|Life Quote Tumblr page: Richard Feynman|
We entered the nanoscale world officially 25 years ago. The distinction is primarily gate feature size: we were in the microelectronics era due to printing gate features 10-6 meters; "nano" is 10-9 meters as far as electronics goes. There are two distinct branches now: "nanoscience," which I'm not as familiar with, but tends to involve medicine and biology, specifically focused delivery systems for medicinal treatments, and "nanoengineering" where I now find my career has evolved. What we now take for granted: flat screens TVs and pads; cell phones with photographic and video capability we take and upload to social media that have now become a part of how we gather news and hold authority accountable. A few things to highlight how far we've come:
Nanotechnology: Highlights From 25 Years (PDF).
One of the most cited and downloaded papers in Nanotechnology is 'Comparison of calibration methods for atomic-force microscopy cantilevers'. Published in 2003, it presented a detailed comparison of the calibration methods of several atomic-force microscopy cantilevers.
Nancy A Burnham, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, talks about some aspects of the paper, highlighting some of the contributions that have now, 10 years later, become commonplace among AFM manufacturers.
Dr. Burnham below:
We can never forget the character who who contributed greatly to the idea it all (some would say he started it with this lecture). Initially given in 1959, he repeated it in 1984. What he referred to then as "tiny machines," we now call MEMS - microelectromechanical systems, 1st coined by DARPA in 1986. As we get perilously (in a good way) towards the Moore's Law limit, there is indeed "plenty of room at the bottom" (Richard Feynman):