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Nanotech, short for nanotechnology, refers to technological developments
on the nanometer scale, usually in the range of 0.1 to 100
nanometers. One nanometer is equal to one-thousandth of a micrometer
or one-millionth of a millimeter. At this microscopic size, physical
phenomena such as quantum mechanics size effects and Van der Waals force
effects are observed, which are not observed on the macroscopic scale.
In 1974, Professor Norio Taniguchi, of Tokyo Science University, first defined the term "nanotechnology" as the "processing, separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule." More broadly, nanotechnology is used to create structures on a scale below 100 nanometers, making possible the rapid development of technological advances on the molecular scale.
This field is becoming increasingly important with the rapidly changing electronics and mechanical industries. As products become smaller, the challenges in design and manufacturing rise rapidly. With this technology, currently cumbersome mechanical devices in fields as diverse as biotechnology, medicine, electronics, and others will be replaced with sophisticated microscopic devices capable of doing things that are only imagined today. As nanotechnology develops, new products are brought to market that are more user friendly, portable, and flexible in their applications. In a general sense, nanotechnology has the same effect on mechanical devices that advanced miniaturization in electronics has had on super computers, enabling them to shrink to the size of a laptop or PDA. It is expected that the nanotech field will continue its dramatic growth for the foreseeable future.
The directory of nanotechnology companies listed on Nanotech Now and the representative nanotech companies listed below exemplify business and research trends in this exciting field.
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Nanotech Companies - Guide to Nanotechnology Companies