Potential Roles for Diatomists in Nanotechnology

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Diatoms produce diverse three-dimensional structures that, due to their exponential rate of growth, may be of use in the manufacture of components for nanotechnology as an alternative to present linear lithographic techniques. Vapor replacement of the silicon permits the conversion of diatom sil- ica valves and other structures to metal/ceramics, with no loss of structure. The literature on diatom nanotechnology is reviewed, along with suggestions on how diatomists might enhance this emerging technology. There is a need for a systematics based catalog of parts (via genomics technologies), improved diatom culture techniques, better understanding of the mechanisms of diatom morphogen- esis and motility, and genetic manipulation, mutagenesis, and selection, as via the chemostat-like compustat. Given the self-motility of raphid diatoms, they could form the basis for industrially useful nanobots.


Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2005.002

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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