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Nanotechnology would not be possible without the latest in high-tech wizardry dreamt up by visionaries around the world. Most new tools used in nanotechnology were originally fueled by the extreme pace of microchip and miniaturized device manufacturing that dominates the electronics industry.
Over the years, old tools were adapted for new uses, and in a few rare examples, entirely new tools were created to investigate new phenomena in the nanoscopic world. In this section, we will discuss all of the relevant tools that are commonly used in both institutionalized labs and R&D departments for major electronics manufacturers.
You can't work on nanotechnology without access to microscopy. We're not talking about the old-school light microscopes you used in high school biology. Modern electron microscopes are huge, futuristic-looking stainless-steel devices. They have made it possible to 'see' individual atoms to a certain extent. Newer microscopes have sine been developed to take the idea further or in other directions. Microscopy is the only way to receive both qualitative and quantitative measurements in one data run.
A number of important fabrication processes used for microchips have found widespread use in the nanotechnology field. Old methods like electrodeposition, epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition, and lithography are all common steps towards making new structures in the nano world (with a few modifications, of course).
Without further ado, let's discuss the intricacies of each technique and its specific uses.