Nanotechnology Basics

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Buckyballs: One of the Carbon-based Nanoparticles

Any material at the nanoscale is a nanoparticle. Buckyballs, also called fullerenes, were one of the first nanoparticles discovered. This discovery happened in 1985 by a trio of researchers working out [more…]

Nanotubes: A Carbon-based Nanoparticle

A significant nanotechnology discovery that came to light in 1991 was carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical structures that have diameters as small as 1 nm and lengths up to several centimeters [more…]

Graphene: Sheets of Carbon-based Nanoparticles

When carbon forms sheets when it bonds to three other carbon atoms they are called graphene. Nanotechnology researchers have only recently (2004) been successful in producing sheets of graphene for research [more…]

The Insulating Properties of Silica Nanoparticles

Researchers in nanotechnology labs are exploring use of silica nanoparticles to make lighter weight, more effective insulators for your home, electronic components, clothing, and even spacecraft. Nanotech [more…]

What is a Quantum Dot?

Any material at the nanoscale is a nanoparticle, the material used by nanotechnology researchers to explore new uses for elements in this tiny form. A quantum dot is a nanoparticle made of any semiconductor [more…]

Nanolithography for the Nanotech Lab Budget

The semiconductor industry uses nanolithography to etch nano-sized patterns on silicon wafers coated with a material called photoresist. Those patterns make up the circuits on the chip and include nano-sized [more…]

Nanotech Prototypes with E-beam Nanolithography

E-beam nanolithography is used in nanotechnology laboratories to create prototypes of integrated circuits and other semiconductors. It is like ultraviolet-based lithography in that a beam of electrons [more…]

How Nanotechnology Scientists Grow Nanoparticles

Producing nanoparticles involves breaking up a bulk material into atoms or ions and then allowing them to condense into nanoparticles. In nature, a campfire produces a small quantity of carbon nanotubes [more…]

How Nanotechnology Maximizes Surface Area

The tiny nature of nanoparticles results in some useful characteristics, such as an increased surface area to which other materials can bond in ways that make for stronger or more lightweight materials [more…]

Nanotechnology Reduces Pore Size in Materials

Porous materials have holes that water or other liquids can seep through. Materials containing nano-sized holes — called nanopores — offer some intriguing possibilities for the way in which pores can be [more…]

Modify Material Properties with Nanotechnology

The properties of nanoparticles can be customized for use in a particular nanotechnology application by bonding molecules to the nanoparticles in a process called [more…]

Customize Structure of Coatings and Films with Nanotechnology

Using nanotechnology techniques and processes, nanoparticles can be created and incorporated into coatings and films to come up with new or improved products. [more…]

Self-Assembly: How Nanoparticles Make Their Own Arrangements

Nanotechnology scientists recognized that some properties of atoms and molecules enable them to arrange themselves into patterns. For example, if you pour a solution containing organic molecules that have [more…]

Mechanosynthesis: Building New Materials with Nanotechnology

Nanotech researchers are working on building molecular assemblers that use tiny manipulators to precisely position atoms and molecules to build an object from the atoms up. [more…]

Nanorobots in a Utility Fog

Nanotechnology scientist, J Storrs Hall, designed a nanorobot that could work with other nanorobots to create just about anything. Because they are so useful, many nanotechnologists call them utility nanorobots [more…]

Nanotechnology Integrates Nanoparticles into Materials

Nanotechnology researchers have discovered that weaving some materials, like cables and wires, with nanoparticles can result in stronger, lighter weight products. In addition, soaking fabrics with nanoparticles [more…]

See at the Nano Level with Electron Microscopy

In the tiny world of nanotechnology, the first need for researchers is to see what they’re working with. Microscopes being used in nanotech labs today do just that. They come with handy acronyms such as [more…]

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in the Nanotechnology Lab

Most nanotechnology labs will have two kinds of microscopes for viewing materials at the nano level — the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the atomic force microscope [more…]

Track Molecular Fingerprints with Spectroscopy

When nanotechnology researchers build a new nanomaterial, they want to verify its structure. Microscopes such as SEMs and AFMs can give them visual information about the structure of the new material, [more…]

Move Atoms with Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)

To achieve the bottom-up vision of nanotechnology (the capability to build materials by manipulating atoms) involves moving atoms and molecules to precise locations. The STM [more…]

Molecular Assembly in a Nanotechnology Laboratory

When researchers can move atoms around, the potential for manufacturing at the nano level gets really interesting. After researchers demonstrated the ability to move atoms, the next logical step was toward [more…]

Scientists Construct Nanotechnology Robots

If you think robots are cool, you’ll be interested to hear that nanotechnology researchers are developing cell-sized nano-robots that have a propulsion system, sensors, manipulators, and possibly even [more…]

Create Nano-Sized Features on Computer Chips Using Nanolithography

The semiconductor industry has been in the nanotechnology business for years. They use tools and processes to etch nano-sized patterns on silicon wafers coated with a material called photoresist. Those [more…]

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