Thursday, February 16, 2006


Definition: The development and use of devices that have a size of only a few nanometres. Research has been carried out into very small components, many of which depend on quantum effects and may involve movement of a very small number of electrons in their action. Such devices would act faster than larger components. Considerable interest has been shown in the production of structures on a molecular level by suitable sequences of chemical reactions or lithographic techniques. It is also possible to manipulate individual atoms on surfaces using a variant of the atomic force microscope to make, for example, high density data storage devices.

In 2003, a number of nanotech enhanced consumer items went on sale.

Also Known As: Nano Machines, micromachines, micro machines, nanotech, nanobots

Alternate Spellings: nano technology

Examples: The IBM millipede prototype stores data in the form of microscopic pits melted into a polymer by an array of atomic force microscope cantilevers.

Also research into carbon nanotubes is opening up new areas of nanotechnology like composite fibres and nanowires (see image).

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