Nanotechnology and polymer nanocomposites — страница 2

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technology which exploits phenomena and structures that can only occur at the nanometer scale, which is the scale of several atoms and small molecules. The United States' National Nanotechnology Initiative website [1] defines it as follows: "Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications." Such phenomena include quantum confinement--which can result in different electromagnetic and optical properties of a material between nanoparticles and the bulk material; the Gibbs-Thomson effect--which is the lowering of the melting point of a material when it is nanometers in size; and such structures as carbon nanotubes. Nanoscience and nanotechnology are an extension of the

field of materials science, and materials science departments at universities around the world in conjunction with physics, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and chemical engineering departments are leading the breakthroughs in nanotechnology. The related term nanotechnology is used to describe the interdisciplinary fields of science devoted to the study of nanoscale phenomena employed in nanotechnology. Nanoscience is the world of atoms, molecules, macromolecules, quantum dots, and macromolecular assemblies, and is dominated by surface effects such as Van der Waals force attraction, hydrogen bonding, electronic charge, ionic bonding, covalent bonding, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, and quantum mechanical tunneling, to the virtual exclusion of macro-scale effects such as

turbulence and inertia. For example, the vastly increased ratio of surface area to volume opens new possibilities in surface-based science, such as catalysis. History of use Richard Feynman, physicist The first mention of some of the distinguishing concepts in nanotechnology (but predating use of that name) was in "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," a talk given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech on December 29, 1959. Feynman described a process by which the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules might be developed, using one set of precise tools to build and operate another proportionally smaller set, so on down to the needed scale. In the course of this, he noted, scaling issues would arise from the

changing magnitude of various physical phenomena: gravity would become less important, surface tension and Van der Waals attraction would become more important, etc. This basic idea appears feasible, and exponential assembly enhances it with parallelism to produce a useful quantity of end products. The term "nanotechnology" was defined by Tokyo Science University Professor Norio Taniguchi in a 1974 paper (N. Taniguchi, "On the Basic Concept of 'Nano-Technology'," Proc. Intl. Conf. Prod. Eng. Tokyo, Part II, Japan Society of Precision Engineering, 1974.) as follows: "'Nano-technology' mainly consists of the processing of, separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule." In the 1980s the basic idea of this

definition was explored in much more depth by Dr. Eric Drexler, who promoted the technological significance of nano-scale phenomena and devices through speeches and the books Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology and Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation, (ISBN 0-471-57518-6), and so the term acquired its current sense. More broadly, nanotechnology includes the many techniques used to create structures at a size scale below 100 nm, including those used for fabrication of nanowires, those used in semiconductor fabrication such as deep ultraviolet lithography, electron beam lithography, focused ion beam machining, nanoimprint lithography, atomic layer deposition, and molecular vapor deposition, and further including molecular self-assembly

techniques such as those employing di-block copolymers. It should be noted, however, that all of these techniques preceded the nanotech era, and are extensions in the development of scientific advancements rather than techniques which were devised with the sole purpose of creating nanotechnology or which were results of nanotechnology research. Technologies currently branded with the term 'nano' are little related to and fall far short of the most ambitious and transformative technological goals of the sort in molecular manufacturing proposals, but the term still connotes such ideas. Thus there may be a danger that a "nano bubble" will form from the use of the term by scientists and entrepreneurs to garner funding, regardless of (and perhaps despite a lack of) interest