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-Richard Feynman, 1959 APS meeting.

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Links :

  • Small is beautiful : a collection of nanotechnology links.
  • Nanotechnology Database.

  • Some Thoughts :

  • What is a nanostructure?

    A nanostructure is a device of of the order of a nanometer in its smallest dimension. One nanometer is about a few atoms thick, or, a hundred thousand times thinner than human hair.

  • Advantages :

    Existing commercial devices, such as the Pentium Processors, contain submicron structures, which are about 100 times larger than nanostructures linearly, and about 10,000 times larger in area. We can put more components that are much faster and more energy efficient in a device of the same size.

  • Challenges and Excitments :

  • It's not just smaller, it's a whole new world!

    Quantum mechanical effects become dominant at the this scale, thus giving us a chance to study new and exciting physics. However, this also means we don't know enough to take the full advantage of the new effects; and these new effects will work against us until we understand them.

  • Much better experimental techniques are needed.

    As we shink a device, the technical difficulty of fabrication increases, making the process less reliable. What's worst, since we also want to put more components in the same device, the probability of getting a fault component in a device increases dramatically. These are experimental and technical challegences.

  • Why now?

    These are all happening now :

  • Better experimental techniques to tackle the problems.
  • Better theorectical understandings and more powerful computers.
  • Limitation of current technology is foreseeable.
  • Support from industries : good research is the vital to their growth.
  • Hi-tech products are more accepted and used by the public, creating strong demand and supports hi-techs.

  • Suggestions and Comments? email

    Last update : 27th May, 1998.

    Copyright © 1995-1998 Tat Sang Choy