According to Wikipedia, Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with structures sized between 1 to 100 nanometre in at least one dimension.
With applications in wide ranging fields like electronics, chemistry, physics, medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology, green and clean environment is clearly interdisciplinary. Differentiating between â€śbottom upâ€ť and â€śtop downâ€ť methodologies, nanotechnology often requires nanopatterning or nanolithography techniques, self assembly or a mix of both to create nanostructures of interest. For a good overview please also see Introduction to Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology - Nanofabrication techniques
Amongst top down technologies, nanolithography using electron beam or ion beam is most widespread. Electron beam or ion beam lithography
has reached the sub 10 nm regime already at the sake of being limited in mass production. These lithography
technologies are sequential â€“ means write pattern after pattern in sequence. A combination of self organisation and guided by high resolution electron or ion beam lithography
fabricated pattern, is one solution to carry the benefits from each methodology forward to mass production of nanodevices.
Beyond nanolithography, there are many other techniques like nanoengineering and nanomanipulation to explore the wide ranging application spectrum. Using finest tips and â€śweldingâ€ť techniques like electron or ion beam induced deposition and etching can help to select and characterize nanotubes or nanowires simply replace them down to the level of atoms.
Leading edge research results within nanotechnologies is a race to develop better techniques and processes, however the next challenge remains to find ways of productionising the fabrication of useful nanostructures in its various application fields. Nanoimprint lithography
is one candidate for industrial nanostructure fabrication however like in todayâ€™s semiconductor manufacturing, electron beam lithography
is still required to fabricate the master templates.