Skip to main content
Select Source:

micromechanics

micromechanics, the combination of minuscule electrical and mechanical components in a single device less than 1 mm across, such as a valve or a motor. Although micromechanical production processes and applications are still in the developmental stage, efforts have begun to develop machines—called micromachines or micromechanisms—1,000 times smaller. Nanotechnology is concerned with atomic- and molecular-scale devices. Such devices can be constructed using a scanning tunneling microscope. A single atom has been used as an electrical switch and an individual molecule used to convert alternating current into direct current. Cluster chemistry has produced small balls and tubes (see fullerene) containing between 10 and 1,000 atoms that may be useful in forming nano-thin wires and transistors that operate on just a few electrons. A third nanotechnological approach is to grow such devices from proteins, DNA, or synthesized organic molecules. Nanotechnologies are still in the laboratory stage, but practical applications are envisioned in such diverse areas as computers, pharmaceuticals, and metrology. For example, American chemist George M. Whitesides has used hydrocarbon molecules, called alkanethiols, that are self-assembling (i.e., arrange themselves into ordered, functioning entities without human intervention, as do living cells) to form ordered rows on a gold surface; such a process could be used to produce much thinner lines on an integrated circuit than can be accomplished using conventional techniques.

See K. E. Drexler and C. Peterson, with G. Pergamit, Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution (1991); A. J. Bard, Integrated Chemical Systems: A Chemical Approach to Nanotechnology (1994); E. Regis, Nano: The Emerging Science of Nanotechnology (1995).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"micromechanics." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"micromechanics." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/micromechanics

"micromechanics." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/micromechanics

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

nanotechnology

nanotechnology Micromechanics used to develop working devices the size of a few nanometres. US scientists have etched an electric motor from silicon that is smaller than 0.1mm (.0039in) wide. They have also made workable gears with a diameter less than a human hair. Further advances resulted in the manipulation of electrons and individual atoms.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nanotechnology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nanotechnology." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nanotechnology

"nanotechnology." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nanotechnology

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

nanotechnology

nanotechnology: see micromechanics.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"nanotechnology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"nanotechnology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nanotechnology

"nanotechnology." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nanotechnology

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.