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Understanding the Nanotechnology Revolution

ISBN: 978-3-527-41109-2
214 pages
May 2012
Understanding the Nanotechnology Revolution (3527411097) cover image
A unique introduction for general readers to the underlying concepts of nanotechnology, covering a wide spectrum ranging from biology to quantum computing.
The material is presented in the simplest possible way, including a few mathematical equations, but not mathematical derivations. It also outlines as simply as possible the major contributions to modern technology of physics-based nanophysical devices, such as the atomic clock, global positioning systems, and magnetic resonance imaging. As a result, readers are able to establish a connection between nanotechnology and day-to-day applications, as well as with advances in information technology based on fast computers, the internet, dense data storage, Google searches, and new concepts for renewable energy harvesting.
Also of interest to professionals working in law, finance, or teaching who wish to understand nanotechnology in a broad context, and as general reading for electrical, chemical and computer engineers, materials scientists, applied physicists and mathematicians, as well as for students of these disciplines.
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Preface IX

1 Discovery, Invention, and Science in Human Progress 1

1.1 Origins of Technology, the Need for Human Survival 1

1.2 The Industrial Revolution: Watt's Steam Engine, Thermodynamics, Energy Sources 2

1.3 A Short History of Time: Navigation, Longitudes, Clocks 4

1.4 The Information Revolution: Abacus to Computer Chips and Fiber Optics 5

1.5 Overlap and Accelerating Cascade of Technologies: GPS, Nuclear Submarines 6

1.6 Silicon and Biotechnologies: Carbon Dating, Artifi cial Intelligence 7

1.7 Nanotechnology: A Leading Edge of Technological Advance, a Bridge to the Future 13

1.8 How to Use This Book 15

2 Smaller Is More, Usually Better, and Sometimes Entirely New! 17

2.1 Nanometers, Micrometers, Millimeters – Visualizing a Nanometer 18

2.2 Moore's Law: from 30 Transistors to a Billion Transistors on One Chip and Cloud Computing 19

2.3 Miniaturization: Esaki's Tunneling Diode, 1-TB Magnetic Disk "Read" Heads 22

2.4 Accelerometers and Semiconductor Lasers 24

2.5 Nanophysics-Based Technology: Medical Imaging, Atomic Clock, Sensors, Quantum Computers 26

3 Systematics of Scaling Things Down: L = 1 m → 1 nm 29

3.1 One-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Scaling 29

3.2 Examples of Scaling: Clocks, Tuning Forks, Quartz Watches, Carbon Nanotubes 31

3.3 Scaling Relations Illustrated by Simple Circuit Elements 37

3.4 Viscous Forces for Small Particles in Fluid Media 38

3.5 What about Scaling Airplanes and Birds to Small Sizes? 39

4 Biology as Successful Nanotechnology 41

4.1 Molecular Motors in Large Animals: Linear Motors and Rotary Motors 41

4.2 Information Technology in Biology Based on DNA 46

4.3 Sensors, Rods, Cones, and Nanoscale Magnets 52

4.4 Ion Channels: Nanotransistors of Biology 53

5 The End of Scaling: The Lumpiness of All Matter in the Universe 55

5.1 Lumpiness of Macroscopic Matter below the 10-μm Scale 55

5.2 Hydrogen Atom of Bohr: A New Size Scale, Planck's Constant 57

5.3 Waves of Water, Light, Electron, and Their Diffractions 60

5.4 DeBroglie Matter Wavelength 62

5.5 Schrodinger's Equation 63

5.6 The End of Scaling, the Substructure of the Universe 63

5.7 What Technologies Are Directly Based on These Fundamental Particles and Spin? 64

6 Quantum Consequences for the Macroworld 67

6.1 Quantum Wells and Standing Waves 67

6.2 Probability Distributions and Uncertainty Principle 69

6.3 Double Well as Precursor of Molecule 71

6.4 The Spherical Atom 73

6.5 Where Did the Nuclei Come From (Atoms Quickly Form around Them)? 75

6.6 The "Strong Force" Binds Nuclei 75

6.7 Chemical Elements: Based on Nuclear Stability 76

6.8 Molecules and Crystals: Metals as Boxes of Free Electrons 77

7 Some Natural and Industrial Self-Assembled Nanostructures 81

7.1 Periodic Structures: A Simple Model for Electron Bands and Gaps 81

7.2 Engineering Electrical Conduction in Tetrahedrally Bonded Semiconductors 83

7.3 Quantum Dots 85

7.4 Carbon Nanotubes 86

7.5 C60 Buckyball 91

8 Injection Lasers and Billion-Transistor Chips 93

8.1 Semiconductor P-N Junction Lasers in the Internet 93

