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Nano - Nanotechnology - Molecular Machines

Controlling Matter at the Nano Scale. Making small stuff do big things.

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Nano is one billionth (one thousand million) 10^(-9); Ten to the Minus Nine Meters. more generally, very small

Scientific Notation is written as 1 × 10 to the minus 9 powerPower of 10

Nanometer is 10 to the minus 9 meters. Hair is a hundred thousand nanometers thick.

Nanocrystal is a material particle having at least one dimension smaller than 100 nanometres (a nanoparticle) and composed of atoms in either a single- or poly-crystalline arrangement.

Nanoparticle is 1 millionth of a millimeter (1.0 × 10-6 millimeters). Size Dependent Properties.

Gigameter is the size of the orbit of the moon around earth.


Nanoalloy is an alloy consisting of dispersed nanoparticles of two or more metals.

Nanotechnology is manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.

Nano Technologies (gov)

Nano-Medicine is the medical application of nanotechnology. Nanomedicine ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials and biological devices, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology such as biological machines. Current problems for nanomedicine involve understanding the issues related to toxicity and environmental impact of nanoscale materials (materials whose structure is on the scale of nanometers, i.e. billionths of a meter). Frozen organs could be brought back to life safely one day with the aid of nanotechnology, with Improved tissue cryopreservation using inductive heating of magnetic nanoparticles.

Drugs in the Water Supply

Nanoengineering is the practice of engineering on the nanoscale. It derives its name from the nanometre, a unit of measurement equalling one billionth of a meter.

Nanoengineers 3-D print biomimetic blood vessel networks

Nanochemistry is the combination of chemistry and nanoscience. Nanochemistry is associated with synthesis of building blocks which are dependent on size, surface, shape and defect properties. Nanochemistry is being used in chemical, materials and physical, science as well as engineering, biological and medical applications. Nanochemistry and other nanoscience fields have the same core concepts but the usages of those concepts are different.

Nanomaterial-Based Catalyst are usually heterogeneous catalysts broken up into metal nanoparticles in order to speed up the catalytic process. Metal nanoparticles have a higher surface area so there is increased catalytic activity because more catalytic reactions can occur at the same time. Nanoparticle catalysts can also be easily separated and recycled with more retention of catalytic activity than their bulk counterparts. These catalysts can play two different roles in catalytic processes: they can be the site of catalysis or they can act as a support for catalytic processes. They are typically used under mild conditions to prevent decomposition of the nanoparticles at extreme conditions. Nanocatalyst: effect of size reduction. Catalytic technologies are critical to present and future energy, chemical process, and environmental industries.

Researchers will find the structure of the smallest building blocks in Nano-Chemistry

Micro-Fabrication is the process of fabricating miniature structures of micrometre scales and smaller. Historically, the earliest microfabrication processes were used for integrated circuit fabrication, also known as "semiconductor manufacturing" or "semiconductor device fabrication.

Nanolithography is the branch of nanotechnology concerned with the study and application of fabricating nanometer-scale structures, meaning patterns with at least one lateral dimension between 1 and 100 nm.

Carbon Nanotube are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. These cylindrical carbon molecules have unusual properties, which are valuable for nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science and technology. Owing to the material's exceptional strength and stiffness, nanotubes have been constructed with length-to-diameter ratio of up to 132,000,000:1, significantly larger than for any other material. Batteries

Carbon Nanotubes were created by accident. 20 times stronger then steal. A semi-conductor. The thickness of a Carbon Nanotube is 1/1,000th of a single strand of hair.

Carbon Fiber - Graphene

Nanoscale 'Conversations' Create Complex, Multi-Layered Structures New technique leverages controlled interactions across surfaces to create Self-Assembled Materials with unprecedented complexity.

How we're harnessing nature's hidden superpowers: Oded Shoseyov (video and interactive text)

Nanocellulose nano-structured cellulose. This may be either cellulose nanofibers (CNF) also called microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), or bacterial nanocellulose, which refers to nano-structured cellulose produced by bacteria. CNF is a material composed of nanosized cellulose fibrils with a high aspect ratio (length to width ratio). Typical lateral dimensions are 5–20 nanometers and longitudinal dimension is in a wide range, typically several micrometers.

Resilin is an elastomeric protein found in many insects. It is part of what enables insects of many species to jump or pivot their wings efficiently. It was first discovered by Torkel Weis-Fogh in locust wing-hinges. Nanocellulose with Resilin can make incredible durable touch screens for smartphone.

