Distinctions and Differences in Nanotechnology

Last month I suggested that perhaps it wasn’t entirely wise for the molecular nanotechnology (MNT) community to try so vigorously to detach itself from the nanoscale material science that we see embodied in the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

I made this suggestion thinking that it might actually be beneficial to the hopes and dreams of the MNT faithful to be thought of, at least in part, as a logical evolutionary step to some of the nanomaterial science we are seeing today.

This was quickly met with a response that provided a remedial course on the distinction and difference between the two flavors of nanotechnology. Then came a derisive comment from another blog that suggested based on this exchange that I was clearly so poorly informed on the subject that I didn’t know the difference between the two. Sigh.

I guess I should be used to name calling when I try to discuss MNT so I’m not too bothered, but for my New Year’s resolutions I will remind myself to give a second thought before even mentioning the term.

That said, resolutions were made to be broken, so I couldn’t help myself from pointing out this latest news story in which “photographs” of nanoparticle self-assembly could serve as a blueprint for building molecular machines. Those darn microscopy tools and nanoparticles.

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Nanoclast

IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

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Dexter Johnson
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