The story of tiny ‘tots’


We all know matter is made up of atoms and atoms are constituted by electrons and the nucleus. Since these electroncs are
always in motion in materials called ‘semi conductors’ their properties are very important. Materials that fall in the IV A
Group of the Periodic table are termed as semiconductors. There is a certain energy that is to be attained by the electrons
to become free from the atom. Electron movement is the one that causes current in a wire or for that matter in
anyconducting body. If we consider the power of electrons as compared to any other material particle, electron almost
always wins the race of being the particle that is responsibble for most phenomena in the atoms. The fact that
nanotechnology is the buzz word of today is because of these tiny tots ‘electrons’. It is no surprise if we notice
nanoparticles, which basically constitute atoms of various materials, in cancer therapy and other medical fields. This kind
of integration of electronics with medicine is mostly a breakthrough that has been made possible by Nanotechnology. What we
see in this physical world is the large scale picture of the atoms and electrons. When we want to capture the image of a
picturesque location, we use a digital camera and the image size would at max be a few MB. If we were to observe the same
picture under a Scanning Electron Microscope, it would consume a whole lot of space of the order of more that TB and may be
a power that has no name. Working in the field of nanotechnology naturally is very exciting and there are excellent
opportunities for people who choose this field of study. India is yet to emerge as a nation that is captivated by the
nano-‘bug’ but countries such as Singapore, USA, Switzerland and  Japan have started this revolution and are not
intertwined in a competetion to be the best in this era of super fast computers and atomic processors. Since Nanotechnology
is an inter-disciplinary field it requires understanding of concepts from various branches of study and this would
definitely be a challenge for the researchers. Research in this field will go to very great heights though it might take
some time to take shape.

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