A Study Of Nanotechnology Definition Computer Science Essay

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"Nanotechnology "was the term first coined by a Japanese Scientist- Nario Tariguchi in 1974. Nanotechnology has influenced each and every field and has brought in a change in each and every aspect of our lives. Researches are being carried out on nanotechnology on a very wide scale, all over the world. Nanotechnology has been described as an enabling technology and has the capacity to drive every stream of technology in future.


So what exactly is nanotechnology? One of the problems facing nanotechnology is the confusion about its definition. Most definitions revolve around the study and control of phenomena and materials at length scales below 100 nm and quite often they make a comparison with a human hair, which is about 80,000 nm wide. Some definitions include a reference to molecular systems and devices and nanotechnology 'purists' argue that any definition of nanotechnology needs to include a reference to "functional systems". The inaugural issue of Nature Nanotechnology asked 13 researchers from different areas what nanotechnology means to them and the responses, from enthusiastic to skeptical, reflect a variety of perspectives. (www.nanowerk.com) . Nanotechnology may be aptly defined as (without any constraints or arbitrary size limitations) "The design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlled manipulation of size and shape at the nanometer scale (atomic, molecular, and macromolecular scale) that produces structures, devices, and systems with at least one novel/superior characteristic or property". (Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 150-158, June 2005).


A nanometer is one thousand millionth of a meter when compared to a red blood cell (7000 nm) and a water molecule (0.3 nm across). Thus, the nano scale is defined to be from 100 nm to 0.2 nm. At this scale, the various chemical and physical properties of the particle differ from those of the particles at the larger scale. Hence the nano scale is of extreme significance. Nano sciences and Nano technologies are not new. Polymers, which are large molecules made up of nano scale subunits, have been made by chemists for many decades in the past, however Nanotechnologies have been put to use in order to create the tiny features on computer chips. The advances in the tools are such that the atoms and molecules that need to be examined can be easily examined and probed with greater precision. This, as a result, has expanded the development of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies.

The bulk properties of the material often changes dramatically, when the size of the material subunits goes on decreasing. Hence, composites made of particles of nano size ceramics or metals etc. which are smaller than 100 nm are much stronger than predicted. For example: metal particles with grain size 10 nm are 7 times stronger than their ordinary larger grain size counterparts (approximately 100 nm). The causes of these drastic changes are in accord with the principles of quantum physics. The bulk properties that affect a particle are the average of all the quantum forces affecting all the atoms of the particles, as the size of the particle reduces, gradually there comes a point where this averaging fails to work i.e. the quantum forces no longer exist to affect the atom of the particle, thus rendering it stronger. At the nano scale the properties differ for two main reasons:

The surface area of nano materials is larger as against that of the materials made on a larger scale. This phenomenon affects the reactive properties of the material when produced in a much lower form than its actual ordinary form. For eg: Certain materials when are naturally inert, however when produced in much lower form ( nano form),tend to loose their inert nature and become reactive. This also affects their strength and electrical properties.

Quantum physics could possibly begin to affect the nature and behavior of materials produced at the nano scale- particularly at the lower end. The properties usually affected are optical, electrical and magnetic behavior of materials.


Structured components having one of the dimensions at least less than 100 nm are generally categorized as nano materials. There are two categories in nano materials: One dimensional nano materials and two dimensional nano materials.

One dimensional nano materials have one dimension in the nano scale and are extended in the other two dimensions where as, two dimensional nano materials have two dimensions in the nano scale and are extended in one dimension. One dimensional nano wires include thin films or surface coatings. And two dimensional nano materials include nano wires and nano tubes. Precipitates, colloids and quantum dots (tiny particles of the semiconductor material) that are nano scale in three dimension. As a particle decreases in size, more number of atoms start getting exposed on to the surface of the molecule than those present in the interiors of the molecule. For eg: A particle of size 40 nm has 5 % of its atoms exposed to its surface whereas a particle of size 10 nm will have 20 % of its atoms exposed to the surface.



One dimensional nanomaterials such as thin films and engineered materials have been used in various fields such as electronic device manufacture, chemistry, engineering etc. Nanomaterials have been used in the silicon-integrated circuit industry as many devisec require thin films for their operation and functioning. Usually, the film thickness approaches the atomic level. Monolayers which are one atom or molecule deep, are also used in chemical industries.


