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One of the most exciting and fastest growing areas in science and engineering today is
nanotechnology. The subject arises from the convergence of physics, chemistry, biology,
materials science and electronics to create new functional systems of nanoscale
dimensions of the order of a billionth of a meter! In recognition of the enormous range of
potential applications evolving from Nanotechnology, both the public and private sectors
worldwide are making huge investments in this field.
    Manufactured products are made from atoms. The properties of these products
depend on how these atoms are arranged. If we rearrange the atoms in coal we can make
diamond .If we rearrange the atoms in sand (and add a few other trace elements) we can
make computer chips. If we rearrange the atoms in dirt, water and air we can make

     Today‟s manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level. Casting, grinding,
milling and even lithography move atoms in great thundering statistical herds. It‟s like trying to
make things out of LEGO blocks with boxing gloves on your hands. yes, you can push the
LEGO blocks into great heaps and pile them up, but you can‟t really snap them together the way
you‟d like.
     In the future, nanotechnology will let us take off the boxing gloves. We‟ll be able to snap
together the fundamental building blocks of nature easily, inexpensively and in most of the ways
permitted by the laws of physics. This will be essential if we are to continue the revolution in
computer hardware beyond about the next decade, and will also let us        fabricate an entire new
generation of products that are cleaner, stronger, lighter and more precise.
     A technology based on the ability to build structures to complex, atomic specifications by
means of mechanosynthesis; this can be termed molecular nanotechnology. Nanotechnology
is the science of creating highly miniaturized machines that work on the molecular level.
     Nanotechnology, an emerging frontier-a realm in which machines operates at scales of
billionths of a meter. It is actually a multitude of rapidly emerging technologies, based upon the
scaling down of existing technologies to the next level of precision and miniaturization. The
original vision for nanotechnology is sometimes termed „molecular technology‟or‟molecular
manufacturing-based nanotechnology‟.
     Nanotechnology is a hybrid science combining engineering, chemistry and to a certain extent
biology. Atoms and molecules stick together because they have complimentary shapes that lock
together or charges that attract. Just like magnets, a positively charged atom will stick to a
negatively charged atom. As millions of these atoms are pieced together by nanomachines, a
specific product will begin to take shape. The goal of nanotechnology is to manipulate atoms
individually and place them in a pattern to produce a desired structure.
    The future of nanotechnology at times becomes easier to predict. Computers will compute
faster, materials will become stronger and medicine will cure more diseases. The technology that
works at the nanometer scale of the molecules and atoms will be a large part of this future,
enabling great improvements in all fields of human presence. In the future decades, it could
make a super computer so small that it could barely be seen in a light microscope. Also
nanotechnology does propose to use self-replication, it does not propose to copy living systems.

