A Presentation Of The National Nanotechnology Initiative ( Nni )
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“There’s plenty of room at the bottom”; this statement by Richard Feynman in 1959 during a presentation to a meeting of the American Physical Society, is widely accepted as the spark that initiated the present ‘nano’ age1. Nano, “dwarf” in Greek, is defined as one billionth, it follows that the nanoscale is measured in nanometres, or 10-9 m. To put this in perspective; the average strand of a human hair is roughly 75,000 nm in diameter, or from the other extreme 1 nm is the length of 10 hydrogen atoms lined up end to end. Nanotechnology can be difficult to define, as its definition is often engineered to suit the researcher and their field; this resulted in a need of a general working definition, which the national nanotechnology initiative (NNI) established . Nanotechnology is thus defined as possessing the following features;
• Nanotechnology involves research and technology development at the 1 nm to 100 nm range.
• Nanotechnology builds on the capability to organize or manipulate at the atomic scale.
• Nanotechnology creates and uses structures that have novel properties because of their small size.
Nanoscience involves a study of nanotechnology and nanomaterials, of which at least one of the dimensions is in 1-100 nm range. Over the past two decades, nanomaterials have been a topic of both scientific and technological interest2. Due to their compact dimension and enlarged surface area, these materials possess new physical and