Two-dimensional nanomaterials include tubes and wires which have managed to stir the interests of a considerable amount of scientists in the science community globally. Their main features and the novel properties: electrical and mechanical, are a subject of rigorous research.


Sumio Lijima in 1991, was the first to discover carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes may be defined as extended tubes made up of rolled graphene sheets . They mainly occur in two types: single walled (one tube) or multi walled (several concentric tubes). Both of the types of carbon nanotubes occur in a range of a diameter that ranges from a few nanometers and several micrometers to centimeters long. The chemical and physical properties of carbon nanotubes are very strong. These novel properties and behavior of carbon nanotubes gives them the potential to be applied in reinforced composites, sensors, nanoelectronics and display devices. Carbon nanotubes, however, have currently decreased in their production. Also, their nano size similarity to the size of asbestos particles has raised concerns about their safety.


Shortly after the discovery of carbon nanotubes, inorganic nano tubes and inorganic fullerene-like materials followed. These materials are based on layered compounds such as molybdenum disulphides. Inorganic nanotubes are known for their excellent lubricating properties, resistance to shock wave impact, catalytic reactivity, and high capacity for hydrogen and lithium storage, which have a wide range of promising applications. Also, oxide based nano tubes are also being explored for their potential applications in catalysis, photocatalysis and storage. (eg. Titanium oxide).


Nanowires can be defined as ultrafine wires and linear arrays of dots which are formed on account of self assembly and are made from a wide range of materials. Silicon, gallium nitride and indium phosphide have been used to make semiconductor nanowires and have proved to demonstrate remarkable optical, electronic and magnetic characteristics. Silica wires can bend light around very tight corners and the other applications of nanowires are high density data storage, either as magnetic read heads or patterned storage media and electronic and opto-electronic nanodevices, for metallic interconnects of quantum devices and nano devices. There are various sophisticated processes devised for the preparation of these nanowires. Some of which include self assembly processes: where atoms arrange themselves naturally on the stepped surfaces, chemical vapour deposition onto patterened surfaces, electroplating or molecular beam epitaxy are other such processes involved in the production of nano wires. These molecular beams are typically produced from thermally evaporated elemental sources.


Biopolymers like DNA molecules, offer a wide range of opportunities for the self organization of wire nanostructures into much more complex patterns. These DNA backbones can then be coated in metal. The use of these biopolymers can also help in linking nanotechnology and biotechnology. The self assembly of such nano materials and nano structures is mainly controlled by very weak interactions which are generally in aqueous environments and thus a variety of strategies need to be devised for their synthesis. The combination of one-dimensional nanostructures which may consist of biopolymers and inorganic compounds have opened up a number of opportunities in the scientific and technological areas.


Nanoparticles have been of great interest to the researchers due to their phenomenal properties like chemical reactivity and optical behaviour. Nanoparticles have a range of potential applications in short term and long term. Nanoparticles are usually the raw materials or they serve as ingredients or additives in existing products.

Richard Smalley and Harry Kroto were the experimental scientists who discovered carbon 60 and called it the "buckminster fullerenes" with respect to the architect "Buckninster Fuller". He was well known for designing geodesic domes and the term fullerenes referred to any closed carbon chain.Dendrimers and quantum dots are other such three-dimensional nanomaterials that could be put to various applications.


Richard Feynman gave a classic talk on December 29 1959 at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society at the California Institute Of Technology (Caltech). In his talk he had said "I imagine experimental physicists must often look with envy at men like Kamerlingh Onnes, who discovered a field like low temperature, which seems to be bottomless and in which one can go down and down. Such a man is then a leader and has some temporary monopoly in a scientific adventure. Percy Bridgman, in designing a way to obtain higher pressures, opened up another new field and was able to move into it and to lead us all along. The development of ever higher vacuum was a continuing development of the same kind.

I would like to describe a field, in which little has been done, but in which an enormous amount can be done in principle. This field is not quite the same as the others in that it will not tell us much of fundamental physics (in the sense of, "What are the strange particles?") but it is more like solid-state physics in the sense that it might tell us much of great interest about the strange phenomena that occur in complex situations. Furthermore, a point that is most important is that it would have an enormous number of technical applications.

What I want to talk about is the problem of manipulating and controlling things on a small scale.

As soon as I mention this, people tell me about miniaturization, and how far it has progressed today. They tell me about electric motors that are the size of the nail on your small finger. And there is a device on the market, they tell me, by which you can write the Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin. But that's nothing; that's the most primitive, halting step in the direction I intend to discuss. It is a staggeringly small world that is below. In the year 2000, when they look back at this age, they will wonder why it was not until the year 1960 that anybody began seriously to move in this direction.

