MNM – NanoProject – Part I

QUOTE – ‘It is not easy to imagine a world where objects measure few nanometers, i.e. billionths of a meter. A nanometer is approximately the distance occupied by ten hydrogen atoms in a row, or by a small molecule. Such a distance is hardly comparable with the characteristic size of the objects in our world, considering for example that the full stop at the end of this sentence is a million of nanometers wide.

The nanoworld cannot be portrayed with a camera, nor can it be seen even with the most powerful optical microscope. Only special instruments have access to images of the nanoworld and allow the researchers to collect the pictures that form this exhibition. The images are stills that, over time, have been put together from different framings, and that we can look at thanks to the mediation of machines. Some of them represent exceptional events, outstanding results that ended on the cover of scientific journals. Others were born from everyday research. All of them show a landscape that is being unraveled by scientists, scenery that is very different from the one we can see on the media, largely obtained through computer graphics and “artistic” interpretations, when not directly borrowed from science fiction.

We show here the landscapes of the nanoworld. For the first time, we bring to the public images that are usually accessible to few, because they remain confined in the research laboratories, on the scientists’ desks.’ [REF] – [REF]

So what then is the purpose of this project in such a context. Where will it take the advancement of the craft and more importantly how will it improve the knowledge base already rapidly forming [REF[A][B].

The purpose envisioned, is to assemble the tools of observation and visualization in an unfettered venue and present the world on Nano in a way designed to inspire and quest.

There is also the possibility of presenting the creative output of others, who while not having presentation as their primary goal, will benefit from the overall concept.

TOOLS – Primary to this task will be a NanoSurf EASYScan 2 AFM/STM [REF] and a Leica DMI5000 M [REF]. Coupled to this is the proposal to position a JEOL AccuTOF™ DART™ Direct Analysis in Real Time Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer [REF] with the support of a Ocean Optics LIBS-ELITE Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer [REF]

PRESENTATION – The output of these tools will be processed through an insitu Visualization system which have been developed [REF] and presented in an immersive environment [REF][REF] both within the home facility as well as on outreach. One methodology under consideration is the Stellarium [LINK] [HACK] of Paul Bourke [LINK] who has iSphere under development [LINK].

GOAL – The primary goal of this initiative is to capture interest in a manner that focuses attention long enough to exact change. The is in addition to and augmented by the advanced of knowledge and thus understanding in this most important of emerging field.

RESOURCES – One of the most effective resource available on the Highway if Light is NanoHub [LINK]. This, along with the NUCAPT Literature Database [LINK] are among the best available for those who are wanting to look.


Another resource of great value is Big Blue’s STM Gallery [LINK] and the work of The Vienna University of Technology [TU Vienna] and their IAP/TU Wien STM Gallery [LINK] with their excellent tutorial Quantitative Electron Spectroscopy [LINK]


Follow too, the words of RICHARD JONES [REF] who was responsible for the Software Control of Matter [BLOG], on which more information can be found here [REF]. There is also an excellent source for provoking thought at NanoDot [BLOG] hosted by Christine Peterson at the Foresight Institute [LINK].


There is much to be done, and the proof will be in the telling of the stories at the end of the day. Questions will be enevitably asked whether this effort is worth the result or whether this is simply an exercise in gratification for the author. The answer to both is a resounding YES!! For if at the end of the day,one thought is provoked, one change is made, then the effort will have been worth it. And for those who prefer the status quo, with to many of a generation potentially lost, then to you I suggest you return to the top and read again, and again until you get it right.


That is all:



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