One small step

One small step

Over the past 20 years, Nature has published several landmark papers in nanotechnology, including the discovery of C60, also known as buckyball (HW Kroto et al. Nature 318, 162–163; 1985) and carbon nanotube (S. ijima Nature 354). , 56–58; 1991). But the vast amount of published papers in this field is expanding rapidly, and the flow of exciting science already far exceeds our ability to publish it in this general scientific journal. Hence the launch of Nature Nanotechnology this month.

The papers in its first issue show the breadth of the field, with contributions as diverse as the first demonstration of a carbon-nanotube superconducting quantum-interference device and the development of a virus-based memory device. The multidisciplinary nature of this work is, of course, a hallmark of the discipline.

Research agencies and industrial companies around the world are now investing heavily in nanotechnology not only in anticipation of scientific results, but also in anticipation of substantial economic benefits.

In electronics, for example, a major reduction in the scale of semiconductor circuitry would allow technologies that operate only at the nanoscale, such as molecular computing. Other applications are expected in manufacturing, materials, energy and environmental technology. There are also tremendous opportunities in medicine – particularly in imaging and drug delivery.

Past experience suggests that the launch of this new research journal will strengthen rather than weaken Nature, which will continue to publish papers in this area. Nature Nanotechnology will provide authors and readers with greater exposure to the topic, as well as healthy competition to established journals. We are confident that it will play a central role in the investigation of this valuable area of ​​knowledge.

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