The Origins of Nanotechnology

the-origins-of-nanotechnologyA discussion from 1959, held by the renowned scientist Richard Feynman, to his audience paved the road to the nanotechnology concept. The talk named ‘There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom’ pledged on the synthesis of elements at atomic level. The term nanotechnology would be used first by a Japanese professor at Tokyo University of Science, called Norio Taniguchi, back in 1974.

The American Engineer K. Eric Drexler described the processes of nanotechnology in 1986 in the pages of his book called ‘Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology’. The same year, he founded the Foresight Institute that would pave the path of nanotechnology concept, applications and implications and its understanding to the wide public.

The 80s are considered to be the golden age and birth of nanotechnology, due to the great mind and implication of Eric Drexler. The discoveries and peaks of the 80s of nanotechnology influenced positively the contemporary control over atomic matter.

The microscope invented in 1981 made it easy for scientists to scan and tunnel the individual atoms and the bonds between them. Gerd Binng and Heinrich Rohrer, both working for the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, developed the microscope. They were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for the invention that would change the world. By 1989, other researchers in the scientific community found a way to manipulate the individual atoms.

Harry Kroto, together with Richard Smarley and Robert Curl, discovered the grapheme tubes in 1985. A few years later, in 1996, they were rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The used of carbon nanotubes has numerous potential applications. Later, nanoparticles became a main ingredient for the nanomaterials designed from the atomic level. After 2000, the scientific community regarding nanoscale research became much more popular to the wide public, thus more accepted widely.