Glossary of terms used on NANO MagazineThere are 130 entries in this glossary.
Mesoporous materials are porous materials with regularly arranged, uniform mesopores (2-50nm in diameter). Their large surface areas make them useful as adsorbents or catalysts.
- MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS)
Technology used to integrate various electro-mechanical functions onto integrated circuits. A typical MEMS device combines a sensor and logic to perform a monitoring function. Examples include sensing devices used to control the deployment of airbags in cars and switching devices used in optical telecommunications cables.
Liquid streams used to separate, control, or analyze at the nanoscale.
Aims to provide the quanti-tative understanding of physical systems and processes. It ranges from offering a framework of understanding to quanti-tative predictions based on state of the art calculations. At the nanoscale, modelling can analyse and predict properties of systems, processes and other phenomena in ways that complement experiment.
- Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)
Process used to make compound (multi-layer) semiconductors. Consists of depositing alternating layers of materials, layer by layer, one type after another (such as the semiconductors gallium arsenide and aluminium gallium arsenide).
- Molecular computing
Molecular computing could replace silicon-based computing by the end of the decade.
- Molecular machines
Molecular machines are proteins that convert (electro)chemical energy generated across a membrane into external mechanical work. They are responsible for a wide variety of functions from muscle contraction to cell locomotion, copying and processing DNA, movement of chromosomes, cellular division, movement of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles, and production of ATP etc.
- Molecular motors
The mechanical properties of molecular motors can be thought of in terms of rectifying thermal ratchets and impedance matching lever systems (that couple enzyme-active sites to external loads). For many of the systems it is now possible to reconstitute their function using purified proteins and to observe and measure the forces and movements that they produce during a single chemical cycle. In other words, the mechanochemical processes at the level of a single molecule can be measured. Furthermore, ‘man-made’ molecular motors are being developed based either on hybrid constructions of existing biological motors (rotary and linear) or made from man-made materials but using molecular-motor design principles.
- Molecular nanotechnology
Molecular sensing and molecular recognition. Much of the research is at the interface between the life and physical sciences. This includes: lab-on-a-chip and smart sensors for medical and environmental monitoring and diagnosis; tissue repair; targeted drug delivery. At the single cell level: gene therapy and screening; drug testing; design of nanomachines; replacement structures.
- Molecular switch
A molecular switch is a logic gate, a necessary computing component in molecular computing used to represent the binary language of digital computing. Molecular switches would be many times cheaper than traditional solid-state devices, and would allow for continued miniaturization and increases in power that silicon-based components would never be able to reach.
- Molecular wire
A quasi-one-dimensional molecule that can transport charge carriers (electrons or holes) between its ends.
- Molecular-scale manufacturing
Manufacturing using molecular machinery, giving molecule-by-molecule control of products and by-products via positional chemical synthesis.
Group of atoms held together by chemical bonds, a molecule is the typical unit manipulated by nanotechnology.
A prefix meaning one billionth (1/1 000 000 000).