What is nanofabrication, and why is it important?
Dr. Ray Baughman: I certainly agree with Jillian’s comment about the critical importance of synthesis of individual nanoparticles having specific structure. No one can yet synthesize a carbon nanotube having a completely pre-engineered structure, and even subtle structure variations can result in dramatically changed properties. Also, bulk synthesized carbon nanotubes are typically contaminated by major impurities. These contaminants, sometimes over 40% by weight in commercially sold products, can profoundly effect properties, and in some cases provide toxicological effects. Other important aspects of nanofabrication are in combining individual nanoparticles together to make large structures and assembling individual nano-elements to make functional nanosize devices.