Introduction to nanotechnology PDF Print E-mail
Technology - Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology introduction

Introduction to nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a relatively new field of research and scientific development. It has been speculated about for decades and the wonders and advantages of nanotechnology have been extolled by many. But not all.

The scientific community, in its never ending quest for information and knowledge, consistently fails to seriously acknowledge the dangers of "invisible" technology, such as nanotechnology, going haywire. Nothing is ever to go wrong according to them yet it always does somehow.

In this respect, nanotechnology is not different from other new disciplines. We, as humans, don't seem to have the capacity to really learn to understand something before we start to mess with it on a big scale.

And when things do go wrong - just imagine an autodidactic nano-intelligence on the loose - we end up fighting the symptoms, pointing fingers at each other, and deny any or all culpability.

Forethought of possible consequences is usually far from our minds as we are caught up, or pushed by superiors, to make the research investment profitable as soon as possible.


SmPlanGear.gif (16598 bytes)


Money seems to be all that matters these days, and so it is with nanotechnology. It will need to prove itself in the boardroom as much as the laboratory otherwise it will go the way of other developments that failed the "money test" and disappear into the archives and filing cabinets of the world.

But nanotechnology does have very dangerous potential, and we should be very careful with it.


Nanotechnology news and developments

Having said that, nanotechnology is a fast developing field. Keeping up to date with its developments is necessary if you are serious about gaining knowledge in this field.

New discoveries and uses are made frequently and from all over the academic and commercial world. Research results, applications and products are being published and marketed continuously.

While it's not difficult to imagine the dangers of nanotechnology, we should also acknowledge its positive potential.



As long as we refrain from building nano-robots that evolve into an intelligence set out to destroy us, there are many practical uses for this technology.

In the medical field alone, for example, nanomedicine can be a great help to conventional medicine. The detailed workings of human, and other, bodies are often on the nano-scale. Being able to work - and correct - at this level is far more attractive and can be much more effective than applying external factors such as surgery or pharmaceuticals.




Nanotechnology news and development

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (US)
News and developments at the IMM.

News and discussion about nanotechnology, its applications and developments.

Nanotechnology portal with basics, news and general information.

Journal of Molecular Modeling (D)
A popular journal of molecular manufacturing and related disciplines.

News and the latest developments and applications concerning nanotechnology.
Portal for nanotechnology news and information.

Nanotechnology research

Medical applications and research centers.


Nanotechnology medical applications and research centers

The Nanomedicine Page - Centre for Nanomedical Information at the Foresight Institute (US) Nanobiotechnology Center - Cornell University (US)
Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Initiative - National University of Singapore Biomedical Engineering Center - Ohio State University (US)
Center for Nanotechnology- University of Washington (US) Delft University of Technology, NanoScience Department (NL)
Their nanotechnology research group includes such diverse topics as "Quantum Transport" applications.
International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering

Nanotechnology definitions

Another popular way of defining or categorizing nanotechnology is as a "future technology". Below are some of the official definitions to which we have added our own.

Nanotechnology definitions

"...a brief introduction to the core concepts of molecular nanotechnology."
Source:  Zyvex

Nanotechnology is the miniaturization of technology to the billionth of a meter (the nanometer) to the molecular level. It is the design and manufacturing of intelligent miniature machines, programmed to perform specific tasks. 

Nanotechnology is the postulated ability to manufacture objects and structures with atomic precision, literally atom by atom. This would mirror the abilities of living cells (which do exactly the same thing, although based on evolution and not design).
Source: Swedish Transhumanist Foundation (STHF)

nanotechnology (nan'-o-tek-nahl'-o-jee), n.,
the art of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices (as robots)
Source: Merriam Webster

Atomically precise image of a carbon nanotube. Note the helical winding. For small diameter tubes, the helical winding determines the electrical characteristics of the tube. Image due to [Dekker 1999]. Used with permission.

Nanotechnology web sites

Nanotechnology sites and newsgroups

Yahoo! Nanotechnology newsgroups listing
Nanotechnology Database - Loyola College, Maryland (USA)
Nanotechnology Industries - Listing of nanotechnology information and sites


Nanomedicine, Volume I
- First technical book on medical nanorobotics ever published (Landes Bioscience, 1999)


Nanotechnology reference materials

AddThis Social Bookmark Button