This section provides information about nanotechnology jobs including qualifications required and where nanotechnologists might work
What is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science. It involves designing and manipulating structures at the atomic and subatomic level. Its purpose is to create materials and devices of increased durability and efficiency, using a combination of techniques from many areas of specialty including physics, chemistry, biosciences, material science and engineering. Nanotechnology affects all high-tech fields, disciplines, and research activities.
What do Nanotechnologists do?
Nanotechnologists conduct research and development at molecular or atomic levels, with materials in the size range from about 1 to 100 nanometers. They create and use systems, devices, and structures which have special functions or properties because of their small size. Nanomaterials are physical materials with structural dimensions between 1 and 100 nm (nanometers). Nanotools are devices that manipulate matter at the atomic or nano scale. Nanodevices are systems with nanostructured components that perform assigned functions. Nanotechnologists may work independently or as a member of a team with other professionals.
What qualifications do Nanotechnologists need?
Nanotechnologists need a minimum of a Masters level of education. They need creativity, an aptitude for analysis and problem-solving and strong skills in mathematics, science and computing. Nanotechnologists conduct research and need to be able to visualize and explain ideas clearly. They need to be able to work independently and work well with a multidisciplinary team. Excellent laboratory skills and attention to detail are essential.
What areas of study do Nanotechnologists include in their coursework?
A solid base in science is fundamental. Because of the multidisciplinary aspects of this emerging science, undergraduate training in physics, biochemistry, biology, chemistry or mathematics may each provide appropriate background. The potential for health applications of nanotechnology suggests a medical background may also be appropriate.
What areas of specialization may Nanotechnologists choose?
Advanced degrees are still developing for this highly specialized yet multi-disciplinary field of study. Emerging areas are Nanotechnology law and investing and business. Consulting and Research and Development are significant areas of emphasis. Other specialties focus on modeling and simulation that includes computational nanotechnology, computational nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, and modeling of processes encountered in nanofabrication. New measurements and standards for Nanotechnology will be needed to convert basic research into applied technologies, products and services with broad affects on economies, global society, and individual lives.
Where might Nanotechnologists work?
A broad range of the public and private sectors, and industry, commerce, scientific research, health and education are potential workplaces for Nanotechnologists. Universities with research and teaching capabilities will need to teach Nanotechnology to undergraduate and graduate students.
Research institutes which focus on the ability to build materials and products with atomic precision and Department of Defense, NASA and other governmental agencies are highly interested in Nanotechnology. NASA established a Center for Nanotechnology in 1996.
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