    It‟s worth pointing out that the word nanotechnology has become very popular and is used to
describe many types of research where the characteristics dimensions are less than about
1,000nm.For ex, continued improvements in lithography have resulted in line widths that are less
than 1micron:This work is often called nanotechnology.sub-micron lithography is clearly very
valuable but it is equally clear that conventional lithography will not let us build semiconductor
Devices in which individual dopant atoms are located at specific lattice sites. If we are
continuing these trends we will have to develop a new manufacturing technology, which will let
us inexpensively build computer systems with mole quantities of logic elements that are
molecular in both size and precision and are interconnected in complex and highly idiosyncratic
patterns. Nanotechnology will let us do this.
    When it‟s unclear from the context whether we‟re using the specific definition of
nanotechnology or the broader and more inclusive definition, we‟ll use the terms “molecular
nanotechnology” or “molecular manufacturing”.
    Nanotechnology should let us:
    a) Get essentially every atom in the right place.
    b) Make almost any structure consistent with the laws of physics that we can specify in
molecular detail.
    c) Have manufacturing costs not greatly exceeding the cost of the required raw materials and
    There are two more concepts commonly associated with nanotechnology:
a) Positional assembly (to get the right molecular parts in the right places).
b) Massive Parallelism (to keep the cost down).
    The need for Positional assembly implies an interest in molecular robotics. E.g.) Robotic
devices that are molecular both in their size and precision. These molecular scale positional
devices are likely to resemble very small versions of their every day macroscopic counterparts.
    Positional assembly is frequently used in normal macroscopic manufacturing today and
provides tremendous advantages today.
    Nanotechnology could help revolutionize the industry, producing advances such as solar
power cells made of plastics to environmentally friendly batteries that detoxify themselves,
experts told United Press International. Thus Nanotechnology helps in improving the energy
options. Because nanomaterials have far more surface area for chemical reactions of storage,
they can become super catalysts. Electrical and thermal properties and strength of materials also
can improve dramatically. Simply put, nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials,
devices and systems through control of matter on the nanometer scale, and the exploitation of
novel properties and phenomena developed at that scale.
As scientists and engineers continue to push back the limits of chip
making technology,
they have quietly entered into the nanometer realm.
          For most people, the notion of harnessing nanotechnology for
electronic circuitry
Suggests something wildly futuristic. In fact, if you have used a
personal computer made
in the past few years, semiconductor built with nanometer_scale features
most likely
processed your work.
                    The recent strides are certainly impressive, but, you
might ask, is
semiconductor manufacture really nanotechnology? Indeed it is. After
all, the most
widely accepted definition of that word applies to something with
dimensions smaller
The best way to get a the first transistor gate under this mark that
than 100 nanometers, and flavor for the technical innovationswent
into production in in the
helped to usher
2000.Integrated circuits coming to market now have gates that are a
current era of nanochips is to survey improvements that have
scant 50 nanometer
been made 50 billionths of
wide. That‟s in each of the a meter, about a thousandth the width of a
stages required to manufacture a modern semiconductor. How
human hair.
in the world wasHaving such minuscule components conveniently
allows one to stuff a lot constructed? Let us survey the steps.
marvel of engineering
into a compact package, but saving space per se is not the impetus
1.steam oxidizes the surface
behind the push for
2. Photoresist coats oxidized wafer
extreme miniaturization. The reason to make things small is that it
3. Lithography transfers desired pattern from mask to wafer
lowers the unit cost for
4. Chemicals and bonus, harden unexposed photoresist. Other
each transistor. As a bakingthis overall miniaturization shrinks the size
parts of photoresist are
of the gates,
which are the parts of the transistors that switch between blocking
5. Chemical and
electric current etching selectivity strips off the oxide where no
allowing it toprotects it. Thenarrow the gates, the faster the transistors
photoresist pass. The more
can turn on and
rest of the raising the speed limits
off, thereby photoresist is removed for the circuits using them. So as
6. Ions shower
microprocessor gain etched areas, forming source and drain
more transistors, they also gain more speed.
                    The desire for boosting lithography during on a
7. Metal contacts are added using the number of transistors later
chip and for running it
stages of fabrication.
faster explains why the semiconductor industry, just as it crossed into
the new
Artificial sensors that are truly nanoscopic do not yet exist, as far as we
know. Devices
that exploit the change in conductivity of nanotubes when they are
exposed to specific
substances are perphas the closest to true nanosensors. Sensitivity to
different chemical
species can be achieved by suitably functionalizing (i.e., attaching
     1. They detect the deflection of a cantilever caused by surface stresses that arise
        when chemical to)
chemicala groups species binds to one of the two opposing sides of the cantilever;
        or                               Although the a vibrating cantilever when
the sensing elements. resonance frequency of tubes and wires used in these
    2. They measure the shift in the
sensors are several of the deposition of the molecules being detected.
        its mass increases because
microns long, it should be possible to make them shorter and still keep
their sensing
                                         sensors based A microscopic
capabilities. Chemical for future tsunamis.onpossible scenario cantilevers are
Using technology to prepare
being investigated by
several research groups, for tsunamis is called all. The world will
Employing future technologies to prepareand often timely for usnanosensors, but they are
continue to be at risk of tsunamis in the future. One scenario on how the Eastern United
really microscale
States is at risk, for example, is a potential eruption of the La Palma volcano on the
Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. A half-trillion ton of volcanic rock could
devices. These sensors use two primary mechanisms:
potentially slip into the ocean and, in a worse case scenario, send a "mega-tsunami"
across the Atlantic Ocean.
This post is intended to promote hope in a future where we just might be prepared for
such disasters. There are various disaster scenarios and how molecular technologies can
give us hope in a future brighter than what we've experienced in 2004.

  Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial
Intelligence Will Transform Our World,(a theoretical tsunami barrier manufactured
from carbon nanotubes)
Thousands of nanosensors implanted deep in the great calderas detect a huge magma
buildup thousands of feet below. Weeks pass. The volcano erupts. High-risk communities
have already moved thanks to disassembly and reassembly capabilities that arrived with
the deployment of nanotechnology. Tsunami warnings were raised along all coastlines.
Millions of vehicles were airborne in half an hour. Millions more potential victims made
it to the carbon-reinforced transport tunnels that permeate cities and double as evacuation
As the tsunami approaches the coastline, graphite nanotube-reinforced curtains lower
themselves from a string of floating barriers that line the coast. As the curtains unravel
toward the sea floor, they position themselves to form a slope: an artificial shoreline. At
an electronic command, their molecular structure transforms from flexible to rigid. Still, a
series of weakened pulses pass through, submerging coastal cities up to the fifth-story
Buildings are impregnated with carbon nanotubes thirty or more times stronger than steel,
rendering them virtually indestructible against wave action. Doors and windows are
hermetically sealed, turning buildings into submarines for the duration. External power
lines don't exist, having been replaced by transparent solar coatings on every building and
Twenty-four hours pass and the flood subsides. Things are still ugly. Yet before residents
have returned to check the damage, an army of biological nanites--nano-scale
mechanical-biological mites--emerges to start consuming the gunk. Because everything
has its own DNA or other nano-scale label, robots sort the debris and return it to its
designated location, or send it for recycling if it was destroyed. In a few days, the gunk is
gone. Bloated nanites have been transported to forests, where they fertilize the soil with
their load of nutrients. (Posted on Tuesday, December 28,2004)

Nanotech might not be ready in time for the next tsunami.

A tsunami warning system is crucial of course to give people time to
move the 1/2-
kilometer from the beach to the top of the hill. Even if there had been
such a system in
place in the recent Asian tsunami, there are some islands where there
isn't high enough
ground close enough to get to in time (Indonesia would have had less
than 20 minutes

Using technology to prepare for future tsunamis. A possible scenario
Perhaps if sea levels continue to rise, a barrier of this type could be built
in anticipation of
a tsunami as well and serve both purposes if built correctly?
Adaptable substance may cool computers and put a zoom lens in your cell phone.
A drop of water glides across the flat surface like quicksilver, moving effortlessly from
place to place as the surface is tilted. It's hard to believe that the little bead is water, for it
doesn't wet the surface as it races around, seemingly without friction.

The little drop in this impromptu laboratory demonstration isn't on an ordinary surface.
It's riding on "nanograss," a bed of upright silicon posts a thousand times thinner than a
human hair. Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies Inc., is
betting that nanograss will find its way into commercial products ranging from low-
friction boat hulls to heat sinks for computer processors and batteries with a shelf life of
25 years. It will be one of the first nanoscale technologies commercialized by Bell Labs
and its partner, the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium (NJNC).

"Nanograss is a whole new class of structure, where we are nanoengineering the surface
of a material," says David Bishop, a research vice president at Bell Labs and president of
the NJNC. "By adjusting the area of these posts and their density, and how you pattern
them, you can engineer how the fluid interacts with the substrate. So you are not stuck
with what nature gave you, and you can do lots of amazing things."

