Small is Science

Title Nanotechnology: The Science of Small
Authors M. A. Shah & K. A. Shah
Editors Dr. Anjali Chanda & Dr. R Das
Publisher Wiley India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, May 2019

INTRODUCTION

Nanotechnology—the Science of Small presents a comprehensive discourse on the subject of Nanotechnology, an area that has gained monumental attention in the last decade given the wide-spectrum applications of the subject.. There was a dire need for a book on Nanoscience, which could give a clear picture of this game-changing science. This book, on the whole, is a commendable exercise on the subject that faces a tremendous rarity of published work.

People need to learn more about how science at the nanoscale can benefit us in our everyday lives. It is estimated that by 2015 this exciting field will need 20 million skilled professionals worldwide. The workforce will come from all areas of science and engineering and will include those with two-year technical degrees up to Ph.D. researchers in universities and industry. Inclusion of nanotechnology in the science curriculum will foster interdisciplinary explorations of science in the secondary school curriculum. Because nanotechnology is an emerging interdisciplinary field, it can be included in physical science, chemistry, physics, biology, environmental sciences, and engineering. Nanotechnology provides connections between and among the sciences that will help students to develop an understanding of the relationships between various disciplines.

SUMMARY

This book has a straightforward aim—to acquaint the readers with the whole idea of nanoscience and nanotechnology. It is self-contained and unified in the presentation. It is written in a clear and readable style and is designed to help readers to acquire a thorough understanding of the main themes in Nanotechnology. The contents of the book are very impressive and well organized. The text is divided into seven chapters.

The Chapter first of the book briefly introduces the systematic development of materials and its long journey to nano dimensions and how nano has moved from the world of the future to the world of the present is discussed in detail. It also provides clarity of basic concepts involved in nanoscience and highlights the extraordinary properties of materials at the nanoscale, so as to motivate the readers to study and explore the sciences of nanotechnology. Solved examples and review questions at the end add confidence in readers what they have learned and understood.

Chapter second of the book discusses various derivatives of carbon like graphene, graphite, diamond, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and their unique structures, properties and applications. It emphasis on how the unique properties of nanomaterials explained in the form of tables and diagrams have motivated the researchers to develop simpler and inexpensive techniques to produce nanostructures of technologically important materials.

In Chapter three, the authors have briefly presented the prime materials in nanotechnology including semiconductor nanomaterials, ceramic nanomaterials, polymers and composites, metal nanoparticles, and biomaterials.  Both approaches which are used for the fabrication of nanomaterials; top-down approaches which rely on continuous breaking up of the bulk matter and bottom-up approaches which build the nanostructures by its constituent units have been discussed in Chapter fourth of the book under the title nanofabrication.

Chapter fifth of this book introduces the invention and development of sophisticated equipments which have opened up new possibilities for the characterization, measurement, and manipulation of nanomaterials. With the aid and developments of equipment like Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM) and Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), it is possible to study nanomaterials to a great deal even down to the atomic scale. This chapter also describes the X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy techniques which are frequently used for nanoscale characterization. This chapter is aimed at providing an understanding of the basic principles involved with various techniques and equipping the readers with the skill and knowledge of characterization.

Chapter six describes the potential applications of nanoscale materials on all most all industries and all areas of society including the recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology, which may be highly attentive for the research scholars entering to the world of Nanoscience.  The significant impact of nanomaterials in various fields like medicine, healthcare, biotechnology, electronics, computing, agriculture, etc. are presented at length with up to date available literature.

The last Chapter of the book addresses the initiatives of nanotechnology global level with two sections devoted to India’s nanotechnology initiatives and the relevant research glance in India at a number of research laboratories, institutes, and universities across the country. At the end of each chapter, a list for further reading of books and research papers is given, which would amplify and extend the contents of each chapter. The useful experiments and Appendix at the end of the book provide additional knowledge of the subject and will prove very fruitful to the readers with interest in material science at small.

CONCLUSION

It contains essential information for knowledge and understanding of the behavior of materials at the nanoscale. It may be used as a textbook by graduate students and even ambitious undergraduates in engineering and the biological and physical sciences, who already have some familiarity with the basic principles of science. It is also suitable for experts in related fields who require an overview of the fundamental topics in nanotechnology. The explanations in the book are detailed enough to capture the interest of the curious reader and complete enough to provide the necessary background material needed to go further into the subject and explore the research literature.

This book would also serve as a general introduction to people just entering the field and it will cater to the needs of most biologists, who stop their acquaintance with mathematics at school. The need to develop an understanding of this general subject matter for the practicing engineer and scientist of the future cannot be questioned. The teaching of a nanotechnology course will soon be required in most engineering and science curricula as it is also generally accepted as one of the key state-of-art courses in applied science. Social scientists and humanities scholars do not have all the answers, but they do have information and insights that can help, not just in disseminating the products of nanotechnology, but also in constructing a socially useful nanotech enterprise from the beginning.

I am sure that this book will fulfill the aspirations of the students and researchers. Hence the book under review is simply indispensable for the academics and researchers in the field.

Dr. M A Shah works at  Special Center for Nanosciences, P.G Department of Physics, National Institute of Technology Srinagar