8.2 P-N Junction and Emission of Light at 1.24 μm 98

8.3 Field Effect Transistor 101

9 The Scanning Tunneling Microscope and Scanning Tunneling Microscope Revolution 105

9.1 Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) as Prototype 105

9.2 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) 110

9.3 SNOM: Scanning Near-Field Optical Microscope 115

10 Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Nanophysics of Spin 1/2 117

10.1 Imaging the Protons in Water: Proton Spin, a Two-Level System 117

10.2 Magnetic Moments in a Milligram of Water: Polarization and Detection 118

10.3 Larmor Precession, Level Splitting at 1 T 119

10.4 Magnetic Resonance and Rabi Frequency 120

10.5 Schrodinger's Cat Realized in Proton Spins 121

10.6 Superconductivity as a Detection Scheme for Magnetic Resonance Imaging 122

10.7 Quantized Magnetic Flux in Closed Superconducting Loops 123

10.8 SQUID Detector of Magnetic Field Strength 124

A SQUID-Based MRI Has Been Demonstrated 125

11 Nanophysics and Nanotechnology of High-Density Data Storage 127

11.1 Approaches to Terabyte Memory: Mechanical and Magnetic 127

11.2 The Nanoelectromechanical "Millipede" Cantilever Array and Its Fabrication 127

11.3 The Magnetic Hard Disk 132

12 Single-Electron Transistors and Molecular Electronics 139

12.1 What Could Possibly Replace the FET at the "End of Moore's Law"? 139

12.2 The Single-Electron Transistor (SET) 139

12.3 Single-Electron Transistor at Room Temperature Based on a Carbon Nanotube 142

12.4 Random Access Storage Based on Crossbar Arrays of Carbon Nanotubes 143

12.5 A Molecular Computer! 147

13 Quantum Computers and Superconducting Computers 151

13.1 The Increasing Energy Costs of Silicon Computing 152

13.2 Quantum Computing 152

13.3 Charge Qubit 154

13.4 Silicon-Based Quantum-Computer Qubits 155

13.5 Adiabatic Quantum Computation 157

Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC) Using RSFQ Logic 159

13.6 Opportunity for Innovation in Large-Scale Computation 160

14 Looking into the Future 163

14.1 Ideas, People, and Technologies 163

14.2 Why the Molecular Assembler of Drexler: One Atom at a Time, Will Not Work 166

14.3 Man-Made Life: The Bacterium Invented by Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith 169

14.4 Future Energy Sources 171

14.5 Exponential Growth in Human Communication 173

14.6 Role of Nanotechnology 175

References 175

Notes 177

Index 199

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Edward Wolf is Professor of Physics at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, with teaching experience in modern physics, solid state physics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and elementary physics. He has designed graduate courses on Nanoelectronics, Alternative Energy, and Nanotechnology on different levels. Ed Wolf is author of successful textbooks which have appeared in several editions, a audio lecture course on Nanotechnology, and a monograph on Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy.
Professor Wolf has conducted research in solid state physics, scanning tunneling microscopy, electron tunneling spectroscopy and superconductivity, and published over 100 refereed publications. He is Fellow of American Physical Society, and has served as Academic Department Head and Program Director at National Science Foundation.

Manasa Medikonda holds an awarded Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Institute of Technology at Bangalore, India; and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York University. She has worked as a Software Engineer with Infosys Technologies in India, and presently holds a position at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, where she has worked with Edward Wolf on his books and an audio lecture course which serves as the basis for this book. Manasa has been very engaged in bringing science into public. She has participated in Science Clubs, assisted teachers in organizing fairs, and tutored high school students in maths, science and languages.
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“Students in materials science, chemistry, biology, or various engineering disciplines might be interested as well.  Summing Up: Recommended.  Lower-and upper-division undergraduates, two-year technical program students, and general readers.”  (Choice, 1 November 2012)

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