Nano-engineering is the manipulation of materials at the atomic level. Atoms’ ability to self-assemble is used to create materials with new features and properties. The technology dates back to the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981. Invisible to the naked eye, self-cleaning glass based on nanotitanium dioxide particles is being used all around the world.
Materials like graphene could replace silicon in computer chips due to outstanding conductivity, while carbon nanotubes bring space elevators into the realm of the feasible. Nano-engineering has the potential to turn the laws of machine building and architecture on their head over the next few years.