Nano-Robotics is creating machines or robots whose components are at or close to the scale of a nanometre.


Microbotics mobile robots with characteristic dimensions less than 1 mm.

Robotics (robots)

Molecular Machine or nano-machine, is any discrete number of molecular components that produce quasi-mechanical movements (output) in response to specific stimuli (input). The expression is often more generally applied to molecules that simply mimic functions that occur at the macroscopic level. The term is also common in nanotechnology where a number of highly complex molecular machines have been proposed that are aimed at the goal of constructing a molecular assembler. Molecular machines can be divided into two broad categories; synthetic and biological.

Molecular Engineering is the design and testing of molecular properties, behavior and interactions in order to assemble better materials, systems, and processes for specific functions. This approach, in which observable properties of a macroscopic system are influenced by direct alteration of a molecular structure, falls into the broader category of “bottom-up” design.

Nanoelectronics refers to the use of nanotechnology in electronic components. The term covers a diverse set of devices and materials, with the common characteristic that they are so small that inter-atomic interactions and quantum mechanical properties need to be studied extensively. Some of these candidates include: hybrid molecular/semiconductor electronics, one-dimensional nanotubes/nanowires (e.g. Silicon nanowires or Carbon nanotubes) or advanced molecular electronics. Recent silicon CMOS technology generations, such as the 22 nanometer node, are already within this regime. Nanoelectronics are sometimes considered as disruptive technology because present candidates are significantly different from traditional transistors.

Nano Electronics
Molecular Lego for Nanoelectronics - Building Blocks (cellls)
Supersonic phenomena, the key to extremely low heat loss nano-electronics
‘Incomprehensible’ birth of Supercrystal formation explained ultra-fast electronics using tiny nanocrystals.
Using Nanocrystal Networks for Artificial Intelligence applications in a Machine Learning device

Nanowire “Inks” Enable Paper-Based Printable Electronics. Highly conductive films make functional circuits without adding high heat. Silver nanowire films conduct electricity well enough to form functioning circuits without applying high heat, enabling printable electronics on heat-sensitive materials like paper or plastic.

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between two molecular posts Johns Hopkins researchers have coaxed DNA nanotubes to assemble themselves into bridge-like structures arched between two molecular landmarks on the surface of a lab dish.

Dopant is a trace impurity element that is inserted into a substance (in very low concentrations) to alter the electrical or optical properties of the substance. In the case of crystalline substances, the atoms of the dopant very commonly take the place of elements that were in the crystal lattice of the base material. The crystalline materials are frequently either crystals of a semiconductor such as silicon and germanium for use in solid-state electronics, or transparent crystals for use in the production of various laser types; however, in some cases of the latter, noncrystalline substances such as glass can also be doped with impurities.

Nanomagnet is a submicrometric system that presents spontaneous magnetic order (magnetization) at zero applied magnetic field (remanence).

Scientists Discover a 2-D Magnet. Magnetism in the 2-D world of monolayers materials that are formed by a single atomic layer.

Nanomaterials takes a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology, leveraging advances in materials metrology and synthesis which have been developed in support of microfabrication research. Materials with structure at the nanoscale often have unique optical, electronic, or mechanical properties.

Self-Healing Material are a class of smart materials that have the structurally incorporated ability to repair damage caused by mechanical usage over time.

Scientists have designed a new nano material that can reflect or transmit light on demand with temperature control (youtube).

Terminator’-style material heals itself (youtube)

Materials may lead to self-healing smartphones. The key to self-repair is in the chemical bonding. Two types of bonds exist in materials. There are covalent bonds, which are strong and don’t readily reform once broken; and noncovalent bonds, which are weaker and more dynamic. For example, the hydrogen bonds that connect water molecules to one another are non-covalent, breaking and reforming constantly to give rise to the fluid properties of water. “Most self-healing polymers form hydrogen bonds or metal-ligand coordination, but these aren’t suitable for ionic conductors,” Wang says.

