History of nanotechnology

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History of nanotechnology (8-11)The fabrication of different constructive materials at the atomic and molecular range to form novel materials possessing new functions and properties sounds like modern concept. But ancient scientist was also familiar with the concept of molding and fabricating the matter at the tiniest scales. There are a numerous famous examples of ancient artifacts where the scientific concept based on nanotechnology was applied. The marvelous decorative effects of Lycurgus cup (Roman treasure from about AD400) is a stunning example of ancient nanotechnology based artifacts (Fig 2.)

In addition, Damascus steel swords from the Middle East (AD300 and AD1700), a corrosion resistant azure pigment known as Maya Blue (AD800) are some exciting illustration of ancient nanoscience based application.

In the year of 1959 Mr. R. Feynman, the professor of Californian institute of technology, first described the concept of nanotechnology at the session of the American Physical Society in a famous after-dinner speech called "There's plenty of room at the bottom". In this lecture he first introduced the idea to create nanosized products with the use of atoms as building particles. Nowadays this lecture is referred to as the pioneer of the technological paradigm of nanosciences and technologies. However, the word nanotechnology was not mentioned at that time of that speech. In 1974 N. Taniguchi first introduced and mentioned the term "nanotechnology" at the international conference on industrial production in Tokyo. Ideas of Nano technological strategy was first described by E. Drexler in his famous book "Vehicles of creation: the arrival of the nanotechnology era" published in 1986.In 1991 the first nano technological program of National Scientific Fund was established to operate in the USA and after 10 years the National Nanotechnological Initiative (NNI) of the USA was approved by the USA government. Like USA Japan also play an important role in exploring nanotechnology in the area of new scientific research. In 2000 the Japanese Economic Association (JAE) started a new special department on nanotechnology and in 2001 the nanotechnology research plan and framework was developed. After that all developed countries including European countries paid a lot of attention to explore the nanotechnology for the development of scientific research. Recently developing countries like Republic of China and India are also working on the field of nanotechnology for development of the new idea within the framework of state scientific programs.


8. Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties". Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering. July 2004.

9. Nanotechnology: Drexler and Smalley make the case for and against 'molecular assemblers'". Chemical & Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 81 (48): 37-42. 1 December 2003. doi:10.1021/cen-v081n036.p037.

10."Nanotechnology Information Center: Properties, Applications, Research, and Safety Guidelines". American Elements.

11. "Analysis: This is the first publicly available on-line inventory of nanotechnology-based consumer products". The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. 2008.

Salient features:

1. Ancient scientists were quite familiar with the technology of tiny particles although they did not name it as nanotechnology.

2. Lycargus cup, Damascus sword, Maya blue are very popular example of ancient nanotechnology.

3. In 1974, N Taguchi first mentioned the word Nanotechnology.

About the Author

Anirbandeep Bose's picture

I am Dr. Anirbandeep Bose working as an Asst. Prof in Acharya and Bm Reddy college of Pharmacy ,Bangalore.Before that I worked as postdoctoral fellow in Pharmacy department of University Technology Mara(UiTM),Malaysia.I was awarded the post doctoral fellowship by the Malaysian higher education Ministry. Before that I got awarded PhD in Pharmaceutics from Jadavpur University,Kolkata,India. I worked as production chemist(Tablets and Capsule manufacturing) in BHP(1981)PVT. LTD for more than 2 years. I have more than 30 international publications related this field and attended many international conference.

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