To be nano or not to be nano?


Nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanostructured materials, nanoimprint, nanobiotechnology, nanophysics, nanochemistry, radical nanotechnology, nanosciences, nanooptics, nanoelectronics, nanorobotics, nanosoldiers, nanomedecine, nanoeconomy, nanobusiness, nanolawyer, nanoethics to name a few of the nanos. We need a clear definition of all these burgeoning fields for the sake of the grant attribution, for the sake of research program definition, and to avoid everyone being lost in so many nanos.

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Figure 1: Artificial 'device' at the nanoscale: the scanning tunnelling microscope image of a single Lander molecule, which is creating a circular electronic wave modulation, 0.008 nm in amplitude, on the Cu(111) surface. Reprinted with permission from ref. 12.
Figure 2: Artificial and natural 'devices' at the mesoscale.
Figure 3: Galatée aux Sphères (Salvador Dali, 1952).


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Thanks to V. Ondarçuhu, P. Hawkes and X. Bouju for their critical reading.

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Joachim, C. To be nano or not to be nano?. Nature Mater 4, 107–109 (2005).

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