Focused energy of lasers breaks microscopic adhesion

Small objects tend to cling to everything. It's why parents dread hosting parties that involve confetti. It's why glitter is fun for crafts—until it finds its way onto everything else you touch.

Making a mini Mona Lisa

The world's most famous painting has now been created on the world's smallest canvas. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have "painted" the Mona Lisa on a substrate surface approximately 30 microns in width ...

Nanoparticles, made to order—inside and out

A new coating technology developed at MIT, combined with a novel nanoparticle-manufacturing technology developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, may offer scientists a way to quickly mass-produce tailored ...

3Qs: The 3-D printing of tomorrow

Ahmed Busnaina, the William Lincoln Smith Professor and director of the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing at Northeastern, has developed a method called directed assembly that he ...

Measuring displacements on the scale of nanometers

European researchers are developing novel optical methods of detecting displacements on the scale of nanometres. Project results could have widespread application in areas as diverse as nanomanufacturing and the design of ...

The promise of nanomanufacturing using DNA origami

( -- In recent years, scientists have begun to harness DNA’s powerful molecular machinery to build artificial structures at the nanoscale using the natural ability of pairs of DNA molecules to assemble into ...

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Nanomanufacturing is a term used to describe either the production of nanoscaled materials, which can be powders or fluids, or to describe the manufacturing of parts "bottom up" from nanoscaled materials or "top down" in smallest steps for high precision, used in several technologies such as laser ablation, etching and others. Nanomanufacturing should not be confused with molecular manufacturing, which refers specifically to the manufacture of complex, nanoscale structures by means of nonbiological mechanosynthesis (and subsequent assembly).

The term "nanomanufacturing" is widely used, e.g. by the European Technology Platform MINAM and the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The NNI refers to the sub-domain of nanotechnology as one of its five "priority areas." There is also a nanomanufacturing program at the U.S. National Science Foundation, through which the National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) has been established. The NNN is an organization that works to expedite the transition of nanotechnologies from laboratory research to production manufacturing and it does so through information exchange, strategic workshops, and roadmap development.

The NNI has defined nanotechnology very broadly, to include a wide range of tiny structures, including those created by large and imprecise tools. However, nanomanufacturing is not defined in the NNI's recent report, Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanotechnology. In contrast, another "priority area," nanofabrication, is defined as "the ability to fabricate, by directed or self-assembly methods, functional structures or devices at the atomic or molecular level" (p. 67). Nanomanufacturing appears to be the near-term, industrial-scale manufacture of nanotechnology-based objects, with emphasis on low cost and reliability.

Many professional societies have formed Nanotechnology technical groups. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, for example, has formed a Nanomanufacturing Technical Group to both inform members of the developing technologies and to address the organizational and IP (intellectual property) legal issues that must be addressed for broader commercialization.

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