NANOTECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology gives us the ability to make incredibly small objects. Some of its methods came from microchip technology. Shapes are printed on to the surface of silicon, which is then etched away to make microscopic wheels or even micromotors. Other methods work with individual atoms to make even smaller objects. Although it is not used much yet, nanotechnology promises a future in which machines too small to see are part of our everyday world.

MINIATURE ENGINE

In a few years’ time, silicon microengines could replace laptop computer batteries. Liquid fuel burns inside the tiny combustion chamber to spin a central rotor, which turns a generator. A tank of fuel for the engine would weigh no more than a standard laptop battery, but could power the computer for 10 times as long.

NANO MEDICAL

Scientists are already working on structures thousands of times smaller than micromotors. To make them, they use atoms like builders use bricks. One day they might be able to build robots as small as the cells that make blood red.

CARBON NANOTECHNOLOGY

Carbon atoms can form molecules shaped like tubes and also ball-shaped molecules, known as buckyballs. Carbon nanotubes can be either electrical conductors or insulators, and are 10 times stronger than steel. The biggest nanotubes are only a millimetre or so long, but they are ideal for building microscopic electrical machines.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks