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Welcome to Nanotechnology Studies at Stony Brook University

Welcome to the website for nanotechnology education and studies at Stony Brook University. Here, you can find out what educational resources are available, what kind of exciting research is being done by students working with faculty and companies, and how you can learn about and get involved in the emerging field of nanotechnology and nanoscale engineering.

What is "nanotechnology"? While most definitions of "nanotechnology" refer to materials science or chemical engineering of functional structures at a scale of a few nanometers (nm) to less that 100 nm (a nanometer is a billionth (10-9 m) of a meter), there are some materials and structures which demonstrate remarkable and useful properties at several hundred nanometers. To be consistent with a less arbitrary size range, a better definition for nanotechnology would be: The design, characterization, production, and application of structures, devices, and systems by controlled manipulation of size and shape at the nanometer scale (atomic, molecular, and macromolecular scale) that produces structures, devices, and systems with at least one novel/superior characteristic or property.(1)

The key part of this definition is that what scientists and engineers create (and eventually manufacture) at the nanoscale must have a unique property or functionality which can respond to an engineering need. While there is already nanoscale engineering used in products from computer microchips to pharmaceuticals to advanced textiles, there are many new areas to explore. New concepts in nanoscale engineering are being developed daily, based on research in physics, chemistry and materials science and inspired by structures and processes found in nature, modeled by computers, and discovered in the test tubes and vacuum chambers of laboratories.

1. from R.Bawa, S.Bawa, S.Maebius, T.Flynn, C.Wei, "Protecting new ideas and inventions in nanomedicine with patents" in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 150-158 (2005).

For a detailed introduction to nanotechnology please visit Center for Responsible Nanotechnology and KQED video explaining what nanotechnology is, also visit Dr. Eric Drexler's work on the science behind productive nanosystems