Ward's World Activity Guides

41544_Ward's World+MGH Nanotechnology

View, download, and print free resources for your science classroom.

Issue link: https://wardsworld.wardsci.com/i/1480125

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 4

1 Nanotechnology Article by: K. Eric Drexler, Foresight Institute, Palo Alto, California. Access to this content is available to Ward's World readers for free from McGraw Hill's AccessScience, an award-winning, digital STEM resource that provides immediate, authoritative answers to students' thirst for scientific knowledge on topics such as climate change, virology, pollution, and more. Ward's World and McGraw Hill have partnered to offer educators a no-obligation, free trial subscription to this product. Request your free trial today and discover how valuable AccessScience can be for you and your students. Techniques and products involving nanometer-scale structures, with dimensions ranging from 1 to 100 nano- meters, especially those that transform matter, energy, and information using nanometer-scale components with precisely defined molecular features. In the late 1980s, the term nanotechnology entered widespread use to describe anticipated technologies based on the use of molecule-based machine systems designed to build complex products with atomic precision. Since the mid-1990s, usage has broadened to embrace instruments, processes, and products in which key di- mensions are in the 1–100-nm range. Technologies that fit this definition are extremely diverse, but many could potentially contribute to the development of new products and processes such as advanced molecular manufacturing. Products include nanoscale particles, fibers, and films of diverse materials and structures; nanoscale structures for electronics (many integrated circuits now qualify); structures formed by spontaneous molecular aggregation (self-assembly); and solids containing nanoscale grains or pores. The means and materials used to produce nanoscale and nanotextured structures often have little in common, and their applications range from stain-resistant clothing to state-of-the-art electron- ics. Many nanotechnologies are a continuation of preexisting fields under a new label. What they share (particularly toward the lower end of the 1 – 100 nm range) is the emergence of novel properties, relative to the corresponding bulk materials, associated with surface and quantum effects, together with a distinctive set of instruments and computational modeling techniques. Grouping these diverse nanotechnologies together has fostered a vibrant cross-fertilization of disciplines. Long-term objectives Progress in nanotechnology can be judged by several metrics, but long-term objectives include atomic precision, arbitrary complexity, low-cost production, and large-scale products. The metrics of complexity and scale define the chief fron- tiers. In small structures, precision has already reached the atomic limit. Examples include quantum dots, engineered biomolecular objects, self-assembled molecular structures, and sections of carbon nanotubes. For systems built with atomic precision, scale limits complexity. Great complexity is possible, + ward ' s science Content • Long-term objectives • Productive nanosystems • Basic principles • Applications Key Concepts • Nanotechnology is the study and application of components at the molecular level, on scales ranging from 1 to 100 nanometers. • Nanotechnology is especially used in transforming matter, energy, and information with products including nanoscale particles, fibers, and films; integrated circuits and other electronics structures; self-assembling structures; and solids such as graphene. • Much of the focus in nanotechnology is the development of productive nanosystems, which put the manufacturing of precise molecular systems under programmatic control. • The basis for productive nanosystems is mechanosynthesis, which is the synthesis of molecules in planned sequences and positions, using mechanical forces to move the reactant atoms or molecules.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Ward's World Activity Guides - 41544_Ward's World+MGH Nanotechnology