Nanotechnology is manipulation of matter on an atomic and supramolecular scale. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products now referred to as molecular nanotechnology. A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defines nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers; this definition reflects the fact that quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum-realm scale, so the definition shifted from a particular technological goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and technologies that deal with the special properties of matter which occur below the given size threshold. It is therefore common to see the plural form "nanotechnologies" as well as "nanoscale technologies" to refer to the broad range of research and applications whose common trait is size.
Because of the variety of potential applications, governments have invested billions of dollars in nanotechnology research. Through 2012, the USA has invested $3.7 billion using its National Nanotechnology Initiative, the European Union has invested $1.2 billion, Japan has invested $750 million. Nanotechnology as defined by size is very broad, including fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, energy storage, molecular engineering, etc; the associated research and applications are diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to direct control of matter on the atomic scale. Scientists debate the future implications of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in nanomedicine, biomaterials energy production, consumer products.
On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials, their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted; the concepts that seeded nanotechnology were first discussed in 1959 by renowned physicist Richard Feynman in his talk There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, in which he described the possibility of synthesis via direct manipulation of atoms. The term "nano-technology" was first used by Norio Taniguchi in 1974, though it was not known. Inspired by Feynman's concepts, K. Eric Drexler used the term "nanotechnology" in his 1986 book Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, which proposed the idea of a nanoscale "assembler" which would be able to build a copy of itself and of other items of arbitrary complexity with atomic control.
In 1986, Drexler co-founded The Foresight Institute to help increase public awareness and understanding of nanotechnology concepts and implications. Thus, emergence of nanotechnology as a field in the 1980s occurred through convergence of Drexler's theoretical and public work, which developed and popularized a conceptual framework for nanotechnology, high-visibility experimental advances that drew additional wide-scale attention to the prospects of atomic control of matter. Since the popularity spike in the 1980s, most of nanotechnology has involved investigation of several approaches to making mechanical devices out of a small number of atoms. In the 1980s, two major breakthroughs sparked the growth of nanotechnology in modern era. First, the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981 which provided unprecedented visualization of individual atoms and bonds, was used to manipulate individual atoms in 1989; the microscope's developers Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986.
Binnig and Gerber invented the analogous atomic force microscope that year. Second, Fullerenes were discovered in 1985 by Harry Kroto, Richard Smalley, Robert Curl, who together won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. C60 was not described as nanotechnology. In the early 2000s, the field garnered increased scientific and commercial attention that led to both controversy and progress. Controversies emerged regarding the definitions and potential implications of nanotechnologies, exemplified by the Royal Society's report on nanotechnology. Challenges were raised regarding the feasibility of applications envisioned by advocates of molecular nanotechnology, which culminated in a public debate between Drexler and Smalley in 2001 and 2003. Meanwhile, commercialization of products based on advancements in nanoscale technologies began emerging; these products are limited to bulk applications of nanomaterials and do not involve atomic control of matter. Some examples include the Silver Nano platform for using silver nanoparticles as an antibacterial agent, nanoparticle-based transparent sunscreens, carbon fiber strengthening using silica nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes for stain-resistant textiles.
Governments moved to promote and fund research into nanotechnology, such as in the U. S
Quality control is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. ISO 9000 defines quality control as "A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements"; this approach places an emphasis on three aspects: Elements such as controls, job management and well managed processes and integrity criteria, identification of records Competence, such as knowledge, skills and qualifications Soft elements, such as personnel, confidence, organizational culture, team spirit, quality relationships. Inspection is a major component of quality control. Product inspectors will be provided with lists and descriptions of unacceptable product defects such as cracks or surface blemishes for example; the quality of the outputs is at risk. Early stone tools such as anvils were not designed as interchangeable parts. Mass production established processes for the creation of parts and system with identical dimensions and design, but these processes are not uniform and hence some customers were unsatisfied with the result.
Quality control separates the act of testing products to uncover defects from the decision to allow or deny product release, which may be determined by fiscal constraints. For contract work work awarded by government agencies, quality control issues are among the top reasons for not renewing a contract; the simplest form of quality control was a sketch of the desired item. If the sketch did not match the item, it was rejected, in a simple Go/no go procedure. However, manufacturers soon found it was difficult and costly to make parts be like their depiction. Quality was thus defined using devices such as plug gauges and ring gauges. However, this did not address the problem of defective items. Various methods have been proposed to prioritize quality control issues and determine whether to leave them unaddressed or use quality assurance techniques to improve and stabilize production. There is a tendency for individual consultants and organizations to name their own unique approaches to quality control—a few of these have ended up in widespread use: In project management, quality control requires the project manager and/or the project team to inspect the accomplished work to ensure its alignment with the project scope.
In practice, projects have a dedicated quality control team which focuses on this area. Analytical quality control Corrective and preventative action Eight dimensions of quality First article inspection Good Automated Manufacturing Practice Good manufacturing practice Quality assurance Quality management framework Standard operating procedure QA/QC This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C". Radford, George S; the Control of Quality in Manufacturing, New York: Ronald Press Co. OCLC 1701274, retrieved 2013-11-16 Shewhart, Walter A. Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product, New York: D. Van Nostrand Co. Inc. OCLC 1045408 Juran, Joseph M. Quality-Control Handbook, New York: McGraw-Hill, OCLC 1220529 Western Electric Company, Statistical Quality Control Handbook, Indiana: Western Electric Co. OCLC 33858387 Feigenbaum, Armand V. Total Quality Control, New York: McGraw-Hill, OCLC 567344 ASTM quality control standards