What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology (“nanotech”) is science, engineering, and technology of the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.
The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology. A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defines nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.
The ideas and concepts behind nanoscience and nanotechnology started with a talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on December 29, 1959, long before the term nanotechnology was used. In his talk, Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules. Over a decade later, in his explorations of ultraprecision machining, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term nanotechnology. It wasn’t until 1981, with the development of the scanning tunneling microscope that could “see” individual atoms, that modern nanotechnology began.
Much of the work being done today that carries the name ‘nanotechnology’ is not nanotechnology in the original meaning of the word. Nanotechnology, in its traditional sense, means building things from the bottom up, with atomic precision. This theoretical capability was envisioned as early as 1959 by the renowned physicist Richard Feynman.
I want to build a billion tiny factories, models of each other, which are manufacturing simultaneously. . . The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big. — Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winner in physics
Scientists currently debate the future implications of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics, biomaterials energy production, and consumer products.
Nanotechnology Development Finance
Nanotechnologies has vast new applications for solving major problems and creating opportunities for the human race. If nanotechnology solutions can be commercialised it can transform entire industries and substantially improve the way we live.
Commercialisation of nanotechnologies often requires extensive capital investment over an extended period. This is especially so when it comes to nanotech development, the research and development phase tends to be relatively lengthy and length of this phase is hard to predict. Furthermore, because many projects will never be successful, many projects find it difficult to get finance.
It is therefore the ability to obtain finance that determines the success or failure of a nanotechnology development venture, especially during the early phase.
Obtaining commercial finance can therefore be the determining factor between success and failure of nanotechnology development projects, especially in the early stages. Successful finance often requires a mix of ‘investors’ and bank finance secured by commercial property or residential property to ensure that interest rates remain affordable.
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