Nanoscience and nanotechnology have opened an era of integration of fundamental research and engineering from the atomic and molecular levels, increased technological innovation, and an enabling base for improving human health and cognitive abilities in long term. The rudimentary capabilities of nanotechnology today are envisioned to evolve in four overlapping generations of new nanotechnology products: passive nanostructures, active nanostructures, systems of nanosystems, and molecular nanosystems. Besides advanced materials, electronics and pharmaceuticals, new possibilities are envisioned in nanomedicine, energy and water supply, food and agriculture, realistic simulations at the nanoscale, molecular nanosystems, and improving human potential. This lecture briefly explores scientific and technological frontiers of nanotechnology in the next decade. Examples of R&D challenges and nanotechnology development possibilities are tools for measurement and manipulation of matter with atomic precision, time resolution of chemical reactions, and for domains of engineering relevance; and a new body of manufacturing knowledge to support the advances in nano and micro science and engineering, including knowledge necessary for design, fabrication and assembly. Large systems with nanoscale components and emerging behavior using new architectures may yield new categories of products.
The balance between the promised benefits and measures to address possible undesirable effects is discussed. The general risks associated with nanotechnology applications and the deficits of the risk governance process today also will be presented, concluding with possible approaches for global nanotechnology governance.
ME 161, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IIN