Soft Nanotechnology

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Original entry by Hyerim Hwang, AP 225, Fall 2011.


George M. Whitesides and Darren J. Lipomi, "Soft Nanotechnology: "Structure" vs. "Function"", Faraday Discuss. 2009 143, 373-384


Self-assembled monolayers, Molecular electronics, Charge-transport, Energy, Nanofabrication, Chemistry, Biology, Nanocrystals, Lithography, Medicine


Soft nanotechnology is the branch of nanotechnology concerned with the synthesis and properties of organic and organometallic nanostructures, and soft components plays key roles with nanofabrication. Soft nanotechnology has the potential to apply to a wide variety of large-scale applications such as information technology, healthcare cost reduction, sustainability, and energy and fundamental problems which are related to molecular biochemistry, cell biology etc.

Figure 1. Soft matter

Faraday Discussion

Soft nanoscience has developed with backgrounds in organic and organometallic chemistry. It has been derived from molecular synthesis and has generated a broad range of new types of nanostructures: colloids, vesicles, polymers, molecular aggregates, self-assembled monolayers, and other small structures. Faraday discussion shows a broad spectrum of work as following, representative of the work going on in soft nanoscience: biology, nanoactuation, nanomechanics, vesicles, molecular recognition, polymers, synthesis, properties, and interfaces. Technology advances both forward and backward: from science and knowledge forward to applications, and from problems backward to technology for the solutions. There are a lot of areas which are thought to be particularly appropriate for soft, chemistry-based nanotechnology: electronics, biomedicine, new materials, and energy.


Faraday discussion suggess a cross section of the interests and competencies of soft nanosciences. Some of the original possibilities have been replaced by equally important but very different problemsL focused extension or replacement of processes for fabricating information processors, sustainability, energy production and conservation, imaging and genomics, and water. Soft nanotechnology will become engaged in the most important of these problems, from their scientifically interesting beginning to their societally beneficial end.