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INTRODUCTION

Tools Of The Trade

The ultimate goal of most research and development projects is the creation of viable nanotech products. Whether this is accomplished by government labs, academic institutions, or private companies, the next step is manufacturing and marketing. Only one requirement remains for the foundations of a nanotech revolution: equipment capable of working with nanoscale materials.

The most important nanotech tools being used today are a class of instruments called scanning probe microscopes (SPMs). In addition to imaging, SPMs can be used to manipulate individual atoms. These instruments, and many other types of equipment used in nanotechnology, cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. As more companies and institutions establish nanotech programs, they will first require the tools for their research and development. Nanotechnology equipment manufacturing is a thriving industry with possible career potential. In the near future, nanotech labs and companies will continue to buy more equipment. There will be a market for improved instruments, specialized equipment, and basic inexpensive models. It is even possible that engineers will invent new instruments that will revolutionize the field of nanotechnology.

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