Quantum dots, discussed above as a marker for DNA diagnostics, are also of interest as a possible component of quantum computers. Meanwhile, new methods for the synthesis of semiconductor nanowires are being explored as an efficient way to fabricate nanosensors for chemical detection. Rather than quickly supplanting the highly developed and still rapidly advancing silicon technology, these exploratory devices are more likely to find initial success in new markets and product niches not already well-served by the current technology.
Sensors for industrial process control, chemical and biological hazard detection, environmental monitoring, and a wide variety of scientific instruments may be the market niches in which nanodevices become established in the next few years. As efforts in the various areas of nanoscale science and technology continue to grow, it is certain that many new materials, properties, and applications will be discovered.
Research in areas related to nanofabrication is needed to develop manufacturing techniques, in particular, a synergy of top-down with bottom-up processes. Such manufacturing techniques would combine the best aspects of top-down processes, such as microlithography, with those of bottom-up processes based on self-assembly and self-organization. Additionally, such new processes would allow the fabrication of highly integrated two- and three-dimensional devices and structures to form diverse molecular and nanoscale components.
They would allow many of the new and promising nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, organic molecular electronic components, and quantum dots, to be rapidly assembled into more complex circuitry to form useful logic and memory devices. Such new devices would have computational performance characteristics and data storage capacities many orders of magnitude higher than present devices and would come in even smaller packages.
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Nanomaterials and their performance properties will also continue to improve. Thus, even better and cheaper nanopowders, nanoparticles, and nanocomposites should be available for more widespread applications. Another important application for future nanomaterials will be as highly selective and efficient catalysts for chemical and energy conversion processes. This will be important economically not only for energy and chemical production but also for conservation and environmental applications. Thus, nanomaterial-based catalysis may play an important role in photoconversion devices, fuel cell devices, bioconversion energy and bioprocessing food and agriculture systems, and waste and pollution control systems.
Nanoscale science and technology could have a continuing impact on biomedical areas such as therapeutics, diagnostic devices, and biocompatible materials for implants and prostheses.
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There will continue to be opportunities for the use of nanomaterials in drug delivery systems. Combining the new nanosensors with nanoelectronic components should lead to a further reduction in size and improved performance for many diagnostic devices and systems. Ultimately, it may be possible to make implantable, in vivo diagnostic and monitoring devices that approach the size of cells.
New biocompatible nanomaterials and nanomechanical components should lead to the creation of new materials and components for implants, artificial organs, and greatly improved mechanical, visual, auditory, and other prosthetic devices. Exciting predictions aside, these advances will not be realized without considerable research and development. For example, the present state of nanodevices and nanotechnology resembles that of semiconductor and electronics technology in , when the first point contact transistor was realized, ushering in the Information Age, which blossomed only in the s.
We can learn from the past of the semiconductor industry that the invention of individual manufacturable and reliable devices does not immediately unleash the power of technology—that happens only when the individual devices have low fabrication costs, when they are connected together into an organized network, when the network can be connected to the outside world, and when it can be programmed and controlled to perform a certain function.
The full power of the transistor was not really unleashed until the invention of the integrated circuit, with the reliable processing techniques that produce numerous uniform devices and connect them across a large wafer, and the computerized design, wafer-scale packaging, and interconnection. Similarly, it will require an era of spectacular advances in the development of processes to integrate nanoscale components into devices, both with other nanoscale components and with microscale and larger components, accompanied by the ability to do so reliably at low cost.
New techniques for manufacturing massively parallel and fault-tolerant devices will have to be invented. Since nanoscale technology spans a much broader range of scientific disciplines and potential applications than does solid state electronics, its societal impact may be many times greater than that of the microelectronics and computing revolution. Nanoscale science and technology, often referred to as "nanoscience" or "nanotechnology," are science and engineering enabled by our relatively new ability to manipulate and characterize matter at the level of single atoms and small groups of atoms.
