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.
A sequence of nanoscale C60 atoms arranged in a long thin cylindrical structure. Nanotubes are extremely strong mechanically and very pure conductors of electric current. Applications of the nanotube in nanotechnology include resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes and transistors. Nanotubes also are called buckytubes.
To send data to a specific list of recipients. Cable television is an example of narrowcasting since the cable TV signals are sent only to homes that have subscribed to the cable service. In contrast, network TV uses a broadcast model in which the signals are transmitted everywhere and anyone with an antenna can receive […]
Referring to an original form. For example, many applications can work with files in a variety of formats, but an application’s native file format is the one it uses internally. For all other formats, the application must first convert the file to its native format.
- native code
Also referred to as native language, programming code that is written to run on a specific processor using that processor��s instruction set. In order for that program to run on a different processor than the one intended by the native code, the code must be run through an emulator software program that instructs the computer […]
- natural language
A human language. For example, English, French, and Chinese are natural languages. Computer languages, such as FORTRAN and C, are not. Probably the single most challenging problem in computer science is to develop computers that can understand natural languages. So far, the complete solution to this problem has proved elusive, although a great deal of […]