Why cannot we write the entire 24 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica on the head of a pin?

Let's see what would be involved. The head of a pin is a sixteenth of an inch across. If you magnify it by 25,000 diameters, the area of the head of the pin is then equal to the area of all the pages of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Therefore, all it is necessary to do is to reduce in size all the writing in the Encyclopaedia by 25,000 times. Is that possible? The resolving power of the eye is about 1/120 of an inch - that is roughly the diameter of one of the little dots on the fine half-tone reproductions in the Encyclopaedia. This, when you demagnify it by 25,000 times, is still 80 angstroms in diameter - 32 atoms across, in an ordinary metal. In other words, one of those dots still would contain in its area 1,000 atoms. So, each dot can easily be adjusted in size as required by the photoengraving, and there is no question that there is enough room on the head of a pin to put all of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

Furthermore, it can be read if it is so written. Let's imagine that it is written in raised letters of metal; that is, where the black is in the Encyclopedia, we have raised letters of metal that are actually 1/25,000 of their ordinary size. How would we read it?

If we had something written in such a way, we could read it using techniques in common use today. (They will undoubtedly find a better way when we do actually have it written, but to make my point conservatively I shall just take techniques we know today.) We would press the metal into a plastic material and make a mold of it, then peel the plastic off very carefully, evaporate silica into the plastic to get a very thin film, then shadow it by evaporating gold at an angle against the silica so that all the little letters will appear clearly, dissolve the plastic away from the silica film, and then look through it with an electron microscope!

There is no question that if the thing were reduced by 25,000 times in the form of raised letters on the pin, it would be easy for us to read it today. Furthermore, there is no question that we would find it easy to make copies of the master; we would just need to press the same metal plate again into plastic and we would have another copy." (Caltech Engineering and Science, Volume 23:5, February 1960, pp 22-36). The transcript of his classical talk is called "There's plenty of room at the bottom".

Norio Taniguchi was the first to use the word " Nanotechnology" in 1974 to refer to "production technology to get the extra high accuracy and ultra fine dimensions, i.e. the preciseness and fineness on the order of 1nm in length." Ever since Nario Taniguchi coined the term "Nanotechnology", the etrm has evolved and means everything from ' the science of manipulating atoms and molecules' to 'the synthesis of novel life forms'. (www.nanoword.net, March 24, 2002.)

In 1977, Eric Drexler originated molecular Nanotechnology concepts at MIT. In his writings "Nanosystems: molecular machinery, manufacturing and computation.", he explores the a line of technological development involving current laboratory potential for molecular engineering and extends towards the transformative technologies of high thoroughput atomically precise manufacturing. This line of development and its objectives have proven to be of importance in the areas ranging from choices in science education and nanotechnology research to finding solutions to global problems with the help of nanotechnology, on a larger scale and other environmental constraints. K. Erick Drexler, in one of his works has written about "Revolutionizing the Future of Nanotechnology".

The future of nanotechnology

The future of technology is in some ways easy to predict. Computers will become faster, materials will become stronger, and medicine will cure more diseases. Nanotechnology, which works on the nanometer scale of molecules and atoms, will be a large part of this future, enabling great improvements in all these technologies. Advanced nanotechnology will work with molecular precision, building a wide range of products that are impossible to make today.

When I first introduced a broad audience to the term "nanotechnology" in my 1986 book, Engines of Creation, I used it to refer to a vision first described by Richard Feynman in his classic 1959 talk, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." This vision, (expanded upon in technical detail in my 1992 book Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing and Computation), projects the development of productive nanosystems, in other words, nanoscale machinery able to build atomically precise products under digital control. Drawing inspiration from biology, this vision generalizes the nanomachinery of living systems and promises a broad set of productive capabilities with unprecedented power and commensurate opportunities and consequences.

Why focus on productive nanosystems and the large-scale molecular manufacturing processes that they will enable? Because these developments will extend the range of what human beings can manufacture, and through this will change the foundations of physical technology.

