Volume 2, Issue 6 (June 2005)
Nanotechnology — An Introduction for the Standards Community
This report constitutes an introductory report of interest to the standardization community on the advances made in the atomic and molecular nanotechnology regarding the ability to systematically organize and manipulate properties and behaviors of matter at the atomic and molecular levels. Basics of nanotechnology to create functional devices, materials, and systems on the 1–100 nanometer (one-billionth of a meter) length scales are presented.
The reasons why nanoscale has become important are presented. We introduce the historical aspects of nanotechnology starting with the famous 1959 lecture by R.P. Feynman. We also suggest naming the nanometer scale the Feynman (φnman) scale due to Feynman's pioneering role (1 Feynman [φ] ≡10−9 meter =10−3 Micron [μ]=10 Angstroms [Å]). We also present some recent inventions and discoveries in atomic and molecular aspects of nanotechnology, as well as ongoing related research and development activities. It is anticipated that the breakthroughs and developments in nanotechnology will be quite frequent in the coming years. A list of the activities underway to standardize the techniques, procedures, and processes being developed in this fast growing field are presented.