Monday, October 6, 2008

Top-down approaches

These seek to create smaller devices by using larger ones to direct their assembly.

* Many technologies descended from conventional solid-state silicon methods for fabricating microprocessors are now capable of creating features smaller than 100 nm, falling under the definition of nanotechnology. Giant magnetoresistance-based hard drives already on the market fit this description,[10] as do atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques. Peter Gr├╝nberg and Albert Fert received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of Giant magnetoresistance and contributions to the field of spintronics in 2007.

* Solid-state techniques can also be used to create devices known as nanoelectromechanical systems or NEMS, which are related to microelectromechanical systems or MEMS.

* Atomic force microscope tips can be used as a nanoscale "write head" to deposit a chemical upon a surface in a desired pattern in a process called dip pen nanolithography. This fits into the larger subfield of nanolithography.

Functional approaches

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