Every manufacturing method is a method for arranging atoms. Most methods arrange atoms crudely: even the finest commercial microchips are grossly irregular at the atomic scale, and much of today's nanotechnology faces the same limit. Chemistry and biology, by contrast, make molecules defined by particular arrangements of atoms -- always with the same numbers, kinds, and linkages. Chemists use clever methods to do this, but these methods don't scale up well. Biology, however, uses a different, more scalable method: cells contain productive nanosystems (ribosomes) that use digital data (from genes) to guide the assembly of molecular objects (proteins) that they serve as parts of molecular machines. Molecular manufacturing will likewise use stored data to guide construction work done by molecular machines, greatly extending abilities in nanotechnology.

The molecular-assembler concept

The basic idea of controlled molecular assembly is simple: where chemists mix molecules in solution, allowing them to wander and bump together at random, molecular assemblers will instead position molecules, bringing them together in a specific position, orientation, and sequence. Letting molecules bump at random leads to unwanted reactions -- a problem that grows worse as products get larger. By holding and positioning molecules, assemblers will control how the molecules react, building complex structures with atomically precise control.

Picture an industrial robot arm standing next to an unfinished work piece. A conveyor belt supplies the arm with parts, each mounted on a handle. Step after step, the belt advances, the robot grips a fresh handle, plugs the attached part into the work piece, then puts the empty handle back on the belt. Eventually, the work piece is finished and another belt moves it away, shifting a new unfinished work piece into place.


In laboratories around the world, researchers are developing useful products and providing instruments, techniques and nanoscale components that will enable the development of future productive nanosystems.

We have seen steady advances in understanding and controlling atoms, molecules and atomically precise structures. Some instruments now enable researchers to observe and move individual atoms and molecules. The most widely known of these is the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), first developed by researchers at IBM Zurich's labs.

We have also seen progress in building novel structures along the lines proposed in my 1981 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is the field of protein engineering which, together with DNA engineering, has demonstrated design and synthesis of atomically precise molecular objects like those that function as components of the molecular machinery, processing and electronics in biology.

Another area of rapid progress is computational modeling. Advances in hardware and software enable design and simulation-based testing of molecular devices, giving results with greater accuracy for structures on larger scales. This progress is crucial to the development of molecular systems engineering.

In considering these goals and accomplishments, it is important to distinguish long-term promise from present-day capabilities. Developing advanced productive nanosystems will require a multi-stage process in which today's laboratory capabilities are used to build molecular tools with broader capabilities. These tools, in turn, will be used in the next stage of development. Nanotechnology using productive nanosystems and their products will build on and extend the nanotechnologies of today, enabling a progressively broader range of applications.

The research that will support these developments is underway in laboratories in every industrial country. Unlike past revolutions in technology, the U.S., Europe and Asia are all making similar progress. (www.eurekalert.org, 2006).

Jim Lewis from Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IIM) prepared a web document on the paper 'Molecular Engineering: An approach to the development of general capabilities for molecular manipulation'. (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 78, No. 9, pp. 5275-5278, September 1981

Chemistry section). As an introduction to the paper he wrote " Presented here is the complete text of the landmark paper that K. Eric Drexler published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in 1981. In this paper he advanced the proposal that the molecular machinery found in living systems demonstrates the feasibility of doing advanced molecular engineering to produce complex, artificial molecular machines. A key insight is his proposal that the engineering problem of designing proteins to fold in a predetermined way is much easier than the scientific problem of predicting how natural proteins fold. Appended to this paper is a short perspective written by Drexler in 1988 in which he notes substantial progress made in the area of protein structure design compared to protein structure prediction.

-Jim Lewis. "

This was the first technical paper on 'Molecular engineering to build with atomic precision STM' to be invented.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996 was awarded jointly to Robert F. Curl Jr., Sir Harold W. Kroto and Richard E. Smalley "for their discovery of fullerenes" (The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996". Nobelprize.org. 15 May 2011 http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1996).

In 1986, the first book on Nanotechnology, ' Engines of Creation: by K.E. Drexler' was published. In the same year, the first organization of Nanotechnology was founded. It was called 'The Foresight Institute'. The ideas behind the Foresight Institute grew up alongside the ideas in Engines of Creation. The need for an organization was obvious in order to meet the challenges faced by the world and to come up to a solution to met the challenges. In the coming months and years, the approach of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will raise a host of issues, with technical, economic, political, and ethical dimensions. Networks of informed individuals and forums for discussion and organizations able to influence public policy, including international policy would be needed.

