1.1 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
"There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom"
by the physician and Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman, 29.12.1959 1
Nanoscience and nanotechnology if a field of science and technology deal with syn-
thesis, study of properties and assembly and fabrication of structures and matter at the nano-
meter scale or sizes of about 1×10-9 to about 100×10-9 m. The relation from a nm to a meter is
like the diameter of a hazelnut to the diameter of the earth. The new effect of nanometer size
results in new properties2 and unique properties that are neither of bulk nor of
atomic/molecular. Some of these unique properties include:
New quantum mechanical and quantum size effects
Higher surface area that is useful for catalysis
Increased magnetic susceptibility
Size and shape dependent optical absorption
"Bottom-up" synthetic methods involving self-assembly of atomic or molecular building
blocks into well-ordered nanostructures is getting more popularity among chemists in their
efforts to develop synthetic methods various types of novel nanomaterials and to investigate
their properties. Nanoscience and nanotechnology involve development of synthetic methods
to new nanomaterials having unique properties and materials engineering strategies to new
nanosystems and nodevices. For example, the synthesis of nanoparticles that have increased
surface-to-volume ratios are often are useful catalysts and may have improved catalytic prop-
erties because of their unique surface properties. Nanomaterials also often result in unique
optical properties (e.g. optical absorption and fluorescent properties) which can be a function
of their sizes, composition and structures.
The field of nanoscience and nanotechnology are growing fast as promising scientific and
industrial societal applications and benefits are rapidly evolving in areas such as:
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