but in quantum measurements they are huge: micrometers and I...
  4. F

    I What are nanosystems and where can we find them in our daily lives?

    Hey everyone! I'm really interested in nanosystems and currently collecting information on the topic. I've read quite a few publications and been on some webistes such as nanoplus (they explained what they do really well!) but I would also like to see what my think-alikes on here have to say...
  5. P

    A Acceptable Atmosphere for CZ/Float-zone Refining

    Both the cz (Czochralski Process), and Float-zone refining of silicon require an inert atmosphere, usually argon. How pure does the argon atmosphere have to be? How high of a vacuum has to be pulled before releasing argon into the tank?
  6. P

    Silicon not heating with induction heater?

    I’m using an inductive heater to try to melt some 99.85% polycrystalline silicon, as would occur in the Czochralski process, but the silicon workpiece is not melting let alone even getting hot. The silicon workpiece is about the size of a playing dice. It becomes conductive at 200 F and becomes...
  7. Wrichik Basu

    Neutrophil nanosponges soak up proteins, reducing arthritis

    Have a look at the article here. From the article: Transmission electron microscopy of neutrophil nanosponges. Credit: Qiangzhe Zhang/Nature Nanotechnology
  8. P

    Why won't my silicon melt with a zvs inductive heater?

    I’m using a zvs inductive heater to try to melt some 99.85% polycrystalline silicon, as would occur in the Czochralski process, but the silicon workpiece is not melting let alone even getting hot. The silicon workpiece is about the size of a playing dice, and becomes fully conductive after...
  9. Phantoful

    Voltage on a quadrant photodiode used with an AFM

    Homework Statement An AFM uses a quadrant photo-diode to measure the deflection of the laser beam. Sketch the voltage in quadrants A, B, C and D as the tip travels on top of a single carbon nano-tube resting on a flat surface when the AFM is operating on tapping mode. Homework Equations Not...
  10. Superhet

    Courses Molecular nanotechnology and programmable matter

    My plan right now is to study a program called 'engineering physics with materials science' when I enter university in the fall. What I want to work with is molecular nanotechnology and programmable matter. I want to contribute to creating stuff like "computronium", utility fog, self-healing...
  11. H

    Astrophysics or nanotechnology?

    i am currently student of Applied physics in final year. for my final year project i was offered space,electronics and materials(nanotechnology) research work. i chose space research work but my institute is unable t provide its courses so we have to chose from materials and electronics. i chose...
  12. Kunal Aggarwal

    Medical How nanotechnology has affected treatment of tuberculosis?

    To be more precise, which nano particles are being used or can be used to deliver tuberculosis drugs in the human body?
  13. Avatrin

    The current state of nanotechnology

    Hi My question is not long, but it is very broad; Is nanotechnology simpy just a rebranding of material science? Is there anything else to it? I have not really seen it used outside chemistry and material science. Do simple nanomachinery exist? I guess on a more speculative level it exists...
  14. A

    B What would happen if nothing was like it is

    HI guys! I was thinking... What would happen if the atom were considered the smallest thing of the universe, or just that electrons, protons e neutrons were that? That would impact in semiconductors technologies? Or plasma? Or nanotech? How? Thanks in advance.
  15. O

    Physics Choosing the Best Degree for a Successful Career in Nanotechnology

    I am interested in pursuing a career in nanotechnology however i would like to know if i should do a B.TECH. Nanotechnology degree or something more specific like an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, materials science, etc. Please let me know which will be beneficial for my future...
  16. V

    Studying Physics, Chemistry or Nanotechnology?

    I am an university student, and I have the opportunity to choose the career in semester 5. Now, I am in semester 4 and I am indesicive between Physics, Nanotechnology and Chemistry. I am very afraid, It could be possible that you say me your experiences. I am interesning in materials, energy and...
  17. N

    Other Re; Nanomedical enteurpreneur

    I am currently doing a diploma of bio science i want to be a doctor and then research and start a nanomedical company , dealing with drug delivery systems, i want to know how to do such a thing
  18. Gamma

    Where Can I Find Recent Scholarly Articles on Nano-Propulsion and Drug Delivery?