Nano Archive

Graphene is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, hexagonal lattice in which one atom forms each vertex. It is the basic structural element of other allotropes, including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. It can also be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the ultimate case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Graphene has many unusual properties. It is about 200 times stronger than the strongest steel. It conducts heat and electricity very efficiently and is nearly transparent. Graphene also shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism, even greater than graphite, and can be levitated by Nd-Fe-B magnets. Graphene, a lightweight, thin, flexible material, can be used to enhance the strength and speed of computer display screens, electric/photonics circuits, solar cells and various medical, chemical and industrial processes, among other things. It is comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons. Isolated for the first time 15 years ago, it is so thin that it is considered two-dimensional and thought to be the strongest material on the planet. Vikas Berry, associate professor and department head of chemical engineering, and colleagues used a chemical process to attach nanomaterials on graphene without changing the properties and the arrangement of the carbon atoms in graphene. By doing so, the UIC scientists retained graphene's electron-mobility, which is essential in high-speed electronics. The addition of the plasmonic silver nanoparticles to graphene also increased the material's ability to boost the efficiency of graphene-based solar cells by 11 fold (11 times the original amount), Berry said. The research, funded by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-1030963), has been published in the Journal Nano Letters. Instead of adding molecules to the individual carbon atoms of graphene, Berry's new method adds metal atoms, such as chromium or molybdenum, to the six atoms of a benzoid ring. Unlike carbon-centered bonds, this bond is delocalized, which keeps the carbon atoms' arrangement undistorted and planar, so that the graphene retains its unique properties of electrical conduction. The new chemical method of annexing nanomaterials on graphene will revolutionize graphene technology by expanding the scope of its applications, Berry said.

Nano-Graphene are strips of graphene with ultra-thin width (<50 nm). Graphene ribbons were introduced as a theoretical model by Mitsutaka Fujita and coauthors to examine the edge and nanoscale size effect in graphene.

Aromaticity is used to describe a cyclic (ring-shaped), planar (flat) molecule with a ring of resonance bonds that exhibits more stability than other geometric or connective arrangements with the same set of atoms. Aromatic molecules are very stable, and do not break apart easily to react with other substances. Organic compounds that are not aromatic are classified as aliphatic compounds—they might be cyclic, but only aromatic rings have special stability (low reactivity).

3D Graphene material can be molded into any shape and supports 3,000 times its own weight before springing back to its original height.

Nanoshell or rather a nanoshell plasmon, is a type of spherical nanoparticle consisting of a dielectric core which is covered by a thin metallic shell (usually gold). These nanoshells involve a quasiparticle called plasmon which is a collective excitation or quantum plasma oscillation where the electrons simultaneously oscillate with respect to all the ions.

Nanodot refers to several technologies which use nanometer-scale localized structures. Nanodots generally exploit properties of quantum dots to localize magnetic or electrical fields at very small scales. Applications for nanodots could include high-density information storage, energy storage, and light-emitting devices.

Store Dot

Braiding a Molecular Knot with Eight Crossings. Knots may ultimately prove just as versatile and useful at the nanoscale as at the macroscale. However, the lack of synthetic routes to all but the simplest molecular knots currently prevents systematic investigation of the influence of knotting at the molecular level. We found that it is possible to assemble four building blocks into three braided ligand strands. Octahedral iron(II) ions control the relative positions of the three strands at each crossing point in a circular triple helicate, while structural constraints on the ligands determine the braiding connections. This approach enables two-step assembly of a molecular 819 knot featuring eight nonalternating crossings in a 192-atom closed loop ~20 nanometers in length. The resolved metal-free 819 knot enantiomers have pronounced features in their circular dichroism spectra resulting solely from topological chirality.

Films about Nano Technologies

Molecules Spinning Gif Nano, the Next Dimension (youtube, 27:03)

Dr. Wade Adams: Nanotechnology and the Future of Energy (youtube, 30:41 ) 
FORA.tv Technology Season 2 Episode 16 | Aired: 10/25/2012

World's Smallest Electric Motor: Sykes Group Tufts (youtube, 6:47)

Single Atom Transistor (youtube, 2:52) 
The Nano Revolution: More than Human (2012, 52:59)
Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Metallic microlattice 'lightest structure ever' (youtube, 1 minute).
Metallic Microlattice 

NanoCar Race, the first-ever race of Molecule-Cars (youtube)

Gary Greenberg: The Beautiful Nano Details of our World (youtube, 12:06)

Nanotubes assemble! Rice introduces Teslaphoresis Carbon nanotubes in a dish assemble themselves into a nanowire in seconds under the influence of a custom-built Tesla coil created by scientists at Rice University. Self Assembly phenomenon called Teslaphoresis.

Buckminster Fullerene (C60) 1985
Fullerene Buckminster Ball Bravais Lattice

Crystal Structure is a description of the ordered arrangement of atoms, ions or molecules in a crystalline material. Ordered structures occur from the intrinsic nature of the constituent particles to form symmetric patterns that repeat along the principal directions of three-dimensional space in matter.

