پژوهشگران جوان علوم زیستی- دانشگاه آزاد رودهن (Biology young researcher club- Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch.) - Nanotechnology

پژوهشگران جوان علوم زیستی- دانشگاه آزاد رودهن (Biology young researcher club- Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch.)

زندگی فاصله آمدن و رفتن ماست, شاید آن خنده كه امروز دریغش كردی، آخرین فرصت همراهی ماست.

Nanotechnology, shortened to "nanotech", is the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale.

There has been much debate on the future implications of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has the potential to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics and energy production. On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as with any introduction of new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted


Buckminsterfullerene C60, also known as the buckyball, is the simplest of the carbon structures known as fullerenes. Members of the fullerene family are a major subject of research falling under the nanotechnology umbrella.

The first use of the concepts found in 'nano-technology' (but pre-dating use of that name) was in "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," a talk given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical SocietyCaltech on December 29, 1959. Feynman described a process by which the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules might be developed, using one set of precise tools to build and operate another proportionally smaller set, and so on down to the needed scale. In the course of this, he noted, scaling issues would arise from the changing magnitude of various physical phenomena: gravity would become less important, surface tension and van der Waals attraction would become increasingly more significant, etc. This basic idea appeared plausible, and exponential assembly enhances it with parallelism to produce a useful quantity of end products. The term "nanotechnology" was defined by Tokyo Science University Professor Norio Taniguchi in a 1974 pape as follows: "'Nano-technology' mainly consists of the processing of, separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or by one molecule." In the 1980s the basic idea of this definition was explored in much more depth by Dr. K. Eric Drexler, who promoted the technological significance of nano-scale phenomena and devices through speeches and the books Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (1986) and Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation, and so the term acquired its current sense. Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology is considered the first book on the topic of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology and nanoscience got started in the early 1980s with two major developments; the birth of cluster science and the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM). This development led to the discovery of fullerenes in 1985 and carbon nanotubes a few years later. In another development, the synthesis and properties of semiconductor nanocrystals was studied; this led to a fast increasing number of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles and quantum dots. The atomic force microscope (AFM or SFM) was invented six years after the STM was invented. In 2000, the United States National Nanotechnology Initiative was founded to coordinate Federal nanotechnology research and development. meeting at


Fundamental concepts

One nanometer (nm) is one billionth, or 10−9, of a meter. By comparison, typical carbon-carbon bond lengths, or the spacing between these atoms in a molecule, are in the range 0.12–0.15 nm, and a DNAcellular life-forms, the bacteria of the genus Mycoplasma, are around 200 nm in length. double-helix has a diameter around 2 nm. On the other hand, the smallest

To put that scale in another context, the comparative size of a nanometer to a meter is the same as that of a marble to the size of the earth.Or another way of putting it: a nanometer is the amount a man's beard grows in the time it takes him to raise the razor to his face.]

Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology. In the "bottom-up" approach, materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular recognition. In the "top-down" approach, nano-objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level control.

Areas of physics such as nanoelectronics, nanomechanics and nanophotonics have evolved during the last few decades to provide a basic scientific foundation of nanotechnology.

Simple to complex: a molecular perspective

Modern synthetic chemistry has reached the point where it is possible to prepare small molecules to almost any structure. These methods are used today to manufacture a wide variety of useful chemicals such as pharmaceuticals or commercial polymers. This ability raises the question of extending this kind of control to the next-larger level, seeking methods to assemble these single molecules into supramolecular assemblies consisting of many molecules arranged in a well defined manner.

These approaches utilize the concepts of molecular self-assembly and/or supramolecular chemistry to automatically arrange themselves into some useful conformation through a bottom-up approach. The concept of molecular recognition is especially important: molecules can be designed so that a specific configuration or arrangement is favored due to non-covalent intermolecular forces. The Watson–Crick basepairing rules are a direct result of this, as is the specificity of an enzyme being targeted to a single substrate, or the specific folding of the protein itself. Thus, two or more components can be designed to be complementary and mutually attractive so that they make a more complex and useful whole.

Such bottom-up approaches should be capable of producing devices in parallel and be much cheaper than top-down methods, but could potentially be overwhelmed as the size and complexity of the desired assembly increases. Most useful structures require complex and thermodynamically unlikely arrangements of atoms. Nevertheless, there are many examples of self-assembly based on molecular recognition in biology, most notably Watson–Crick basepairing and enzyme-substrate interactions. The challenge for nanotechnology is whether these principles can be used to engineer new constructs in addition to natural ones.

Molecular nanotechnology: a long-term view

Molecular nanotechnology, sometimes called molecular manufacturing, describes engineered nanosystems (nanoscale machines) operating on the molecular scale. Molecular nanotechnology is especially associated with the molecular assembler, a machine that can produce a desired structure or device atom-by-atom using the principles of mechanosynthesis. Manufacturing in the context of productive nanosystems is not related to, and should be clearly distinguished from, the conventional technologies used to manufacture nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles.

When the term "nanotechnology" was independently coined and popularized by Eric Drexler (who at the time was unaware of an earlier usage by Norio Taniguchi) it referred to a future manufacturing technology based on molecular machine systems. The premise was that molecular scale biological analogies of traditional machine components demonstrated molecular machines were possible: by the countless examples found in biology, it is known that sophisticated, stochastically optimised biological machines can be produced..

