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nanotechnology
Last modified: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 

A field of science whose goal is to control individual atoms and molecules to create computer chips and other devices that are thousands of times smaller than current technologies permit. Current manufacturing processes use lithography to imprint circuits on semiconductor materials. While lithography has improved dramatically over the last two decades -- to the point where some manufacturing plants can produce circuits smaller than one micron (1,000 nanometers) -- it still deals with aggregates of millions of atoms. It is widely believed that lithography is quickly approaching its physical limits. To continue reducing the size of semiconductors, new technologies that juggle individual atoms will be necessary. This is the realm of nanotechnology.

Although research in this field dates back to Richard P. Feynman's classic talk in 1959, the term nanotechnology was first coined by K. Eric Drexler in 1986 in the book Engines of Creation.

In the popular press, the term nanotechnology is sometimes used to refer to any sub-micron process, including lithography. Because of this, many scientists are beginning to use the term molecular nanotechnology when talking about true nanotechnology at the molecular level.

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For internet.com pages about nanotechnology . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Nanoelectronics Planet 
Nanoelectronics Planet provides news and events for the nanotechnology business communities of interest: business development, investment,technology transfer, and government.

NanoTechnology Magazine 
Excellent all-around source for news and information about nanotechnology. Good for beginners as well as seasoned veterans.

Ralph C. Merkle's Nanotechnology Web Site 
Good introduction to nanotechnology with lots of links to additional information. The site is maintained by Ralph C Merkle, a scientist at Xerox PARC.

CSC Scientists Discover Ways to Build Chips From the Atom Up
This article from the Computer Sciences Corporation details how they reduced the size of existing chips but by building them up from individual molecules.

Feynman's 1959 talk
Nobel Laureate Richard P. Feynman's 1959 talk to the American Physical Society, in which he discusses minituarization at the molecular level. It is widely viewed as the seminal speech that launched nanotechnology as an independent field of research.

The Nanoelectronics and Nanocomputers Home Page
Focuses on the electronics and computer applications of nanotechnology. An excellent source for top-down information.

Yahoo!'s nanotechnology page
Yahoo!'s directory of nanotechnology.

related categories

Integrated Circuits (ICs)

Microprocessors

Nanotechnology

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integrated circuit

macromolecule

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Moore's Law

nanocomputer

nanolithography

nanosecond

nanotube

polymer

quantum dot

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