Nanoscience is concerned with materials and systems whose structures and components exhibit novel and significantly improved physical, chemical and biological properties, phenomena and processes, because of their small nanoscale size. Structural features in the range of about 10 Å to 1000 Å, determine important changes as compared to the behavior of isolated molecules (10Å) or of bulk materials (>0.1 µm). Nanoscience aims to understand the novel properties and phenomena of nano-based entities.
What Happens when the Dimensions of Structures are Reduced to Nanoscale Levels?
Reducing the dimensions of structures leads to entities with novel properties, such as carbon nanotubes, quantum wires and dots, thin films, DNA based structures, and laser emitters. Such new forms of materials and devices herald a revolutionary age for science and technology, provided that we can discover and fully utilize the underlying principles.
Benefits of Studying the Behavior and Interactions of Nanoscale Materials
New behavior at the nanoscale is not necessarily predictable from that observed at large size scales. Important changes in behavior are caused not by the order of magnitude size reduction, but also by new phenomena such as size confinement, predominance of interfacial phenomena, quantum mechanics and Coulomb blockade. It is notable that all relevant phenomena at the nanoscale are caused by the tiny size of the organized structure as compared to molecular scale, and by the interactions at their predominant and complex interfaces.
The Aims of Nanoscience
Once we are able to control feature size, we can enhance material properties and device functions beyond those that we currently know or even imagine. Nanotechnology aims to gain control of structures and devices at the atomic, molecular and supramolecular levels, and to learn how to efficiently manufacture and use these devices.