THE FUTURE OF MICROFABRICATION AND NANOBOTS
Micro-fabrication is the man-made processes of producing items which are hard to see with the naked eye. It isn’t a new process by any means; ancient civilizations were the first to produce micro-lithographic images on coins and medallions by using acids to burn out design in metals. It is a broad category, and covers many areas of nanotechnology, such as microscopic microfilms, integrated circuits, biosystems, and semiconductor materials. It sometimes involves the layering of integrated systems in different boards, or panels.
Modern lithography and integration of microscopic circuits can be seen in everyday items, such as flash drives, and laptops, tablets, and Ipads. Up to just twenty years ago this was an impossibility, but now it’s just another wonder of technology. These advancements have led to the development of drones, and other automated systems which allow us to no longer physically have to be in one place.
Micro-fabrication has helped in the field of physics, allowing us to study things smaller than an atom, such as quarks, neutrinos, and Higgs-Bossom particles. In the field of medicine, it will one day allow us to be able to cure some conditions just by simply sending tiny robots into the human body. Conditions such as tumors, arteriosclerosis, blood clots, and infections will be treated by tiny robots that can attack a cancerous cell, repair a damaged one, or administer antibiotics at the exact point of infection.
Tiny robots can also be used for surveillance by governments and security personnel near airports and government facilities. Some robots can also be used to enter earthquake or storm areas to look for survivors amidst the rubble.
I must apologize for my recent absence from my blog. I have been busy trying to finish the necessary steps to my next novel, and have been recently doing a lot of promoting of my current books. I will return on Monday with a topic that affects us all. Until then, have a good and safe weekend!
THE FUTURE IS NOW
First off, I like to say that I haven’t been on my blog regularly lately because I’ve been busy finishing my third novel of the Dimension Lapse series, and am proud to say things are moving well, and ahead of schedule. I hope to have it out by April, in time for my next book signing. I originally planned for June, but I hope to have it out sooner.
Nanotechnology is a relatively new area, and involves many different fields. It is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale(molecular technology). It involves the areas of surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, and microfabrication.
In this series, we’ll look at each of these fields. Today, we’ll look at the area off surface science. The world of nanotechnology can be a bit complicated, so I’ll try to keep things as simple as I can when explaining things. Surface science is the area that is the study of physical and chemical phenomena which occur when solids meet liquids, solids meet gas, solids in a vacuum, and liquid meets gas.
There are five concepts involved in surface science. They are heterogeneous catalysis, semi-conductor device fabrication, fuel cells, self-assembled monolayers, and adhesives. Heterogeneous catalysis refers to when a catalysis(increase of rate in a chemical reaction) differs from that of its reactants. Most catalysis are solids, and most reactants are gases and liquids. They are mostly used in chemical and energy industries.
Semi-conductor fabrication is the process of using integrated circuits that are present is everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multi-step process of photo lithographic and chemical processing steps where electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer of semiconductor material. This process has allowed computer chips to become smaller and smaller, and will one day pave the way for microcomputers, supercomputers with massive amounts of information, and tiny bio-robots that will attack damaged or diseased cells.
Fuel cells is the oldest of the group, and the first one was invented in 1838. They are devices that convert chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction of positively charged Hydrogen ions with an oxidizing agent like Oxygen. They differ from traditional batteries in the sense they constantly need fuel to sustain a chemical reaction. They are often used in satellites and space capsules, and as a backup energy source for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings, and also in vehicles, such as; cars, buses, boats, motorcycles, and submarines.
Self Assembled Monolayers are organic molecules found spontaneously on surfaces by adsorption, and organized in to larger domains. In other words, they are a layering of organic material(micro-atoms and nano-atoms) to form larger organic material(cells, compounds, and multi-cellular organisms.) This usually occurs in the liquid-liquid phase or the liquid-solid phase.
Adhesives are any substances applied to a surface, or two surfaces. They have advantages over other binding techniques, such as sewing, mechanical fastening, an thermal bonding. There are two types of adhesives-reactive(needs a chemical reaction in order to harden) and nonreactive(no chemical reaction.) They can be found naturally or produced synthetically, and humans have used them for 200,000 years!
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the world of organic chemistry, and how nanotechnology has changed the way we look at atoms, cells, and everything we touch, see, feel, and hear. Until them, here are today’s reference links:
Another field of nanotechnology is organic chemistry, which is the study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and materials. It consists of methods used to evaluate chemical reactivity of organic matter in its pure form, and in solutions, mixtures, and fabricated forms. The range of chemicals studied include hydrocarbons, as well as myriad compositions based always on carbon, but also containing other elements.
Some of the general principles involved are structure and bonding of atoms, molecules, and formulas, the intermolecular forces upon them; such as boiling and melting points and water solubility, chemical reactivity, thermodynamics, kinetics, acids and bases, and equilibria.
Organic chemistry includes the study of polymers, such as plastics, and gases like methane, Ethane, and Propane. Some examples of organic chemicals include shampoos, lotions, perfume, gasoline, plastics, paper, coal, wood, and dyes. Most organic chemistry involves using natural carbon based compounds blended with other chemical processes to make synthetic products.
Monday we’ll continue our series in nanotechnology when we look at Molecular Biology; what it is, and what it consists of. Until then, here are today’s reference links:
WHAT THE EYE CANNOT SEE
Molecular Biology is the study of biological activity between biomolecules in various systems of a cell, such as DNA, RNA, proteins and their biosynthesis. Researchers use specific techniques, such as bio chemistry and genetics.
Biochemistry is the study of chemical substances and vital processes occurring in live organisms, such as the role, function, and structure of biomolecules. This involves how cells react to viruses and diseases, climatic conditions, and chemicals, as well as how cells regenerate.
Genetics is the study of the effect of genetic differences in organisms, such as mutations, hereditary conditions, and bloodlines. It also involves the study and processes of replication of DNA and cells, transcription and translation of genetic DNA and RNA codes, and cell function.
Molecular biology branches into the area of cloning, cross breeding, copying DNA sequences, and the mutation of DNA. Much ground has been broken in this field, with the successful cloning of animals, and cross breeding of certain genes in host animals. Successful cross breeding of species isn’t currently possible, but certain genes, such as spider genes in goats to produce a stronger fiber of string, and gecko genes to produce stronger adhesiveness, have been. It also covers the area of finding compatible donors for organ transplants, biopsies, and other medical procedures in the field of microbiology.
In my Dimension Lapse series, Balta is the product of simian and human DNA. Even though this is currently science fiction, there is nothing to say that one day it wouldn’t be possible in the future. A lab in England has already explored this idea, although there are restrictions that it must be destroyed during the embryo stage. I also speak of an alien virus that lives within Angelica’s, John Carver’s, and Dr. Avery’s genes. Molecular biology is an essential part of the plot, and effects the outcome of my third book, Dimensional Breakdown, due out in June.
Next time we’ll take a look at semiconductor physics, and how certain metals react to others magnetically. Until Then, here are the links for today: