Introduction

Leng, Jinsong and Li, Jianjun and Lau, Alan kin-tak (2011) Introduction. In: Multifunctional polymer nanocomposites. Taylor & Francis (CRC Press), Boca Raton, FL. United States, pp. 1-18. ISBN 978-1-4398-1682-0

Abstract

The nano era, similar to the mid-industrial steel era, not only stands for great technical innovations but also indicates the future trend of existing technologies. It is believed that this period will dominate and transform people's daily lives. 'Nano' is a unit of length defined as 10-9 m. To give you an idea of how small it is, the width of a human hair is 10-6 nm, and the size of an atom is 0.1 nm. In recent decades, the development of microscopes has enabled scientists to observe the structures of the materials at nanoscale and investigate their novel properties. In the early 1980s, IBM (Zurich) invented the scanning tunneling microscope, which was the first instrument that could 'see' atoms. In order to expand the types of materials that could be studied, scientists invented the atomic force microscope. Now, these instruments can be used to observe the structures and different properties of materials at nanometer scale. Physics reveals big differences at the nanometer scale, and the properties observed on a microscopic scale are novel and important. For example, quantum mechanical and thermodynamic properties have pushed forward the development of science and technology in the 20th century. Nanotechnology means the study and application of materials with structures between 1 and 100 nfn in size. Unlike bulk materials, one can work with individual atoms and molecules and learn about an individual molecule's properties. Also, we can arrange atoms and molecules together in well-defined ways to produce new materials with amazing characteristics. For example, nanotechnology has produced huge increases in computer speed and storage capacity. That is why 'nano' has attracted attention in the research fields of physics, chemistry, biology, and even engineering. This word has entered the popular culture and can be found in television, movie, and commercial advertisements. Politicians and leaders around the world have realized the importance and urgency of developing nanoscience and nanotechnology, so countries have promoted research in nanoscience and nanotechnology in their universities and laboratories. With the huge increase in funding, scientists are pursuing nano research intensively, and the rate of discovery is increasing dramatically.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 1. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Print copy held in the USQ Library at 620.192 Mul.
Depositing User: Professor Alan Lau
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - No Department
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2012 03:09
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2014 05:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: nano research; nanotechnology
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics > 020299 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
10 Technology > 1007 Nanotechnology > 100799 Nanotechnology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1201/b10462-2
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19238

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