Nanotechnology has received tremendous interest over the last decade, not only from the scientific community but also from a business perspective and from the general public. Although nanotechnology is still at the largely unexplored frontier of science, it has the potential for extremely exciting technological innovations that will have an enormous impact on areas as diverse as information technology, medicine, energy supply and probably many others. The miniturization of devices and structures will impact the speed of devices and information storage capacity. More importantly, though, nanotechnology should lead to completely new functional devices as nanostructures have fundamentally different physical properties that are governed by quantum effects. When nanometer sized features are fabricated in materials that are currently used in electronic, magnetic, and optical applications, quantum behavior will lead to a set of unprecedented properties. The interactions of nanostructures with biological materials are largely unexplored. Future work in this direction should yield enabling technologies that allows the study and direct manipulation of biological processes at the (sub) cellular level.
This book takes a closer look at a great variety of different strategies that are being pursued to assemble and organize nanostructures into larger assemblies and even into functional devices or materials.