    Hi experts, I am looking for scholarly articles (recent ones are better) on (1) Nano-propulsion and (2) Drug Delivery for a project for a high school student. I searched the internet, but hard to find recent scholarly articles. I am ready to pay a small fee to download them if available. I...
  19. N

    Nanotechnology -- is it worth it?

    i'm interested in studying nanotechnology at La trobe University and i want to know whether this is a good degree and whether i can do an engineering degree for my masters ?
  20. N

    A The spectral gap and it's decidability

    The article on undecidability of presence of spectral gap by describing its microscopic structure seems to contradict the fact that we can decide whether a CNT is metallic or semi -conducting by checking its diameter and its twist.
  21. ElPimiento

    Studying Courses/Books Recommended for Metamaterial Research?

    I'm a first year student in college and I've started shadowing under a grad student, who's in a nano-optics research group (http://www.nanoscience.ucf.edu/chanda/), in order to learn about microfabrication. I'd like to start conducting my own research soon; however, i don't know exactly what it...
  22. Ygggdrasil

    Making a Voltron out of DNA

    A figure in a recent paper from Science made me smile, so I thought I'd share it with you guys. The paper describes a new way of joining nanoscale building blocks together using DNA origami. It's based on the principle that if you have two DNA double helices with a gap in between (see the blue...
  23. Biscuit

    Chemistry Nanotechnology careers with biology and chemistry?

    Ok this is my first time posting but my questions about my future are tearing me apart. I am only a sophomore in high school but I am very interested/study physics and intend on perusing my phd. I find nano technology very Interesting and one of the most influential studies that interests me...
  24. F

    Engineering Relationship Mechanical Engineering and Nanotechnology

    I got a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and I am now doing a PhD in Nanotechnology in which I am synthesizing a nanomaterial. Someone just told me that nanotechnology is more like mechanical engineering and materials engineering than any other thing. Based on my work I can see the relationship...
  25. neosoul

    Preparatory classes for nanotechnology

    I think having a career in nanotechnology might be the right choice. However, my school doesn't offer a concentration in nanotechnology unless you are in chemistry. I would like to know some undergraduate courses that would be helpful to me if I decided to go on to get a masters in nanotechnology.
  26. F

    Teaching Physics with a PhD in Nanotechnology

    I will get my PhD in Nanotechnology on June 2016 and I want to know if I can teach physics in college or at least in high school with this degree.
  27. N

    Nanotechnology for engineering physics guy: which courses?

    Hi. I'm currently in my 3rd year of a 5-year MS program in engineering physics. I have decided to specialize in nanotech, and that into consideration I am a unsure on which courses I should take in my 4th. A professor I talked to told me I should definitely go for a "basic physics package"...
  28. F

    Ph.D. Student in Nanotechnology Considering a Career in Physics

    I´m now 30 years old (born in 1984) and I will be done with my Ph.d. in Nanotechnology in Mexico City. I am planning on getting married with my girlfriend (who is a U.S. citizen) on June 2016 and go live to the United States. I am now thinking what I would like to do after getting done with the...
  29. RealDoctorStu

    Superparamagents and superhot nanoparticle iron oxide

    I'm trying to understand superparamagentism. There is an experimental medical treatment that uses the superparamagnetism properties of nanoparticle-sized iron oxide particles. Injected into a cancer tumour, when the person is placed in a rapidly alternating magnetic field, the iron oxide...
  30. L

    Engineering Nanotechnology or mechanical engineering

    Hi! I am now doing my first semester for an integrated master's degree in mechanical engineering at a Norwegian university. I am doing well, but I have been second-guessing my choice for a while now. I have to admit I really was uncertain about what to chose, and while I mainly considered...
  31. I

    Surface plasmon dependence on surface area to volume ratio

    Hey everyone, I was recently reading a paper on surface enhanced Raman scattering, and it mentioned that plasmons (and for that matter surface plasmon polaritons-where my interest lies) are sensitive to the surface to volume ratio of the structure. I can begin to understand intuitively with...
  32. s@Ed-biophysics

    Help with Understanding DNA Nano Wire

    Hi there Is there anyone to help me about a definition of "DNA nano wire"?!
  33. R

    Seeking opinion of others on quantum systems control and estimation theory

    I am an EE graduate stumbled upon this exciting new field of research fusing control and estimation theory(EE) and quantum mechanics(Physics). I seeking opinion of experts and professionals regarding this field.I think it would be critical for development of new future quantum technologies and...
  34. S

    Can Nanotech/Bacteria Cure Ebola? Exploring Possibilities

    I was just wondering if some bacteria or nanotechnology could be genetically engineered to target the Ebola strains? Is this possible? If it is then why is no one coming up with a cure?
  35. ClaireBear1596

    Can't decide between physics and biomedical science.

