Small is Science

People need to learn more about how science at the nanoscale can benefit us in our everyday lives
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 comprehensivediscourse on the subject of Nanotechnology, an area that has gained monumentalattention in the last decade given the wide-spectrum applications of thesubject.. There was a dire need for a book on Nanoscience, which could give aclear picture of this game-changing science. This book, on the whole, is acommendable exercise on the subject that faces a tremendous rarity of publishedwork.

People need to learn more about how science at the nanoscalecan benefit us in our everyday lives. It is estimated that by 2015 thisexciting field will need 20 million skilled professionals worldwide. Theworkforce will come from all areas of science and engineering and will includethose with two-year technical degrees up to Ph.D. researchers in universitiesand industry. Inclusion of nanotechnology in the science curriculum will fosterinterdisciplinary explorations of science in the secondary school curriculum.Because nanotechnology is an emerging interdisciplinary field, it can beincluded in physical science, chemistry, physics, biology, environmentalsciences, and engineering. Nanotechnology provides connections between andamong the sciences that will help students to develop an understanding of therelationships between various disciplines.

SUMMARY

This book has a straightforward aim—to acquaint the readerswith the whole idea of nanoscience and nanotechnology. It is self-contained andunified in the presentation. It is written in a clear and readable style and isdesigned to help readers to acquire a thorough understanding of the main themesin Nanotechnology. The contents of the book are very impressive and wellorganized. 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 ofcarbon like graphene, graphite, diamond, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and theirunique structures, properties and applications. It emphasis on how the uniqueproperties of nanomaterials explained in the form of tables and diagrams havemotivated the researchers to develop simpler and inexpensive techniques toproduce nanostructures of technologically important materials.

In Chapter three, the authors have briefly presented theprime materials in nanotechnology including semiconductor nanomaterials,ceramic nanomaterials, polymers and composites, metal nanoparticles, andbiomaterials.  Both approaches which areused for the fabrication of nanomaterials; top-down approaches which rely oncontinuous breaking up of the bulk matter and bottom-up approaches which buildthe nanostructures by its constituent units have been discussed in Chapterfourth of the book under the title nanofabrication.

Chapter fifth of this book introduces the invention anddevelopment of sophisticated equipments which have opened up new possibilitiesfor the characterization, measurement, and manipulation of nanomaterials. Withthe aid and developments of equipment like Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM) andScanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), it is possible to study nanomaterials to agreat deal even down to the atomic scale. This chapter also describes the X-raydiffraction and Raman spectroscopy techniques which are frequently used fornanoscale characterization. This chapter is aimed at providing an understandingof the basic principles involved with various techniques and equipping thereaders 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 ofnanotechnology global level with two sections devoted to India's nanotechnologyinitiatives and the relevant research glance in India at a number of researchlaboratories, institutes, and universities across the country. At the end ofeach chapter, a list for further reading of books and research papers is given,which would amplify and extend the contents of each chapter. The usefulexperiments and Appendix at the end of the book provide additional knowledge ofthe subject and will prove very fruitful to the readers with interest in materialscience at small.

CONCLUSION

It contains essential information for knowledge andunderstanding of the behavior of materials at the nanoscale. It may be used asa textbook by graduate students and even ambitious undergraduates inengineering and the biological and physical sciences, who already have somefamiliarity with the basic principles of science. It is also suitable forexperts in related fields who require an overview of the fundamental topics innanotechnology. The explanations in the book are detailed enough to capture theinterest of the curious reader and complete enough to provide the necessarybackground material needed to go further into the subject and explore theresearch literature.

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

I am sure that this book will fulfill the aspirations of thestudents and researchers. Hence the book under review is simply indispensablefor 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

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