Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems, Second Edition

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  • Comprehensive glossary serves as a nanotech dictionary, helping students review concepts and book material as well as understand other more complex texts
  • Suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter give readers a portal into deeper study of nanotech topics
  • Numerous updates and improvements to the text and figures, based on user feedback
  • Many simple examples, figures, and ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculations, so that the reader can get a good feeling for the numbers of nanotechnology

A solutions manual and figure slides are available upon qualifying course adoption.


Winner of a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Award 2011!

Transistors using one electron at a time. Sunscreens made with titanium dioxide particles that look transparent to our eyes but block harmful UV rays. Nanometer-sized specks of gold that change color to red and melt at 750°C instead of 1064°C. Nanotechnology takes the unique physical properties of items measuring roughly 0.1 to 1000 nanometers and puts them to use.

Such applications have made nanotechnology a hot topic, but the search for a true introductory resource usually comes up cold. Nano novices come from a wide variety of backgrounds, so an effective text must assume limited understanding of background material and not be overly focused on any particular area. Still, it must maintain scientific rigor and quality.

Fitting neatly between popular science books and high-level treatises, Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems, Second Edition works from the ground up to provide:

  • A detailed yet accessible introduction to one of the world’s fastest growing fields, understandable to members of a variety of disciplines
  • A clear presentation of real-world examples and original illustrations, as well as hundreds of homework problems of varying types, including multiple choice, true-false, in-depth calculation, and essay (with complete solutions manual)
  • A systems-based approach that illustrates how underlying areas of nano are assembled to create systems with unique functions and characteristics

Comparing nanoscale and macroscale systems reveals the complex and fundamental differences between phenomena at different scales and uncovers the specific challenges and opportunities of nano. With its engaging and entertaining style, this book provides a gateway into an exciting and rapidly evolving area of science.

Table of Contents

Big Picture and Principles of the Small World
Understanding the Atom: Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit
Nanotechnology Starts with a Dare: Feynman’s Big Little Challenges
Why One-Billionth of a Meter Is a Big Deal
Thinking It Through: The Broad Implications of Nanotechnology
The Business of Nanotech: Plenty of Room at the Bottom Line Too

Introduction to Miniaturization
Background: The Smaller, the Better
Scaling Laws
Accuracy of the Scaling Laws

Introduction to Nanoscale Physics
Background: Newton Never Saw a Nanotube
One Hundred Hours and Eight Minutes of Nanoscale Physics
The Basics of Quantum Mechanics

Background: Matter Matters
Bonding Atoms to Make Molecules and Solids
Crystal Structures
Structures Small Enough to Be Different (and Useful)

Background: The Universe Mechanism
A High-Speed Review of Motion: Disp lacement, Velocity, Acceleration, and Force
Nanomechanical Oscillators: A Tale of Beams and Atoms
Feeling Faint Forces

Background: The Problem (Opportunity)
Electron Energy Bands
Electrons in Solids: Conductors, Insulators, and Semiconductors
Fermi Energy
The Density of States for Solids
Turn Down the Volume! (How to Make a Solid Act More Like an Atom)
Quantum Confinement
Single Electron Phenomena
Molecular Electronics

Nanoscale Heat Transfer
Background: Hot Topic
All Heat Is Nanoscale Heat

Background: The Lycurgus Cup and the birth of the Photon
Photonic Properties of Nanomaterials
Near-Field Light
Optical Tweezers
Photonic Crystals: A Band Gap for Photons

Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics
Background: Becoming Fluent in Fluids
Fluids at the Nanoscale: Major Concepts
How Fluids Flow at the Nanoscale
Applications of Nanofluidics

Background: Our World in a Cell
Introduction: How Biology "Feels" at the Nanometer Scale
The Machinery of the Cell
Applications of Nanobiotechnology

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"Ever since Richard Feynman gave his classic talk in 1959, "There Is Plenty of Room at the Bottom," there has been a steadily increasing buzz in manipulating matter at the atomic scale--nanotechnology. This updated work (1st ed., 2008) takes the revolutionary concepts and techniques that have traditionally been fodder for graduate study and makes them accessible for all. Covering subjects ranging from materials science to mechanics and biotechnology to photonics, Rogers and Adams (both, Nevada Nano) and Pennathur (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) deftly introduce the reader to each topic and quickly explain why it is important on the nanoscale. An exciting feature is the 'back of the envelope' examples, where the reader is walked through 'quick and dirty' calculations to illustrate and understand (mathematically) the complex concepts discussed. The end of each chapter includes traditional problem sets and short answer questions to test understanding. While not a comprehensive text in any specific area of nanoscale science or engineering, this outstanding introduction to the broad field of nanotechnology provides a solid foundation for further study. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."
—N.M. Fahrenkopf, University at Albany, CHOICE, 2011

Praise for the First Edition
"It is written in an easily understandable manner, not requiring from the reader deep knowledge in the related topics of physics and mathematics before reading this book. It uncovers the most important things about nanotechnology explained in a very illustrative manner with many simple examples, figures, and ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculations, so that the reader can get a good feeling for the numbers of nanotechnology."
Zentralblatt MATH, 1185

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