Our scientific expeditions haven’t just taken us to the realm of gigantic spatial bodies but also to the field of the minutest. Micro and Nano technology, deal with miniaturized products offering compact and highly efficient solutions. There is currently no great difference between these two fields as both of them have sort of a similar goal; to produce technological devices of the minutest sizes. The only major difference is in the scale. Nanoscale is three times smaller than the microscale. Nanotech usually concerns itself in the atomic or molecular scale while Microtechnology deals with electrical and mechanical devices that are near one millionth of a metre in size. Operations related to both of them however, require a similar setup which is free of dust and dirt. Additional steps, like special dress codes etc. are taken to ensure that no dust particles interact with the minute products. The following section of the article, tries to bring out some of the important differences in these two fields with a view to bring out a clearer picture.
This is one of the clearer distinctions between micro and nano technology. A micrometer is 106 m while a nanometer is 109 m. Scientists have observed that several different phenomena show up as the size decreases. Hence the applicable theories regarding the two fields are also somewhat different. More of quantum mechanics plays a hand in nanotech. Over the last few years, many products that were under the scope of Microtechnology have further scaled down and are being treated as nanotech products.
Differences between micro and nano technology can also be seen in the different applications of the two fields. Microelectromechanical System or MEMS is probably the most popular application of Microtechnology. MEMS devices contain mechanical components as well as electronic circuits embedded onto a small chip. Nanotechnology has received more attention in the recent years has various applications in many areas such as healthcare, IT, automobile, textile and biochemical industries.
Nanotech as the Heir to Microtechnology
Micro and nano technology are currently the most popular areas of scientific study. Nanotechnology is expected to be the next major revolution and more attention and funding is now being diverted towards this field. Nanotech has taken over many applications that were previously under the scope of Microtechnology. Governments, educational institutions and major companies throughout the globe are now investing mostly on nanotechnology research and development.