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Smallerian Nanotech -the wave of the future. Nanotechnology: Any form of technology whose physical dimensions are between order of 1 and 100 nanometers. Jonathan Amazon, Rachel Ferebee, James Johnston, Matt Naples, Michael Pennisi.

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smallerian nanotech the wave of the future

Smallerian Nanotech-the wave of the future.

Nanotechnology: Any form of technology whose physical dimensions are between order of 1 and 100 nanometers.

Jonathan Amazon, Rachel Ferebee, James Johnston, Matt Naples, Michael Pennisi

precise definition of smallerian nanotechnology

Smallerian nanotechnology can be described precisely as any nanotechnology that relies primarily on chemical properties of nano-structures and materials to achieve a desired result.

Precise Definition of Smallerian Nanotechnology:

why physics favors smallerian nano technology

Smallerian nano-technology already exist in nature. Ex: gold nano crystals similar to those made in our labs were discovered in salt formations.

  • Precise control at such low orders of length and mass can be troublesome. It is more efficient on the nano scale to rely on the statistical nature of a system to drive reactions.
  • Classical pictures of mechanics and energy breakdown at such scales. The amount of energy required to control particles quickly goes to infinity as required precision increases. 

Why Physics Favors Smallerian Nano-technology:

historical precedence

Smallerian Nanotechnology has been around for thousands of years without our understanding.

  • Egyptians used lead-sulphide nanoparticles in their hair products.
  • Sword makers of Damascus had nanowires in their steel swords formed by forging techniques.
  • The proccess of vulcanization creates nanostructures within the material that strengthen it.

Historical Precedence

examples of modern smallerian nanotechnology

 Antibacterial Metal (Faucets, watches,door handles, medical devices)

  •  Air Purifiers
  •  Athletic devices (Tennis balls, golf clubs)
  •  Nano-Fabrics (Antibacterial, water repellent, wrinkle resistant, anti-odor) 
  •  Cosmetics (Sun Screen, anti-aging lotion, shampoo)
  •  Nano-silver filters (Vacuums, refrigerators)
  •  Soil enhancers

Examples of Modern Smallerian Nanotechnology

projected applications

Space elevator

  • Cheaper desalination 
  • Waterproof, tear-resitance cloth fibers
  • Combat jackets
  • Artificial musculature

Projected Applications

present day feasibility

Scanning Tunneling Microscope

    • 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics
    • IBM Research: Binnig & Rohrer
    • Stylus senses amplitude variations on sample surface
    • Computer reconstructs an image of the sample

Present Day Feasibility

  • Transmission Electron Microscope
    • Resolution > 0.1 nanometers
    • Physical structure and chemical composition of sample identified


    • Hollow spheres of Carbon atoms (most commonly C60)
    • 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
    • Smalley, Kroto, Curl
    • Can be found in nature in soot and Shungite minerals
  • Carbon Nanotubes
    • Cylinders of Carbon atoms
    • Can have many walls

Distinct Properties

    • Length to diameter ratio > 1 000 000
    • Extremely strong and stiff, subject to buckling under compression
    • Thermal conductivity and temperature stability are high
    • In some cases, can handle electrical current density 1000 times greater than that of copper and silver
just over the horizon

Carbon nanotube single-electron transistors

  • Efficient drug delivery
  • Cancer targeting & imaging
  • Paper-like batteries
  • "Spray on" solar collectors

Just Over the Horizon…

potential risks

Toxicity & Implications for Humans

    • Can break the skin barrier, be inhaled, or be ingested 
      • Once in blood stream, they can easily reach organs and tissue
    • Shape similar to asbestos (causes respiratory issues)
    • Free radicals stem from the increased chemical reactivity of the nanoparticles
      • Possibly resulting in damage to proteins, membranes and DNA
  • Environmental Impacts
    • When used in the food sector
      • Disposal of this packaging or food passes the nanoparticles along, harming the ecosystem and its inhabitants
    • Products containing nanomaterials must be disposed of properly, lest the particles accumulate in plants or water

Potential Risks

current risk management efforts
Current Risk Management Efforts

Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology 

  • NSF $14 million over five years, with option to renew
  • Leading research universities involved 
    • Study the environmental impacts of nanotechnology

Several research efforts focused on determining the toxicity of nanoparticles

Budgeted money toward research: $40 million (4% of total)

  • Allocating more funding toward risk research could dispel the uncertainties regarding the dangers associated with nanotechnology
  • Help guide future regulations
economic posibilities

Economic Growth

    • From 1995 and 2005 there have been over 250 investments and about 140 start-up companies across 13 different nations.
      • In 2005 the world market for nanomaterials was $413 million dollars. 
      • In 2007 the world market for nanomaterials exceeded $10 billion dollars and the overall market for was around $13 billion dollars. 
  • Perspective
    • Microsoft alone had profits of about $13 billion in 2007
      • Nanotechnology is still a developing field and funding for it needs to be critically evaluated so as to maximize the potential benefits.

Economic Posibilities


Projected Applications

    • Japan hopes to turn sci-fi into reality with elevator to the stars
    • Nanotube membranes offer possibility of cheaper desalination
    • Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology
    • Methanol-powered artificial muscles start to flex


  • Present Day Feasibility  
    • Fullerene
    • Carbon Nanotube 
    • Sargent, Ted. The Dance of Molecules : How Nanotechnology Is Changing Our Lives. New York: Basic Books, 2006. 10-27.
    • Photo credits:

Just Over the Horizon 

    • Carbon Nanotube Single-Electron Transistors at Room Temperature 
    • Small-scale systems for in vivo drug delivery
    • Dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles as a platform for cancer-cell targeting and imaging 
    • Beyond Batteries: Storing Power in a Sheet of Paper
    • Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough


  • Examples of Smallerian Nanotechnology

Potential Risks



  • Economic Possibilties