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Reproducible mass manufacture of nanoproducts

Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale and developing materials or devices possessing a nanoscale dimension where quantum mechanical effects are very important. Nanotechnology is built on the ability to control and manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular level having wider applications including the delivery of drugs into the body, increasing the efficiency of solar panels and improving methods of food packaging. Manufacturing with nanotechnology can solve many of the world's current problems.
Every year billions of dollars are invested globally on nanotechnology research and development with a strong hope that the latest technology developed in the lab can be turned into a manufactured consumer product on the market. In practice, top-down and bottom-up methods are useful and being actively pursued at the nanoscale. However, the ultimate goal of building products with atomic precision will require a bottom-up approach.
The top-down approach to manufacturing is limited, uses external tools to cut and shape large materials to contain many smaller features, where as the bottom-up approach involves joining together molecules to construct whole materials. However this process is too unpredictable for defect free mass production of arrays.
The overall goal when taking nanotech products into the market is low-cost, high-volume manufacturability, but at the same time, the materials' properties must be highly reproducible within a pre-specified limit.
Manufacturing limit
Professor Mike Kelly of University of Cambridge reports after statistical evaluation that structures with a diameter of three nanometres or less using a top-down approach is not feasible.
Kelly used statistical evaluation of vertical nanopillars that have been suggested for uses in sensors and displays to support his argument. He states that when materials are mass produced on such a small scale there will be a lot of variation in the size of different components and so the properties of the material will vary to an extent where the material cannot function to full capacity within an array. This poses a critical problem for the mass production of commodities, but this challenge will have to be addressed by scientists.

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