Slide 23 of 28
Turning now from the terascale to the nanoscale. (Note: Mike Roco will provide more detail on NSF’s investment in Nanotechnology in his talk on Thursday.)
One nanometer (one billionth of a meter) is a magical point on the dimensional scale. Nanostructures are at the confluence of the smallest of human-made devices and the large molecules of living systems.
- Individual atoms are around a few angstroms in diameter -- a few tenths of a nanometer.
- In the middle image: Ten shoulder-to-shoulder hydrogen atoms (blue balls) span 1 nanometer. DNA molecules are about 2.5 nanometers wide.
- Biological cells, like red blood cells, have diameters in the range of thousands of nanometers. These are approaching the same scale as micro-electrical mechanical systems.