However, to determine how to proceed was encountered as the main challenge by the scientists. The Foresight Institute now has legal existence, an outline of its purpose and strategy, a small, active core group, a mailing list of several hundred interested persons, and seed funding for startup expenses. Its chief asset, however, is a body of information and a set of concerns of vital interest to people.


Hundreds of members of the MIT community were introduced to the concept of nanotechnology at a Symposium held on January 20. Sponsored by the Departments of Applied Biological Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Political Science, and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the event was organized by the MIT Nanotechnology Study Group. Entitled "Exploring Nanotechnology," the Symposium's all-day format enabled participants to probe technical, political, economic, and social aspects of the technology. 

The first presentation, "Overview of Nanotechnology," was given by Eric Drexler, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and Research Affiliate with MIT's Artificial Intelligence Lab. Drexler made the basic case for technical feasibility, sketched several possible development paths, and outlined some applications. 

In "Materials Science and Protein Engineering," Dr. Kevin Ulmer summarized the state-of-the-art in protein design. Protein engineering is seen as one development path or "enabling technology" for nanotechnology. Ulmer is pursuing this path, currently as the Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology. 

Next the technical basis was explored in a panel discussion by Ulmer, Drexler, and professorHenry Smith of MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering. There was general agreement that the technology was feasible in principle, so the discussion centered around the likely length and difficulty of the development path will be. 

After an argumentative lunch break, the symposium reconvened for a colorful talk on "Economic Implications" by professor David Friedman, an economist at the University of Chicago Law School. Friedman examined the naïve and not-so-naïve arguments for Luddism, the position that new technologies are harmful. He argued that given that events proceed on the basis of well-defined property rights and voluntary action, and if one ignores externalities and assumes that different people value wealth similarly, new technologies are guaranteed to have net benefits. Friedman also explored the question of what commodities and services would still be valuable in a world with advanced nanotechnology. 

In "Society, Technology, and Policy," professor Arthur Kantrowitz of Dartmouth College explored whether nanotechnology should be developed in the open (e.g. in university labs) or in secret (e.g. in classified government labs). Advocating openness, he pointed out its value in minimizing corruption and speeding progress. In this way, the "weapon of openness" can enable open democracies to maximize their military strength while increasing public control of that strength. He argued that secrecy should be used very sparingly, and that secrets cannot be kept for a long time in any case. (www.foresight.org).

The following year i.e. 1988, about 50 students had attended a ten-week course on "Nanotechnology and Exploratory Engineering" taught by Foresight Institute's President Eric. Drexler, at Stanford. The course encompassed highly technical principles and disciplines of physics, chemistry, computation and engineering. This course then developed into addressing applications in space development, warfare, medicine, policy issues and analysis of the scope of development of this technology.

In the year 1989, the first of the conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology was held at the Foresight Institute, Stanford University, October 27-29. This conference was the first comprehensive conference on the topic of Nanotechnology and it drew participants from the three continents and various disciplines. The conference commenced with the welcoming remarks by Nils Nilsson, Chairman of Stanford Department of Computer Science. The following day involved talks by Eric Drexler ( a visiting scholar, Stanford Department Of Computer Science) whereas Research Scientist Michael D Ward ( E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.) spoke about "Control Of Solid State Structure In Molecular Materials by Electrostatic Self Assembly" and John Foster ( IBM, Almaden Research Manager, Molecular Studies of Manufacturing) delivered a talk about "Atomic Imaging and Positioning". These talks were followed by discussions and more talks: Protein design by Tracy Handel ( Visiting Research Scientist

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.),Molecular modeling and design by Jay Ponder (Associate Research Scientist Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale Univ.), Molecular electronics by Robert Birge (Prof., Chemistry Dept. Director, Center for Molecular Electronics, Syracuse Univ.), Quantum transistors and integrated circuits by Federico Capasso ( AT&T Bell Labs Head of Quantum Phenomena and Device Research Dept.), "What could we do with a trillion processors?" by Bill Joy ( VP Research and Development

Sun Microsystems), Nanotechnology from a micromachinist's viewpoint by Joseph Mallon (Co-President, Nova Sensor), Theoretical limits to computation by Norman Margolus ( Research Associate MIT Laboratory for Computer Science), Strategies for molecular systems engineering by Eric Drexler( Visiting Scholar

