Browse Definitions :
Definition

nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing)

Nanotechnology, or, as it is sometimes called, molecular manufacturing, is a branch of engineering that deals with the design and manufacture of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter. The Institute of Nanotechnology in the U.K. expresses it as "science and technology where dimensions and tolerances in the range of 0.1 nanometer (nm) to 100 nm play a critical role." Nanotechnology is often discussed together with micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), a subject that usually includes nanotechnology but may also include technologies higher than the molecular level.

There is a limit to the number of components that can be fabricated onto a semiconductor wafer or chip. Traditionally, circuits have been etched onto chips by removing material in small regions. However, it is also possible in theory to build chips up, one atom at a time, to obtain devices much smaller than those that can be manufactured by etching. With this approach, there would be no superfluous atoms; every particle would have a purpose. Electrical conductors, called nanowires, would be only one atom thick. A logic gate would require only a few atoms. A data bit could be represented by the presence or absence of a single electron.

Nanotechnology holds promise in the quest for ever-more-powerful computers and communications devices. But the most fascinating (and potentially dangerous) applications are in medical science. So-called nanorobots might serve as programmable antibodies. As disease-causing bacteria and viruses mutate in their endless attempts to get around medical treatments, nanorobots could be reprogrammed to selectively seek out and destroy them. Other nanorobots might be programmed to single out and kill cancer cells.

Two concepts associated with nanotechnology are positional assembly and self-replication. Positional assembly deals with the mechanics of moving molecular pieces into their proper relational places and keeping them there. Molecular robots are devices that do the positional assembly. Self-replication deals with the problem of multiplying the positional arrangements in some automatic way, both in building the manufacturing device and in building the manufactured product.

This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What do you see as the major risks and benefits of nanotechnology?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

SearchSecurity

  • RSA algorithm (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman)

    The RSA algorithm is the basis of a cryptosystem -- a suite of cryptographic algorithms that are used for specific security ...

  • remote access

    Remote access is the ability to access a computer or a network remotely through a network connection.

  • IP Spoofing

    IP spoofing is the crafting of Internet Protocol (IP) packets with a source IP address that has been modified to impersonate ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close