What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology revolves around the creation of technology — films, materials, devices, applications and systems — on a scale of 1–100 nanometers. But what is a nanometer? A nanometer is one billionth of a meter or 40 billionths of an inch. A human hair is between 50 and 100 microns wide — and a micron is 1,000 nanometers. A DNA molecule is about 2½ nanometers wide. A typical human hair is between 50,000 and 100,000 nanometers wide. So, we could stack at least 1000 nano-devices across the end of a human hair.
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930), A Case of Identity, 1892
|Image of a water droplet showing the super-hydrophobocity of an as-grown carbon nanotube array|
Nanoscale materials and devices have new properties because of their nano sizes.
“Nanoscale materials will have a large impact on the products we see, and nanomedicine will improve our health,” says Mark J. Schulz, co-director of UC’s Smart Materials Nanotechnology Laboratory.
Nanometers might be small, but nanotechnology is huge news these days. According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, “A scientific and technical revolution has begun that is based upon the ability to systematically organize and manipulate matter on the nanometer length scale.”
Nanotechnology Education in General
According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative:
“Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of discovery. Scientists working in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, information technology, metrology, and other fields are contributing to today’s research breakthroughs. …The worldwide workforce necessary to support the field of nanotechnology is estimated at 2 million by 2015. How does the U.S. educational system train these workers and how do students choose the appropriate educational path for their interests?…Right now, however, only a few degree programs in the field are available nationwide (and worldwide).”
“A five-year goal of the NNI [National Nanotechnology Initiative] is to ensure that 50 percent of US research institutions’ faculty and students have access to the full range of nanoscale research facilities, and student access to education in nanoscale science and engineering is enabled in at least 25 percent of the research universities.” Mihail C. Roco, NSF Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology and NSET [Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee] Chairman.
Nanotechnology Education at UC: The Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology
UC created its Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology to offer promise of ground-breaking advances in physics, chemistry, materials science, electronics and medicine. The institute was developed through collaboration among UC’s McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, the Colleges of Engineering and Medicine, and the Vice President for Research and Advanced Studies. Many nanotechnology activities are taking place at the University of Cincinnati.
For more information about these or the many other nanotechnology initiatives at UC, contact:
Thomas Mantei, Interim Director
Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology
Mail Location 0030, University of Cincinnati
“Small minds are much distressed by little things. Great minds see them all but are not upset by them.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)
Read the article: Small Times magazine ranks UC #2 in nanotechnology education