Stanford Department of Computer Science), "Technical panel: What are the major problems to be overcome in designing and building molecular systems?" by Iroyuki Sasabe (Head of Biopolymer Physics Laboratory Frontier Research Program, RIKEN The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, Japan), Possible medical spin-offs on the way to nanotechnology by Greg Fahy( Project Leader for Organ Cryopreservation American Red Cross Transplantation Laboratory), Hopes and fears of an environmentalist for nanotechnologies by Lester Milbrath (Prof. of Political Science and Sociology Director, Research Program in Environment and Society State Univ. of New York at Buffalo), Risk assessment by Ralph Merkle, (Member, Research Staff Xerox Palo Alto Research Center), Economic consequences by Gordon Tullock ( Prof. of Economics and Political Science

Univ. of Arizona), Living with explosively growing technology by Arthur Kantrowitz (Prof. of Engineering, Dartmouth College) followed by "Consequences panel: What public policy pitfalls should be avoided in nanotechnology development and regulation?" Molecular modeling and other demonstrations, informal discussions.

In 1990, the first journal on Nanotechnology was published. In a review of this journa; "Nanotechnology", Chris Peterson ( www.foresight.org. 30 October, 1990) says "The new journal Nanotechnology takes as its subject a broad range of fields which have, or hope to have, some connection to the nanometer scale: machining, imaging, metrology (measurement), micromachines, instrumentation and machine tools, scanning probe microscopy, fabrication of components, nanoelectronics, molecular engineering, and so on. Based on the first issue, the journal will be worth the attention of those with broad interests in nanometer-scale technologies, particularly those interested in the nuts-and-bolts of developing and implementing various enabling technologies. 

Published by the Institute of Physics, based in the U.K., it has pulled together regional editors and an editorial board from around the world, including the USSR, Bulgaria, and Poland. Most are from the US, Japan, Britain, Germany, and Switzerland. Some names are familiar to those who follow progress in work leading to molecular nanotechnology: regional editor E. Clayton Teague (from NIST) attended our first nanotechnology conference, as did editorial board member Robert Birge (U. Syracuse), who presented molecular electronics work at the meeting. The editorial board also includes Robert T. Bate (quantum electronics, Texas Instruments), Paul K. Hansma (STM and AFM, U. Cal. Santa Barbara), Richard S. Muller (micromachines, U. Cal. Berkeley), and James S. Murday (Naval Research Lab, chaired STM'90/NANO I meeting). 

The challenge for the journal will be to maintain the quality shown by the first issue. This included a number of broad review articles of interest to the newcomer and helpful in orienting new readers to the interests of the publication. To avoid repetition, however, later issues will inevitably move toward more specialized material, such as reports of STM experimental results, e.g. "Voltage dependence of the morphology of the GaAs(100) surface observed by scanning tunnelling microscopy" in the first issue. While worthy, such a report is more relevant to those working with GaAs than it is to nanotechnology per se. There is a great deal of this work available, as shown by the huge poster sessions at NANO I. 

A promising sign is the inclusion in the first issue of a proposal for the design of a new instrument. This focus on future tools is unusual and could provide a valuable niche for the journal to fill. 

The scope of this journal once again shows that the word 'nanotechnology,' without a modifier, can no longer be taken to refer to the technology at the core of Foresight's concerns. In introducing the subject of "thorough control of the structure of matter," one must be more specific, speaking of molecular nanotechnology, or molecular manufacturing." He commented the following about Japan pursuing NANOTECHNOLOGY (1991):

"Research agencies in Japan are taking steps to develop nanotechnology, which "seems destined to become Japan's next priority target for industrial research," according to the international scientific journal Nature (February 7). Japan's Science and Technology Agency--a competitor to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)--is moving fastest. 

Already STA has funded several relevant projects through its innovative Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) program, as described in earlier issues of Update. Now the focus is sharpening: Nature reports that in February STA sponsored "an unusual little gathering of biologists, physicists, and chemists in Kyoto to discuss atomic-level design of functional structures." While a similar meeting was held in the U.S. over a year earlier-the First Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology at Stanford University in October 1989--its orientation was primarily academic, and it had no government backing. 

MITI seems to be concentrating on making smaller electronics, such as quantum dot and quantum wire devices, as part of a $40 million project within its "basic technologies for future industries" (Jiseidai) program. MITI may still be focusing on the top-down approach to miniaturization, using improved semiconductor techniques, rather than the bottom-up approach STA seems to be favoring, which aims for positional control of chemical reactions. If so, a most interesting race could develop, in which Foresight's bet is on the bottom-up approach as the only way to gain flexible control at the molecular level. 