It is also possible to alter the properties of nanograss on the fly by changing the
temperature, applying ultrasound or a small voltage, or other means. A voltage builds up
an electrical field at the tips of the nanograss, and that changes its wettability through an
effect called electrowetting.

                                 That could allow the electrodes and electrolytes in a
                               battery to remain separated until the battery is needed,
                               extending its shelf life indefinitely. Conventional
                               batteries discharge at the rate of 3% to 5% a month, even
                               when not in use. Nanograss batteries will cost less and have
                               far higher power-to-weight ratios, researchers predict.

Other applications of nanograss include the following:

• Heat sinks for computer processors and other devices. "It's very hard to get high fluid
flows through small silicon channels; it kind of jams up," Bishop says. "But nanograss
allows much higher fluid flow because the liquid is only interacting with one-hundredth
as much surface."

Commercialization of the nanograss heat-sink idea is two to three years away, but Bell
Labs is about to sign a contract with a company to develop a "smart" heat sink that can
change its cooling properties as needs change, he says. The idea is noteworthy because
chipmakers have found that heat dissipation is one of the greatest obstacles to making
silicon circuits smaller than the current generation, at 90 nanometers.

• Liquid lenses. It's possible to construct tiny, cheap liquid lenses whose focal lengths
and other properties can be changed very quickly by the application of electrical fields.
Bishop predicts that disposable cameras and cell phones with zoom lenses based on this
idea could be available in a year.

• "Liquid photonics." In three to five years, nanograss might also go into switches,
power splitters, filters, multiplexes and other devices in order to manipulate light in ways
that are difficult to do by conventional means.

"Nanograss is an important technology because it combines a materials breakthrough
with electronic properties that enhance the material and allow it to be used as a platform
for a slew of applications," says Josh Wolfe, a managing partner at Lux Capital Group
LLC, a venture capital firm in New York.

Wolfe says such "hybridization of disciplines" is a defining characteristic of many
nanotech applications, and it allows for advancements that would have been impossible
in a world where scientists generally concentrated on just one field at a time.

MPhase Technologies Inc. in Norwalk, Conn., is working with Bell Labs and the NJNC
at Bell Labs' $400 million "nanofabrication laboratory" in Murray Hill, N.J., to develop
nanotech batteries. The parties will share any patents that result. MPhase will produce
some batteries itself and will license the technology to other battery makers, says Steve
Simon, the company's executive vice president for R&D.

MPhase will make conventional nonrechargeable batteries and "reserved" batteries --
those that don't combine the electrolyte and electrodes until the battery is needed, Simon
says. The batteries will be used in military applications in 2006 and in commercial
devices, such as cell phones, handheld devices and notebook computers, in about three
years. Preliminary benchmark data from mPhase shows that the batteries will have three
to four times the power-to-weight ratio of ordinary AA batteries.

That's what Bell Labs' David Bishop calls nanotechnology. "Physics, chemistry and
biology all intersect at the nanoscale, and all have gotten there simultaneously," he says.

"Nanotech is about bringing engineering precision and discipline to a world where we
know lots of interesting things happen at the nanoscale, rather than wait 5 billion years
for something to evolve," he adds.

Lucent Technologies in 2003 established the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium, a
regional partnership of Bell Labs, the state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Institute of
Technology. The heart and soul of the consortium is Bell Labs' nanoscale fabrication
facility, which can take an idea from concept to commercialization.
The National Science Foundation estimates that that by 2015, nanotechnology will
generate $1 trillion in revenue in the U.S. "It's now at a few tens of billions a year, so
over the next 10 to 15 years, nanotech revenue will grow by a factor of 100," Bishop
says. "No other area of technology is likely to grow at that rate. It's got a little bit of the
feel of the gold rush."
Scientists at Bell Labs, the research and development arm
of Lucent Technologies have
discovered an entirely new method to control the behavior
of tiny liquid droplets by
applying electrical charges to specially engineered silicon
surfaces that resemble blades
of grass. The new technique of manipulating fluids has
many potential applications,
including thermal cooling of integrated circuits for powerful
computers, novel photonic
components for optical communications, and small,
low-cost "lab-on-a-chip" sensor

"Once in a while, we get a research breakthrough that has
wide applicability across many
fields," said David Bishop, vice president of
nanotechnology at Bell Labs and president
of the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium. "The
techniques resulting from this
research might be applied to fields that range from optical
networking and advanced
micro batteries to self-cleaning windshields and more
streamlined boat hulls."