Perovskite (structure) is any material with the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide.

Nano News

Nanoscale Heat Engine Beyond the Carnot Limit (Nano Engine made from a Single Atom)

Institute for Integrative Nanosciences (IIN)
Jonathan Trent 
Nano Hub
The Nano Research
Understanding Nano

Oxygen Gas-Filled Micro-Particles Provide Intravenous Oxygen Delivery

Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistor (wiki)
Utility Fog (wiki)

Gene Chip Analysis Microarray technology is a powerful tool for genomic analysis. It gives a global view of the genome in a single experiment.

DNA Microarray, also commonly known as DNA chip or biochip, is a collection of microscopic DNA spots attached to a solid surface. Scientists use DNA microarrays to measure the expression levels of large numbers of genes simultaneously or to genotype multiple regions of a genome

Biochip, in molecular biology, biochips are essentially miniaturized laboratories that can perform hundreds or thousands of simultaneous biochemical reactions. Biochips enable researchers to quickly screen large numbers of biological analytes for a variety of purposes, from disease diagnosis to detection of bioterrorism agents.

Molecular Biology concerns the molecular basis of biological activity between biomolecules in the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA and proteins and their biosynthesis, as well as the regulation of these interactions. Writing in Nature in 1961, William Astbury described molecular biology as:

Tiny Machines

Bacteriophage Tiny machines are already living in Humans, Naturally

Humans also consist of trillions of electrochemical machines that somehow coordinate their intricate activities in ways that allow our bodies and minds to function with the required reliability and precision. 400 million Ribosomes could fit in a single period at the end of a sentence.  

Adenosine Triphosphate the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular Energy Transfer
Drew Berry: Animations of Unseeable Biology (video)  

Fantastic Voyage is a 1966 American science fiction film about a submarine crew who shrink to microscopic size and venture into the body of an injured scientist to repair the damage to his brain.
Molecular Machine

Microtubule are a component of the cytoskeleton, found throughout the cytoplasm. These tubular polymers of tubulin can grow as long as 50 micrometres and are highly dynamic. The outer diameter of a microtubule is about 24 nm while the inner diameter is about 12 nm. They are found in eukaryotic cells, as well as some bacteria, and are formed by the polymerization of a dimer of two globular proteins, alpha and beta tubulin.

Janet Iwasa: How Animations can help Scientists Test a Hypothesis (video)

Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis is a process by which cells absorb metabolites, hormones, other proteins - and in some cases viruses - (endocytosis) by the inward budding of plasma membrane vesicles containing proteins with receptor sites specific to the molecules being absorbed.

The Human Robot - vpro backlight (youtube timeline 33 min. mark)
Siddhartha Mukherjee: Soon we'll cure diseases with a cell, not a pill (video)
This tiny particle could roam your body to find tumors - Sangeeta Bhatia (video and Interactive Text)
Programming of Life - Intelligent Design or Evolution? (youtube)

Drug-Delivering Micro-Motors treat their first Bacterial Infection in the Stomach

Section 18.3Myosin: The Actin Motor Protein

Motor Protein are class of molecular motors that are able to move along the surface of a suitable substrate. They convert chemical energy into mechanical work by the hydrolysis of ATP. Flagellar rotation, however, is powered by proton pump.

Kinesin protein walking on microtubule (youtube)
Fantastic Vesicle Traffic (youtube)

Protein is synthesized by ribosomes along the Endoplasmic Reticulum, modified in the Golgi apparatus and packaged into vesicles.

A fresh look inside the Protein Nano-Machines. Proteins perform vital functions of life, they digest food and fight infections and cancer. They are in fact nano-machines, each one of them designed to perform a specific task. A protein is a chain made of twenty different kinds of amino acids with elaborate interactions, and, unlike standard physical matter, The blueprint for protein synthesis is written in long DNA genes, but we show that only a small fraction of this huge information space is used to make the functional protein”.

Root Hair is one of the fastest growing cells in the plant.

Machines that you swallow and then poop out.
PillCam minimally invasive tool that gives your doctor a direct view of the inside of your colon.

