Nanotechnology (Figure A) is defined here as the control of materials and devices at a molecular and atomic scale or a series of disciplines that works at the atomic and molecular level to create many types of structures or devices with improved molecular organization. Basically, there are two domains of interest, the top down approach meaning refinement of practices and techniques to the point that they operate at the nano level or the bottom up approach that focuses on building materials atom by atom.
Figure A: Nanotechnology
The scope of nanotechnology is vast. It will have significant impact on almost all industries and all areas of society, including fields as diverse as medicine, construction, computers, and the automotive industry. Categories of potential application include:
• These are small systems that can be viewed as an extension of biotechnology, and include such things as motors the size of a virus.
• Working at the nano-level will enable the creation of new kinds of materials. Already developed are carbon nanotubes which are stronger and lighter than steel but conduct electricity better than copper. Other possible new materials include those that have the ability to react to changing conditions.
• Incredible reduction in the size of electronic components, especially computer chips, will be possible with the introduction of nanotechnology.
One of the most anticipated uses of nanotechnology is the creation of medical nano robots, made up of just a few molecules and controlled by ultrasound or computer. These nano robots will be used to manipulate other molecules, destroying cholesterol molecules in arteries, targeting precisely and destroying only the cancer cells (while leaving the healthy one unaffected), or constructing nerve tissues atom by atom in order to cure paralysis.
There will be...