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The nanotechnology area is a new and rapidly developing research domain that is expected to radically transform communications and computing for the future. The field of nanotechnologies has exploded with opportunities and promise in recent years. The domains where this paradigm has benefitted vary from medicine to space and industrial applications. Nanotechnology as a field attempts to harness effects and functionality that take place in materials and structures incorporating nano-scale features, which can be tuned at will. The field is extremely multidisciplinary as the control over tuning the performance can be achieved by physical, electronic, chemical, and biochemical means. Having been utilized as early as medieval times with the use of gold nanoparticles in the materials used for colored glass at the time, nanotechnology has seen a surge in interest and activity in recent decades. This may be due to numerous reasons, the most important of which is the enhanced ability to control and characterize materials and structures on the nanometer scale with unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy. In spite of the successes achieved by nanotechnology research, major challenges still lie ahead. Issues such as device performance sensitivity, fabrication techniques that lend themselves to manufacturing large-scale integrated circuits, and fabrication process robustness have to be sorted out before the field is successfully utilized in industrial settings.
Date of Publication: June 2010