Interlude Two Tools of the Nanosciences

Nanofabrication is building at the ultimate level of finesse. Richard Smalley Nobel Laureate and Professor, Rice University In this chapter Tools for Measuring Nanostructures Tools to Make Nanostructures 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. (See Figure 4.1.) So said Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in a 1960 address commonly considered to have launched...

Natural Nanoscale Sensors

As is true with so much of the rest of nanoscience and nanotechnology, examples of sensors at the nanoscale are very widespread in biology. Sensors are crucial to communications, and communication with other organisms is one of the central characteristics of life. Signals come in a variety of formats including molecules, sound, smell, and touch, and they also can come in electromagnetic forms such as heat and light. The ability to detect these signals is both desirable, as in a fragrant...

Tools for Measuring Nanostructures Scanning Probe Instruments

Some of the first tools to help launch the nanoscience revolution were the so-called scanning probe instruments. All types of scanning probe instruments are based on an idea first developed at the IBM Laboratory in Zurich in the 1980s. Essentially, the idea is a simple one if you rub your finger along a surface, it is easy to distinguish velvet from steel or wood from tar. The different materials exert different forces on your finger as you drag it along the different surfaces. In these...

Nanobricks and Building Blocks

Nanostructures must be assembled from components. The fundamental building blocks are atoms of the 91 naturally occurring elements. Usually, though, it is inefficient to start with individual atoms. We saw both the strength and the slowness of this approach when we discussed building atomic scale nanostructures using scanning probe microscopy, especially if we are trying to make a macroscopic amount of a material rather than build a single nanoscale machine. Richard Smalley, who won the Nobel...

Nanosphere Liftoff Lithography

Nanosphere Lithography

If marbles are placed together on a board as tightly as possible, they will form a tight group, with each marble surrounded by six others. If this array were spray painted from the top, and then the marbles were tipped off the board, the paint would appear as a set of painted dots, each shaped like a triangle but with concave sides see Figure 4.5 . Now if the marbles are nanoscale, so are the paint dots. In fact, Figure 4.5 shows dots of silver metal prepared by Rick Van Duyne's group at...

Smart Materials

Nano-scale science and engineering most likely will produce the strategic technology breakthroughs of tomorrow. Our ability to work at the molecular level, atom by atom, to create something new, something we can manufacture from the bottom up, opens up huge vistas for many of us This technology may be the key that turns the dream David Swain Senior Vice President of Engineering amp Technology, The Boeing Company Heterogeneous Nanostructures and Composites Suppose that corrosion processes could...

Nanoscale Biostructures

Nanoscale Biostructure

Sam Stupp teaches chemistry, materials science, and medicine at Northwestern University. Stupp grew up in Costa Rica and studied materials science and dental materials early in his career. He speaks several languages, is serious about literature and gourmet food, and is a scientific visionary. He heads an institute at Northwestern devoted to human repair, which means that one of his major research aims is the utilization of self-assembly and nanostructures to repair, rather than to remove or...