The ability to synthesize and characterize nanoscale materials and devices has opened broad avenues for nanoscience endeavor and nanotechnology development. As with the vast majority of research fields, more questions remain than have been answered concerning the fundamental degree of control of nanoscale properties and the extent to which this control can be exploited technologically. The field of nanomechanics of nanomaterials is no different. Classical approaches for describing nanomechanics have remained remarkably robust, but the limitations have already become apparent with respect to defining classical dimensions to quantum-mechanically defined objects, that is, the wall thickness of a nanotube or the true contact area of a nanotip interacting with a surface. As the scale of nanomechani-cal devices and imaging techniques approaches 1 nm and beyond, it might well be expected that entirely new formulations will be required.
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