New Research In Chemistry Sciences: Nanotechnology In Chemistry

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New Research In Chemistry Sciences: Nanotechnology in Chemistry

New Research In Chemistry Sciences: Nanotechnology in Chemistry


Nanotechnology is a juvenile concept. Its short history spans 49 years year from 1959 when Richard Feynman gave a dinner speech describing molecular machines building with atomic precision. The term nanotechnology actually didn't appear until Norio Taniguchi used it fifteen years later in 1974 in a paper on ion-sputter machining. These ideas began to become technically possible in 1981 when with the recently invented scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) allowed materials to be seem at the atomic level. The STM was invented by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohder, and won them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986.

In 1985 another key breaks through was made by Robert Curl, Harold Kroto, and Richard Smalley from the University of Sussex and Rice University when they discovered the fullerenes. Fullerenes are molecules composed fully of carbon which come in the form of a hollow sphere (buckyballs), ellipsoid or tube (buckytubes or carbon nanotubes). Buckytubes are a strong example of the power of nanotechnology; their distinctive molecular structure gives those amazing properties: high resistance to heat; high ductility; high tensile strength; high electrical conductivity.

In 1988 the first nanotechnology university course was taught by Eric Drexler at Stanford University. Just one year later, in 1989, the IBM logo was spelled in individual atoms using the STM like a pair of tweezers to move individual atoms. 1990 saw the first major funding of research into nanotechnology by Japan's Science and Technology Agency. In 1991 the bottom-up approach was endorsed by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. 1992 produced the first published nanotechnology textbook (Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation by Eric Drexler) and the first congressional testimony on nanotech.

The push for nanotechnology was increasing and in 1994 the U.S. science advisor advocated continued development of nanotechnology. In 1995 the Hughes Aircraft Company predicted the great effect nanotechnology would have on military devices, with strong advances in information technology, precision guided munitions and surveillance systems.

Nanotechnology in Chemistry

Nanotechnology is not only abundantly useful in the commercial world; it is being used in chemistry labs right now and giving results that were better than before. In a sense all of chemistry can be understood in terms of nanotechnology. With further development in nanotech chemists will be able to carry out reactions with individual atoms and molecules. Currently nanotech is used in chemistry in two particularly effective ways, through the use of nano catalysts and nano filtration which are both successful on a new level.

Catalysts greatly benefit from the addition of nanoparticles, which have a large surface to volume ratio. Investigating Chemistry by MatthewE. Johll (see bibliography) defines catalysts as 'substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction but are not consumed in the reaction”. Nanoparticle catalysts have the potential to be used in chemical reactions, or more specifically in catalysis in fuel cells or catalytic converters. A catalytic converter is a 'device that removes pollutants from motor vehicle ...
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