Meanwhile the U.S. government has begun its first tentative steps toward an examination of the potential of nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing. The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) now has a staff member conducting a study of the future of miniaturization. While primarily focused on microelectronics and micromachines, the project has been expanded to include some consideration of molecular approaches. As part of the study, a workshop was held at OTA on February 19; of fifteen invited participants, two represented the molecular perspective: Eric Drexler of the Foresight Institute and Richard Potember of Johns Hopkins University. "

Chris Peterson has consistently followed up on the issues and developments in the field of Nanotechnology. In 1991, Japan's MITI announced Bottom-up "atom factory" and IBM endorsed the bottom-up path. IBM Chief Scientist and Vice President for Science and Technology, J. A. Armstrong, spoke at the Symposium on the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Vannevar Bush. His theme was "The Continuing Triumph of Miniaturization." Among his remarks were these: "I believe that nanoscience and nanotechnology will be central to the next epoch of the information age, and will be as revolutionary as science and technology at the micron scale have been since the early 70's... Indeed, we will have the ability to make electronic and mechanical devices atom-by-atom when that is appropriate to the job at hand." (Creativity!, June 1991, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 1-6).

In the same year, Nanotubes and buckballs were invented. "Conceptually, single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can be considered to be formed by the rolling of a single layer of graphite (called a graphene layer) into a seamless cylinder. A multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) can similarly be considered to be a coaxial assembly of cylinders of SWCNTs, like a Russian doll, one within another; the separation between tubes is about equal to that between the layers in natural graphite. Hence, nanotubes are one-dimensional objects with a well-defined direction along the nanotube axis that is analogous to the in-plane directions of graphite." 

-M. S. Dresselhaus, Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (www.nanotech-now.com, 27 June,2009 )

Carbon nanotubes discovered in 1991 by Sumio Iijima resemble rolled up graphite, although they can not really be made that way. Depending on the direction that the tubes appear to have been rolled (quantified by the 'chiral vector'), they are known to act as conductors or semiconductors. Nanotubes are a proving to be useful as molecular components for nanotechnology.

"Nanotube - Strictly speaking, any tube with nanoscale dimensions, but generally used to refer to carbon nanotubes (a commonly mentioned non-carbon variety is made of boron nitride), which are sheets of graphite rolled up to make a tube. The dimensions are variable (down to 0.4 nm in diameter) and you can also get nanotubes within nanotubes, leading to a distinction between multi-walled and single-walled nanotubes. Apart from remarkable tensile strength, nanotubes exhibit varying electrical properties (depending on the way the graphite structure spirals around the tube, and other factors), and can be insulating, semiconducting or conducting (metallic)." (www.nanoword.net)

On June 26, 1992, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space held a hearing on the topic of "New Technologies for a Sustainable World."Dr. Eric Drexler, Chairman of the Foresight Instituteand Research Fellow of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, was invited to testify on molecular nanotechnology (www.foresight.org , 15 July, 1992)

The first Feynman prize in Nanotechnology was awarded to Ted Kaehler, Recipient Charles Musgrave, his research advisor Prof. William Goddard III and Marc Arnold for their work on Modeling a hydrogen abstraction tool useful in Nanotechnology on 14 October, 1993.

Dr. Jack Gibbons is the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which coordinates science and technology policy throughout government. He was the first US advisor to advocate Nanotechnology in 1994. The following is an excerpt of his address to the National Conference on Manufacturing Needs of US Industry, held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"Nanoscience has become an engineering practice. Based on recent theoretical and experimental advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology, precise atomic and molecular control in the synthesis of solid state three-dimensional nano-structures is now possible. The volume of such structures is about a billionth that of structures on the micron scale.

The next step is the emergence of nanotechnology. The stage is being set, I believe, for actual manufacture of a wide variety and range of custom-made products based on the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules during the manufacturing process. The ability to synthesize devices such as molecular wires, resistors, diodes, and photosynthesis elements to be inserted in nanoscale machines is now emerging from fundamental nanoscience. Already the use of optical materials assembled at the molecular level has revolutionized response time, energy losses, and transport efficiency in nanoscale materials.

Next, molecular manufacturing for mass production of miniature switches or valves or motors or accelerometers, all at affordable prices, is a genuine possibility in the not so distant future. This new technology could fuel a powerful economic engine providing new sources of jobs and wealth and technology spillovers." (www.foresight.org, 1 February, 1995)