It's a small world...
(Don Eigler and Erhard Schweizer of IBM’s Almaden Research Center made nanotech history when they wrote their employer’s name in xenon atoms on a nickel surface, using the weak attractive forces between the atoms in the STM needle’s tip and the xenon atoms to nudge them into position. Their paper was published in Nature on April 5, 1990)
There was an article recently on Nanotechnology, in the June 2006 issue of National Geographic Magazine.
"Nanotechnology is a field of applied science focused on the design, synthesis, characterization and application of materials and devices on the nanoscale. Nanotechnology is a sub classification of technology in colloidal science, biology, physics, chemistry and other scientific fields and involves the study of phenomena and manipulation of material at the nanoscale, in essence an extension of existing sciences into the nanoscale. Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology: one is a "bottom-up" approach where materials and devices are built up atom by atom, the other a "top-down" approach where they are synthesized or constructed by removing existing material from larger entities. A unique aspect of nanotechnology is the vastly increased ratio of surface area to volume present in many nanoscale materials, which opens new possibilities in surface-based science, such as catalysis. This catalytic activity also opens potential risks in their interaction with biomaterials."
It's a fascinating subject, and it shows a lot of potential.
Some recent (Sept. 26th) articles:
Nanotechnology Risks Unknown
Study Says U.S. Has Lead in Nanotechnology
(New York Times)
Other related links:
The Institute of Nanotechnology
The National Nanotechnology Initiative
Engines of Creation:
The Coming Era of Nanotechnology
(K. Eric Drexler)
And a blog about it:
Howard Lovy's NanoBot
Size definitely matters!!!