It is hoped that developments in nanotechnology will make possible their construction by some other means, perhaps using biomimetic principles. However, Drexler and other researchers have proposed that advanced nanotechnology, although perhaps initially implemented by biomimetic means, ultimately could be based on mechanical engineering principles, namely, a manufacturing technology based on the mechanical functionality of these components (such as gears, bearings, motors, and structural members) that would enable programmable, positional assembly to atomic specification. The physics and engineering performance of exemplar designs were analyzed in Drexler's book Nanosystems.

In general it is very difficult to assemble devices on the atomic scale, as all one has to position atoms are other atoms of comparable size and stickiness. Another view, put forth by Carlo Montemagno is that future nanosystems will be hybrids of silicon technology and biological molecular machines. Yet another view, put forward by the late Richard Smalley, is that mechanosynthesis is impossible due to the difficulties in mechanically manipulating individual molecules.

This led to an exchange of letters in the ACS publication Chemical & Engineering News in 2003.Though biology clearly demonstrates that molecular machine systems are possible, non-biological molecular machines are today only in their infancy. Leaders in research on non-biological molecular machines are Dr. Alex Zettl and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories and UC Berkeley. They have constructed at least three distinct molecular devices whose motion is controlled from the desktop with changing voltage: a nanotube nanomotor, a molecular actuator, and a nanoelectromechanical relaxation oscillator

An experiment indicating that positional molecular assembly is possible was performed by Ho and Lee at Cornell University in 1999. They used a scanning tunneling microscope to move an individual carbon monoxide molecule (CO) to an individual iron atom (Fe) sitting on a flat silver crystal, and chemically bound the CO to the Fe by applying a voltage

Current research

Graphical representation of a rotaxane, useful as a molecular switch.
Sarfus image of a DNA biochip elaborated by bottom-up approach.
This device transfers energy from nano-thin layers of quantum wells to nanocrystals above them, causing the nanocrystals to emit visible light.


This includes subfields which develop or study materials having unique properties arising from their nanoscale dimensions

Bottom-up approaches

These seek to arrange smaller components into more complex assemblies.

Top-down approaches

These seek to create smaller devices by using larger ones to direct their assembly.

Functional approaches

These seek to develop components of a desired functionality without regard to how they might be assembled.


Silica sand on the Classic Caribbean beach on the island of Martinique - Les Salines

Biomineralization (e.g. silicification) is quite common in the biological world and occurs in bacteria, single-celled organisms, plants (e.g. petrified wood), and animals (invertebrates and vertebrates). Crystallineminerals formed in this type of environment often show exceptional mechanical properties (e.g. strength, hardness, fracture toughness) and tend to form hierarchical structures that exhibit microstructural order over a range of length or spatial scales. The minerals are typically crystallized from an environment that is undersaturated with respect to certain metallic elements such as silicon, calcium and phosphorous, which are readily oxidized under conditions of neutral pH and low temperature (0 - 40 degrees C). Formation of the mineral may occur either within or outside of the cell wall of an organism, and specific biochemical reactions for mineral deposition exist that include lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. The significance of the cellular machinery cannot be overemphasized, and it is with advances in experimental techniques in cellular biology and the capacity to mimic the biological environment that significant progress is currently being reported.[18][19][20][21][22][23]

Sand from Pismo Beach, California including quartz, shell and rock fragments.

Examples include silicates in algae and diatoms, carbonates in invertebrates, and calcium phosphates and carbonates in vertebrates. These minerals often form structural features such as sea shells and the bonemammals and birds. Organisms have been producing mineralized skeletons for nearly 600 million years. The most common biominerals are the phosphate and carbonate salts of calcium that are used in conjunction with organic polymers such as collagen and chitin to give mechanical strength to bones and shells. Other examples include copper, iron and gold deposits involving bacteria.] in

Thus, most natural (or biological) materials are complex composites whose mechanical properties are often outstanding, considering the weak constituents from which they are assembled. These complex structures, which have risen from hundreds of million years of evolution, are inspiring materials scientists interested primarily in the design of novel materials with exceptional physical properties for high performance in adverse conditions. Their defining characteristics such as hierarchy, multifunctionality, and the capacity for self-healing, are currently being investigated.[25][26]

Collagen fibers of woven bone

The basic building blocks begin with the 20 amino acids and proceed to polypeptides and polysaccharides. These, in turn, compose the basic proteins, which are the primary constituents of the ‘soft tissues’ common to most biominerals. With well over 1000 proteins possible, current research emphasizes the use of collagen, chitin, keratin, and elastin. The ‘hard’ phases are often strengthened by crystalline minerals, which nucleate and grow in a biomediated environment that determines the size, shape and distribution of individual crystals. The most important silicate phases have been identified as hydroxyapatite, silica, and aragonite. Using the classification of Wegst and Ashby, the principal mechanical characteristics and structures of a number of biological ceramics, polymer composites, elastomers, and cellular materials have been recently characterized. Selected systems in each class are being investigated with emphasis on the relationship between their microstructure over a range of length scales and their mechanical response (esp. fracture toughness).[27][28][29][30]

Iridescent nacre inside a Nautilus shell.

Recent joint collaboration at UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego has produced striking results, including high resolution SEM images of the microstructure of the mother-of-pearl (or nacre) portion of the abalonehighest mechanical strength and fracture toughness of any non-metallic substance known.] shell, which exhibits the

Clearly visible in these images are the neatly stacked (or ordered) mineral tiles separated by thin organic sheets—along with a macrostructure of larger periodic growth bands which collectively form what scientists refer to as a hierarchical composite structure.



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