This capability is the result of many developments in the last two decades of the 20th century, including inventions of scientific instruments like the scanning tunneling microscope. Using such tools, scientists and engineers have begun controlling the structure and properties of materials and systems at the scale of 10?
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Scientists and engineers anticipate that nanoscale work will enable the development of materials and systems with dramatic new properties relevant to virtually every sector of the economy, such as medicine, telecommunications, and computers, and to areas of national interest such as homeland security. Indeed, early products based on nanoscale technology have already found their way into the marketplace and into defense applications. In , as the tremendous scientific and economic potential of nanoscale science and technology was beginning to be recognized, a federal interagency working group formed to consider creation of a national nanotechnology initiative NNI.
The Committee for the Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative was formed by the NRC and asked to consider topics such as the current research portfolio of the NNI, the suitability of federal investments, and interagency coordination efforts in this area. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.
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Kuroda, Y. Surface and Coatings Technology, , Surface and Coatings Technology, , — Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, , 43 5 : in Chinese. Journal of Materials Engineering, , 6 : Jia, T. Fischer and B.
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August These works well illustrates the advantages hierarchical nanostructures have brought in high performance gas sensor design. Gas sensor development for inorganic toxic gas detection is of crucial importance to public health and safety. Toxic gaseous chemicals usually include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide and flammable hydrogen etc. The detection of these toxic gases should have sufficiently high sensitivity because trace amount of some gases will impose severe health threat or even cause death.
Ponzoni et al. The three-dimensional hierarchical WO 3 nanowire networks display ultrahigh sensitivity toward NO 2 detection with concentration as low as 50 ppb. The decent selectivity at different working temperatures is observed for various gases including ammonia, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. Chen et al. The nanoflakes show high selectivity toward NO 2 detection with concentration of 0. For trace detection of toxic H 2 S, Kaur et al. The single crystal whiskers were found to detect very low concentrations ppb of hydrogen sulfide. Larger response of single crystal whiskers may result from the presence of defects formed during their growth.
A common strategy to enhance the sensitivity of the gas sensors is to incorporate noble metal nanoparticles such as Pt and Au to the hierarchical nanostructures. In carbon monoxide sensing, for example, Au nanoparticles are deposited onto the ZnO nanowire surface and the sensitivity with 50 ppm inlet CO gas can be enhanced from 4. The role of Au nanoparticles played during the gas sensing process is to improve the interaction of adsorbed oxygen with the reducing CO gas.
Basically, the noble metal enables preferred adsorption and activation sites for the target gas; the activated atoms can thus, be spilled over onto the semiconductor and react with the adsorbed oxygen. More details on the function of noble metal in gas sensors can be found in a nice review article by Kohl However, there are other methods to improve the sensitivity without catalyst decoration on the surface.
With the reduced conductance, the oxygen plasma treated ZnO nanowires demonstrate four times higher sensitivity toward ammonia detection compared with the ZnO nanowires before treatment. Hierarchical composite nanostructure with multiple metal oxides configuration provides another possibility to improve sensitivity.
Kim et al. Compared with bare ZnO nanorods, the composite nanostructure display much improved gas sensitivity.
Figure 7 presents the sensor configuration and ethanol sensing performance of the hybrid periodic nanowires. This abnormal behavior is ascribed to ethanol pulses associated with Ag 2 O nanoparticles on nanowire surfaces that leads to a catalytic activation of ambient oxygen detection. With the removal of Ag 2 O nanoparticles by argon plasma treatment, the detection of ethanol molecules instead of ambient oxygen is enabled. Figure 7. Hierarchical composite nanostructures can also be utilized in humidity monitoring and detection.
The uniform coating of perovskite is achieved by carefully controlled solution pH. As demonstrated in Figure 8 , negative photoconductivity response is detected upon UV illumination on the diode arrays resulting from desorption of surface absorbed water moisture. With increasing humidity, more and more water molecules will adsorb onto the oxide surface through hydrogen bonding. Figure 8.