    I'm currently in my second year of studying Physics in University(undergraduate) but I don't know if I should continue on this path. I'll start from the beginning... Ever since I was little I've always had a fascination with physics, I loved looking at the stars, read countless books on...
  36. voodooattack

    Flashover: A hard sci-fi novel I'm working on

    Here's a story I've been working on for the past week. It's more of an experiment really. This novel does (or will eventually) interact with a myriad of fields, including computer science, nanotechnology, molecular biology, and quantum mechanics. I'd really love to see some input from...
  37. M

    Schools Need Help with Advanced (Past AP) High School Courses

    I'm going into Senior year. I live I have taken 9 (3 I paid for so they don't count as dual enrollment) dual enrollment courses and next year I'm taking 4 more. I've reached my limit on college dual enrollment courses yet I have 2 spots in my schedule. I would like to use these to take...
  38. M

    Mastering Material Science: Preparing for a PhD in Nanotechnology at 19"

    Hello, I am new to this forum, but I will quickly introduce myself. I am a 19 year old student currently studying the second year for a bachelors degree in nanotechnology. My dream is to become a successful scientist in material science. I do read chemistry and physics more or less everyday, a...
  39. K

    Career for human life span study

    This might sound crazy, but I want to study pronging human life span. I am thinking of majoring molecular nanotechnology so that I can use this major to construct an artificial enzyme(medical nanorobot) that lengthens telomere (I know this is not the only issue of aging and death). I am not...
  40. T

    Best route to go for Nano Technology (but still be able to get a job?)

    I want to go into nanotechnology but also keep my options open for employment purposes when I graduate. At the moment I'm Chemistry & Material Science double major and I thought that'd be a good combo however at the moment I'm thinking, would MatSci for a B.S be oddly too specific for a B.S...
  41. T

    Civil vs Mechanical vs Electrical Enginnering which should I choose?

    I am a second year civil engineering student. I decided long ago since I was in high school that I would be in engineering. However I only chose civil because I couldn't decide which engineering disipline I should choose. My college only has 4 course in engineering including computer eng. A...
  42. D

    Materials Science vs Physics.

    I am a senior in high school and have a problem.. I want to pursue a career in nanotechnology, therefore I applied for an undergraduate place in MSE. The problem is that I've recently started reading about quantum physics and the structure of the physics (with theoretical physics) course and I...
  43. maverick_starstrider

    Can I Get A Reality Check (Accepting a Postdoc Or Not)

    Hi all, I apologize in advance for a bit of a lengthy preface on my question. I'm a PhD student in computational condensed matter (with a specialization in parallel and high-performance computing) who's just finishing off my degree. I don't want to continue in condensed matter...
  44. C

    Purpose of sheet resistance in thin film devices

    In optoelectronics and other nanotechnology applications (like organic photovoltaics, organic LEDs etc) most layers need to be electrically characterized among other types of measurements. Thus, sheet resistance is measured. An example are the 4-point-probe resistivity measurements. Yet, what...
  45. Etienne

    Programs Major in Bio-engineering or Nanotechnology?

    So... "long story short" I like Nanotechnology / Nanoengineering better than Bioengineering, but I also like Bio... my question is, which is a better major? Which will get me a better job or get me a job faster? Both fields are "new" and are promising in terms of future, but I've heard...
  46. L

    Best books about mapped genome and nanotechnology

    In PA, the libraries' reading program is about science. I read the book, "Life as we do not know it" and want a book explaining nanotechnology and a book about the mapped genome. Since I have no clue where to begin, I hope you could suggest a book in each category. I took advanced biology...
  47. shezi1995

    A career in Nanotechnology via pure sciences

    I have been offered admission by St Johns College Cambridge University for Natural science. In the first year I have to choose 3 experimental sciences along with maths. My options are physics, chem, materials science, computer science and some biological options. I am looking into a career in...
  48. B

    Nanotechnology engineering?

    Do you think this engineering major will be greatly challenging, more so than others? Tell me what you think about this major! It's currently offered at Waterloo in Canada.
  49. F

    12th Grade student, looking to do engineering

    I have applied to various universities in Canada for mechanical engineering. That is, I applied to general engineering, but all of the schools require supplementary applications on which you specify which type of engineering you want to pursue. At the University of Waterloo in Ontario, they...
  50. C

    Programs A masters degree in what?

    Next year I should start my master's degree (if everything goes well this year). I have my doubts regarding which area to choose. I know most the teachers. I know with which I would like to work. But I don't want that bias compromising my choice. My university has the following areas for...