The advance that made this possible was a breakthrough
technique that Bell Labs
scientists developed for processing silicon surfaces, so that
these surfaces resemble a
lawn of evenly cut grass, with individual "blades" only
nanometers in size. (A nanometer
is a billionth of a meter, roughly one hundred thousand
times smaller than the diameter of
a human hair).
"Such behavior may be harnessed to cool computer
chips," Krupenkin said. "A droplet
could be sent to a hot spot on the chip, where it would
sink in and absorb the heat, and
then go on its way, avoiding the expense and
inefficiency of applying a coolant or a heat
sink to an entire chip."

Another application for this technique may be in optical
networking. For example,
moving a droplet of fluid into a nanograss surface can
alter the physical properties of the
transmitting medium through which light signals are
sent, and this may lead to better
methods for optical switching. Novel optical
components, such as filters, could be created
by moving the fluid into and out of nanograss areas,
Krupenkin said.

Bell Labs and the New Jersey Nanotech Consortium are
also exploring using the
technique to create powerful, next-generation reserve
micro batteries. Conventional
batteries have electrochemical reactions proceeding at
some level all the time, even when
batteries are not being used. Over time, the batteries
degrade. By using the Bell Labs
technique to isolate the liquid electrolyte so that
electrochemical reactions do not take
place until power is actually needed, nanograss-based
micro batteries may be ideal for
long-term, higher capacity battery applications,
especially where bursts of power are
Uniform that makes soldiers invisible in the works:

The Army is hunting for a new military uniform that can make soldiers
nearly invisible,
grant superhuman strength and provide instant medical
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is up for the

The school said Wednesday it has been awarded a five-
year, $50 million dollar grant to develop the armor, which
could detect threats and protect against projectiles and
biological or chemical weapons.

"We're not there yet, but it's not science fiction," said Ned
Thomas, director of the MIT-affiliated Institute for Soldier

                                                              An artist‟s illustration
                                                             depicting the possible look of
                                                             the U.S armed forces battle
                                                             uniform of the future.

All this would be achieved by developing particle-sized materials and devices — called
"nanotechnology" — nestled into the uniform's fabric.

Supercharged shoes could release energy when soldiers jump, propelling them over a 20-
foot wall. Micoreactors could detect bleeding and apply pressure. Light-deflecting
material could make the suit blend in with surroundings.

MIT's research centers had been working on nanotechnology ideas long before getting
involved with the Army, but not with military applications in mind. But the groundwork
has been laid for revolutionary advances.`
Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices and systems through
control of matter on the nanometer length scale (1-100 nanometers), and exploitation of
novel phenomena and properties (physical, chemical, biological, mechanical, electrical...)
at that length scale. For comparison, 10 nanometers is 1000 times smaller than the
diameter of a human hair. A scientific and technical revolution has just begun based upon
the ability to systematically organize and manipulate matter at nanoscale. Payoff is
anticipated within the next 10-15 years.

Why Nanotechnology at NASA?
       Advanced miniaturization is a key thrust area to
      enable new science and exploration missions
     - Ultrasmall sensors, power sources,
      communication, navigation, and propulsion
      systems with very low mass, volume and power
      consumption are needed
       Revolutions in electronics and computing will
      allow reconfigurable, autonomous, "thinking"
       Nanotechnology presents a whole new spectrum
      of opportunities to build device components and
      systems for entirely new space architectures
     - Networks of ultrasmall probes on planetary
  - Micro-rovers that drive, hop, fly, and burrow
     - Collection of microspacecraft making a variety
     of measurements


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