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What, why and how?

The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom

Richard P Feynman (Noble laureate, 1965)

To make one understand the meaning of nanotech.


To understand some key concepts behind nanotech.

To give an overview of the history of nanotech.


To make one understand the present developments. To give an idea about the future scope of nanotech.

DEFINITION OF NANOTECHNOLOGY
Nanotech or Nanotechnology refers to the technology of creating materials , devices and functions using atomically manipulated matter. A study of this kind of matter which has new properties, constitutes an emerging branch of science namely nanoscience.

WHAT IS ATOMICALLY MANIPULATED MATTER?

UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT WITH GOLD AS EXAMPLE


Seeing a piece of gold such as 1 gram of it would mean seeing a billion, trillion atoms all at once. All the properties of gold that one is familiar with are associated with these large collections of atoms.

However, all these properties of gold will disappear if the size of the particles is brought down to a few nanometers. Such gold, composed of particles of size less than a few nanometers, will show different colors, depending on the size. Particles in the range of 5-30 nanometers will be red in color and above that they will be varying shades of blue.

CONTINUED:
When color changes, it means that the electronic structure of matter is changed as electronic transitions give rise to colour. Electronic transition reflect electronic properties and therefore these properties change. By electronic properties, I mean chemical , physical and mechanical properties . Thus matter at smaller scales results in completely different properties. New properties, earlier thought impossible, have been discovered just by changing the size.

METHODS OF ATOMICALLY MANIPULATING MATTER

Atomically manipulated structures can be made by chemical and physical methods. Generally speaking, there are two ways to make them: bottom- up and top- down methods.

TOP- DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP METHODS


TOP- DOWN METHOD BOTTOM- UP METHOD

Matter in the bulk or top in the hierarchy is brought down to smaller pieces by physical methods so that the pieces become nanometer in size. The breaking of matter to smaller dimensions is achieved by physical techniques, such as, milling.

Matter of nanometer size are made by assembling atoms from the bottom.

There are chemical methods available today with which the synthesis is possible in simple steps requiring minimal resources.

WHY PROPERTIES GET MODIFIED AT THE NANOSCALE?


Properties start changing when electrons in the matter feel confinement. When the dimensions of matter are reduced, the electron feels that its motion is restricted. Depending on the energy it possesses, the length at which it feels the effect of confinement vary. A matter with constituent units below 100 nm is called a nanomaterial.

Zero dimensional: e.g. quantum dots

One dimensional: e.g. quantum wires, nanotubes, nanowires, nanorods

Two dimensional: Eg. Graphene

Three dimensional: bulk materials

HISTORICAL OUTLINE
On December 29, 1959, Prof. Richard P. Feynman (Nobel Laureate, 1965) delivered the celebrated talk, Theres plenty of room at the bottom, which predicted the era of nanotechnology. He envisioned a new kind of technology by assembling things atom by atom, in todays terms, molecular nanotechnology. The terminology, nanotechnology itself came into being in 1974, due to Prof. Norio Taniguchi. The first example of artificially designed matter at the nanoscale was by Faraday who made colloidal gold which was ruby red in color.

Prof. Norio Taniguchi

APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECH AND CURRENT CAPABILITIES

GRAPHENE: A WONDER MATERIAL


Graphene is known for its strength. It is a sheet of atoms that you can actually pick up! It is amazingly transparent absorbing just 2.3 % of light that falls on it. Graphene stretches up to 20% and yet it is also the stiffest material. Graphene beats diamond at thermal conductivity. Graphene can carry more electricity, more efficiently faster and with more precision than any other material.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov

FUTURE APPLICATIONS

Novel Materials Functional world Solar energy Water New diagnosis and therapy. Transport