The past few decades have seen an explosive increase in our ability to create nanostructures and nanosystems with a great degree of control, using a diversity of techniques. This ability has been accompanied by a similar enhancement in our ability to characterize structures and systems at the nanoscale. This book provides a broad overview of those nanostructures and nanosystems (together termed "Nanotechnology"). It covers structural characteristics and properties of nanostructures, nanofabrication techniques, methods for characterizing nanostructures, and applications for nanomaterials. The book also provides a thought-provoking assessment of the possible implications of nanotechnology in society, and likely future trends. Nanotechnology: A Crash Course is accessible to a wide readership and will meet the immediate needs of advanced undergraduate through doctoral students, professors, and researchers alike, who are looking for a quick yet inclusive grasp of this cutting-edge technology.
Suppose that you recently graduated with a B.S. degree in science or engineering and will commence your first professional employment tomorrow. Earlier this afternoon, your manager called to ask if you know something about nanotechnology, so that tomorrow you can begin developing an internal proposal for your division. But either your college did not offer a course on nanotechnology or you decided not to take one. You need a crash course in nanotechnology, just to get you off the ground.
Suppose that you are a doctoral student in a department whose candidacy examination requires you to write a 5-10-page research proposal on an emerging topic assigned by the faculty committee. Suppose that your assigned topic intersects with nanotechnology, but all that you know about nanotechnology came from a couple of hour-long graduate seminars that you attended the previous semester. You need a crash course in nanotechnology, not only to write an impressive introduction but also to acquaint yourself with terminology to conduct efficient searches on Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, etc.
Suppose that you are a post-doctoral researcher at either an academic or an industrial research institution. Your supervisor has asked you to advise a shining undergraduate student for a summer project in nanotechnology, although the focus of your own research is elsewhere. You need a crash course in nanotechnology, to start the student off in a promising direction.
Suppose that you are a new assistant professor. Your departmental head advises that your research proposal to a government program to assist new faculty members in beginning research programs lacks that "wow" factor that would virtually guarantee success. "Put in a nano angle," you are told. You need a crash course in nanotechnology, to clothe your proposal in the glory of "nano."
Suppose that you are a middle-aged professor undergoing a midlife crisis. Instead of changing your family or lifestyle, you may choose to change your research focus to an emerging research area. You need a crash course in nanotechnology, to assess your current resources and future needs.
With your particular need in mind, we persuaded SPIE Press to publish our short and readable introduction to nanotechnology. While Nanotechnology: A Crash Course is unlikely to convert you overnight into a nanostar, it would meet your immediate need and very likely help you steer your professional life in a new direction.
Suppose that you simply have some time on your hands and wish to enrich your mind. But your financial health does not permit you to travel to a remote part of our planet or to buy an audio or video course on an ancient civilization. You, too, may like to read Nanotechnology: A Crash Course. Borrow it from a public library, buy yourself a hard copy, or purchase it as an eBook from the SPIE Digital Library.
Raúl J. Martín-Palma
University Park, PA, USA