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About the book
Essentials of Nanotechnology provides an up-to-date overview of this fast-changing field
Essentials of Nanotechnology is an ebook to download free of charge.
Nanotechnology is an exciting and innovative field that addresses matter, and the manipulation of matter, at the atomic scale. Nanotech, as it’s often called, is considered to be the current technological revolution, following on the heels of the information revolution.
Written by Dr. Jeremy Ramsden, this ebook provides a complete look at nanotech—its history, its current usage, and it’s direction. Because the field of nanotechnology is advancing so rapidly, and keeping up to date is challenging, the author has included resources for further reading.
With nanotechnology, raw materials like nanoparticles, nanofibres, and graphenes are used to make things, such as nanodevices. These small machines may be electronic, magnetic, photonic, mechanical, fluidic, or biomedical. Creating these nanodevices requires atomic-scale manufacturing, or nanofacture.
Other exciting applications are bionanotechnology, which uses DNA as construction material, and nanomedicine, which may enable tiny machines to repair our bodies.
Essentials of Nanotechnology is an ebook to download free of charge.
Welcome to this Study Guide to nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is widely considered to constitute the basis of the next technological revolution, following on from the first Industrial Revolution, which began around 1750 with the introduction of the steam engine and steelmaking (and which parallelled, or perhaps caused, upheavals in land ownership and agriculture practice). The Industrial Revolution constituted as profound a change in society and civilization as the earlier Stone, Bronze and Iron revolutions, each of which ushered in a distinctly new age in the history of human civilization. A second Industrial Revolution began around the end of the 19th century with the introduction of electricity on an industrial scale (and which paved the way for other innovations such as wireless communication), and most recently we have had the Information Revolution, characterized by the widespread introduction of computing devices and the internet.
Insofar as the further development of very large-scale integrated circuits used for information processing depends on reducing the sizes of the individual circuit components down to the nanoscale (i.e., a few tens of nanometres), the Information Revolution has now become the Nano Revolution—just as steam engines powered dynamos for the industrial generation of electricity. But, nanotechnology brings its own distinctive challenges, notably: (i) handling matter at the atomic scale (which is what nanotechnology is all about—a synonym is “atomically precise engineering”) means that qualitatively different behaviour needs to be taken into account; and (ii) in order for atomically precisely engineered objects to be useful for humans, they need to be somehow multiplied, which introduces the problem of handling vast numbers of entities.
One should not underestimate the multidisciplinary nature of nanotechnology. This forces researchers to adopt a manner of working more familiar to scientists in the 19th century than in the 21st. Many active fields in nanotechnology research demand an understanding of diverse areas of science. Sometimes this problem is solved by assembling teams of researchers but members of the team still need to be able to effectively communicate with one another. An inevitable consequence of this multidisciplinarity is that the range of material that needs to be covered is rather large. As a result, some topics have had to be dealt with rather sketchily in order to keep the size of this book within reasonable bounds, but I hope I may be at least partly excused for this by the continuing rapid evolution of nanotechnology, which in many cases would make additional details superfluous since their relevance is likely to be soon superseded. Fundamental discoveries will doubtless continue to be made in the realm of a very small—and given the closeness of discoveries to technology in this field, in many cases they will doubtless be rapidly developed into useful products.
References to the original literature are only given (as footnotes to the main text) when I consider the original article to be seminal, or that reading it will bring some additional illumination. At the end of each chapter I list some (mostly relatively short) authoritative review articles (and a few books) that could be usefully read by anyone wishing to go into more detail. These lists do not include standard texts on topics such as the general properties of matter, electricity and magnetism, optics, quantum mechanics, and so forth.
1. What is nanotechnology?
1.2 History of nanotechnology
1.3 Context of nanotechnology
1.4 Further reading
2. Motivation for nanotechnology
2.4 Issues in miniaturization
2.5 Other motivations
3. Scaling laws
3.3 Device performance
3.5 Further reading
4.1 Imaging nanostructures
4.2 Nonimaging approaches
4.3 Other approaches
4.4 Metrology of self-assembly
4.5 Further reading
5. Raw materials of nanotechnology
5.4 Graphene-based materials
5.5 Biological effects of nanoparticles
5.6 Further reading
6.1 Electronic devices
6.2 Magnetic devices
6.3 Photonic devices
6.4 Mechanical devices
6.5 Fluidic devices
6.6 Biomedical devices
6.7 Further reading
7.1 Top-down methods
7.2 Molecular manufacturing
7.3 Bottom-up methods
7.4 Intermolecular interactions
7.5 Further reading
8.2 Characteristics of biological molecules
8.3 Mechanism of biological machines
8.4 Biological motors
8.5 The cost of control
8.6 Biophotonic devices
8.7 DNA as construction material
8.8 Further reading
9. New fields of nanotechnology
9.1 Quantum computing and spintronics
9.4 Three concepts
9.5 Further reading
10. Implications of nanotechnology
10.3 Opposition and scepticism
10.4 A sober view of the future
10.5 Further reading
About the Author
Jeremy Ramsden obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in natural sciences (comprising physics, chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology and mathematics) from Cambridge University (UK). While he was a master's student he carried out pioneering research on silver halide nanoparticles as a staff scientist at Ilford Limited. He obtained his doctorate (1985) in chemical physics at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with a thesis on the electronic properties of semiconductor nanoparticles under the supervision of Michael Grätzel. Following that he was a postdoctoral student at Princeton University (Department of Chemistry) and then a visiting scientist at the Biocentre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged, after which he moved to the Biocentre of Basel University, initially working on the electrical properties of biological membranes but then developing integrated-optical techniques for investigating the structure and dynamics of thin films. This technology was transferred to the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich (Laboratory of Chemical Engineering) where Dr Ramsden spent a year as visiting scientist before returning to the Basel Biocentre. He obtained his habilitation in biophysical chemistry in 1994 and became head of the Laboratory of Surface Biochemistry. In 2002 he was appointed full (ordinary) Professor and Chair of Nanotechnology at Cranfield University (UK). From 2003 until 2009 he held the concurrent appointment of Research Director of Bionanotechnology at Cranfield University at Kitakyushu (Japan), where he also maintained a laboratory. He was appointed to the board of the Integrated Nano Science & Commodity Exchange (INSCX) in 2010. At the end of 2011 he left Cranfield University and took on an executive rôle in INSCX as Chief Technology Officer. Since 2012 he is Honorary Professor of Nanotechnology at the University of Buckingham (UK), Britain's only fully private university. He has several times served as visiting professor at universities in Argentina, France, Georgia, Hungary and Japan. Prof. Ramsden's research interests cover a broadrange of nanotechnology but especially nanoparticles and other nano-objects, the nano/bio interface, self-assembly and chemical sensing. He has authored or co-authored over 200 research articles published in international peer-reviewed journals, made a comparable number of conference presentations and has written about a dozen books including three textbooks on nanotechnology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Nanotechnology Perceptions, a IUPAC Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in London.
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