Nanotechnology is a relatively new science and is the building of molecular structures, atom by atom. It involves altering and manipulating structures of atoms at the 'nano scale'. The prefix 'Nano' comes from the Greek word which means"dwarf". The term is fitting as the nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a conventional metre (m). Although this field of science is fairly new, it has been unknowingly used throughout history in ceramics and glass making [Refer to 'History' page]. However what has changed recently is an explosion in our ability to image, engineer and manipulate systems in the nanometer scale.
It is important to understand just how small the molecular level is, the diagram below shows this in relation to other known objects.
|A Carbon Nanotube|
Since different forms of the Carbon Nanotube are excellent conductors there is a big future for them especially in the realm of computers and electronics. Also they hold great promise as they can very easily penetrate membranes (such as in cell walls), therefore those properties are currently being exploited in the medical field, to be used for drug delivery.
|An Atomic Force Microscopy|
The first is the 'Atomic Force Microscopy' (or AFM as featured in diagram) is a a very high-resolution type of 'scanning probe microscopy' meaning that it can take images of atoms on the nanometer. One of the strongest advantages of using a AFM is the fact that it can take images on virtually any type of surface from ceramics and composites to biological samples.
The second is the 'Scanning Tunneling Microscopy' (or STM) which is a power type of electrons microscopy that shows three-dimensional images of a sample at the atomic level. A down-side to the use of the STM is it can only be used at temperatures from 0 degrees to 100 and only in a 'ultra high vacuum'.
The main purpose of this blog is to inform you of all the different ways (or fields) that nanotechnology will impact on your life in the future. This blog provides you with background information on all the general aspects about the study of nanotechnology, in order for you to gain a full understanding of what is happening and what will happen with nanotechnology. Click on 'Sum-Up' page for more detailed conclusion for this question.