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Manufacturing at the Nanoscale | Nano

Posted: September 8, 2016 at 3:25 am

Manufacturing at the nanoscale is known as nanomanufacturing. Nanomanufacturing involves scaled-up, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing of nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems. It also includes research, development, and integration of top-down processes and increasingly complex bottom-up or self-assembly processes.

In more simple terms, nanomanufacturing leads to the production of improved materials and new products. As mentioned above, there are two basic approaches to nanomanufacturing, either top-down or bottom-up. Top-down fabrication reduces large pieces of materials all the way down to the nanoscale, like someone carving a model airplane out of a block of wood. This approach requires larger amounts of materials and canlead to wasteif excess material is discarded. The bottom-up approach to nanomanufacturing creates products by building them up from atomic- and molecular-scale components, which can be time-consuming. Scientists are exploring the concept of placing certain molecular-scale componentstogether that will spontaneously self-assemble, from the bottom up into ordered structures.

Within the top-down and bottom-up categories of nanomanufacturing, there are a growing number of new processes that enable nanomanufacturing. Among these are:

Structures and propertiesof materials can be improved through these nanomanufacturing processes. Suchnanomaterialscan bestronger, lighter, more durable, water-repellent, anti-reflective, self-cleaning, ultraviolet- or infrared-resistant, antifog, antimicrobial, scratch-resistant, or electrically conductive, among other traits. Taking advantage of these properties, today’s nanotechnology-enabled productsrange from baseball bats and tennis rackets to catalysts forrefining crude oiland ultrasensitive detection and identification of biological and chemical toxins.

Nanoscale transistors may someday lead to computers that are faster, more powerful, and more energy efficient than those used today. Nanotechnology also holds the potential to exponentially increase information storage capacity; soon your computers entire memory will be able to be stored on a single tiny chip. In the energy arena, nanotechnology will enable high-efficiency, low-costbatteries and solar cells.

For more products and applications that use nanotechnology, see Benefits & Applications or browse our database of the NNI’s Major Achievements in Nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology R&D, and the eventual nanomanufacturing of products, requires advanced and often very expensive equipment and facilities. In order to realize the potential of nanotechnology,NNIagencies areinvesting heavily innanomanufacturing R&D and infrastructure. Over 90 NNI-funded centers and user facilities across the country provide researchers the facilities, equipment, and trained staff todevelop nanotechnology applications and associated manufacturing processes.

The NNI helps drive the nanomanufacturing field by providing researchers and small businesses with access to this specialized equipment in order to maintain global U.S. competitiveness. To assist in agency coordination in the area of nanomanufacturing, the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee created the Nanotechnology Innovation and Commercialization Ecosystem (NICE)Working Group.

The Presidents FY 2017 Budget provides$1.4 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative, including an estimated $37million for nanomanufacturing.

The National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) is an alliance of academic, government and industry partners that cooperate to advance nanomanufacturing strength in the U.S. The NNI and its member agencies actively participate in, support, and contribute to the NNN in its mission to advance nanomanufacturing.

The NNN functions as part electronic resource, part community of practice, and part network of experts working on the development of nanomanufacturing. The NNN fosters technology transition and exchange through a host of activities including reviews and archiving of emerging materials, processes, and areas of practice, strategic workshops and roadmap development. InterNano is the information arm of the NNNa digital library resource of timely information on nanomanufacturing and a platform for collaboration, providing information archiving in areas of processes and tools, standards, reports, events, and environmental health and safety databases.

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Manufacturing at the Nanoscale | Nano

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