Background

In the year 1959, Feynman proposed the possibility of manufacturing ultraminiaturised systems for a variety of applications, to a level that may engross multiscale formulation methods involving the manipulation of molecules and atoms. Fundamental technological research and development in this domain has been underway since then. Arguably, with regards to past developments, it can be stated that the research and developmental activities broadly fall under the four major categories: precision engineering, ultra-precision engineering, micromanufacturing, and nanotechnology. The scope of research in the first three categories is vast and considered to be discipline dependent. For instance, while the methodological principles of precision engineering and ultra-precision engineering are more closely related to mechanical machining and processes, micromanufacturing in a generalised sense, is applied for producing VLSI-related products and systems. Though recently its scope has been broadened, apparently advocating the interdisciplinary scenario because of the dramatic emergence of MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) and MOEMS (Micro-opto-electromechanical Systems) technology. On the other hand, nanotechnology is viewed as a truly interdisciplinary domain accommodating several disciplines including general science. It is not our concern to describe the topical subjects of all these major domains, however at this point it suffices to say that one of the objectives of all these technological advancements is being focused on manufacture and design of miniaturised systems or products that can solve the humane expectations. Many industries in conjunction with academic institutions and R&D sectors are active in this multiphysics-multiengineering sector so that the manufacturing of smaller parts, components, products and systems at the level of micro/nanoscale with more functionalities and capabilities can easily be realised. To some extent this chapter attempts to introduce a road map to the concept of micromanufacturing and nanotechnology, which is being reflected in the following chapters in more detail. Definitions of commonly used terminology will be provided, where necessary.

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Brain Blaster

Brain Blaster

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