Vital Sense
Building Blocks of Life
Self-Replicating Machine
Human Energy

Living computers: RNA circuits transform cells into Nano-Devices. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is used to create logic circuits capable of performing various computations. In new experiments, Green and his colleagues have incorporated RNA logic gates into living bacterial cells, which act like tiny computers. Logic gates known as AND, OR and NOT were designed. An AND gate produces an output in the cell only when two RNA messages A AND B are present. An OR gate responds to either A OR B, while a NOT gate will block output if a given RNA input is present. Combining these gates can produce complex logic capable of responding to multiple inputs. Using RNA toehold switches, the researchers produced the first ribocomputing devices capable of four-input AND, six-input OR and a 12-input device able to carry out a complex combination of AND, OR and NOT logic known as disjunctive normal form expression. When the logic gate encounters the correct RNA binding sequences leading to activation, a
toehold switch opens and the process of translation to protein takes place. All of these circuit-sensing and output functions can be integrated in the same molecule, making the systems compact and easier to implement in a cell.
Mechanism of the Toehold Switch (youtube)

Enzymes are like those giant robots. They grab one or two pieces, do something to them, and then release them. Once their job is done, they move to the next piece and do the same thing again. They are little protein robots inside your cells. The robot that was designed to move a car door can't put brakes on the car. The specialized robot arms just can't do the job. Enzymes are the same. They can only work with specific molecules and only do specific tasks. Because they are so specific, their structure is very important. If only one amino acid of the enzyme is messed up, the enzyme might not work. It would be as if someone unplugged one of the cords in a robot.

Bacteriophage pictured below is a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. Bacteriophages are composed of proteins that encapsulate a DNA or RNA genome, and may have relatively simple or elaborate structures. Their genomes may encode as few as four genes, and as many as hundreds of genes. Phages replicate within the bacterium following the injection of their genome into its cytoplasm. Bacteriophages are among the most common and diverse entities in the biosphere.


Sizes of Small Things The Scale of the Universe from Big to Small (youtube)
The Scale of the Universe from Small to Big (youtube)

Size is the physical magnitude of something (how big it is). Size is the magnitude or dimensions of a thing, or how big something is. Size can be Measured as length, width, height, diameter, perimeter, area, volume, or mass. Dimension

Infinitesimal are things so small that there is no way to measure them. Imaging Machines

Scaling is a linear transformation that enlarges (increases) or shrinks (diminishes) objects by a scale factor that is the same in all directions. The result of uniform scaling is similar (in the geometric sense) to the original. A scale factor of 1 is normally allowed, so that congruent shapes are also classed as similar. Uniform scaling happens, for example, when enlarging or reducing a photograph, or when creating a scale model of a building, car, airplane, etc. Engineering Models

The True Size helps visualize the size of countries. Topography

Magnitude (mathematics) is the size of a mathematical object, a property by which the object can be compared as larger or smaller than other objects of the same kind. More formally, an object's magnitude is an ordering (or ranking) of the class of objects to which it belongs.

Order of Magnitude are written in powers of 10. For example, the order of magnitude of 1500 is 3, since 1500 may be written as 1.5 × 103.

Bytes (digital sizes)

Angstrom is a unit of length equal to 10−10 m (one ten-billionth of a metre) or 0.1 nanometre. Its symbol is Å, a letter in the Swedish alphabet.

Large Numbers
Spatial Intelligence

Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope. A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces.

Atomic-Force Microscopy is a very-high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.

Imaging Machines - Microscopes

Nano Size Chart

Atomic Radius

Sizes for Big to Small

Diffraction-limited System is the resolution of an optical imaging system – a microscope, telescope, or camera – can be limited by factors such as imperfections in the lenses or misalignment.

World's Smallest Magnifying Glass, which focuses light a billion times more tightly, down to the scale of single atom, which makes it possible to see individual chemical bonds between atoms.

World’s smallest Radio Receiver has building blocks the size of 2 Atoms The Radio is made from atomic-scale defects in diamond. Made from atomic scale imperfections in a single piece of diamond crystal. The imperfections are the size of two atoms. Electrons inside the imperfections are powered by green light. When the electrons receive radio waves they convert them into red light. A simple photodiode converts the light into current. Speakers convert the current into sound just like a radio because of diamonds it can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures. A Diamond Radio Receiver (youtube)

Moire Pattern is a secondary and visually evident superimposed pattern created, for example, when two identical (usually transparent) patterns on a flat or curved surface (such as closely spaced straight lines drawn radiating from a point or taking the form of a grid) are overlaid while displaced or rotated a small amount from one another.

What will be the next big scientific breakthrough? Eric Haseltine: (video and interactive text)

The Thinker Man