This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1110947.
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Nanomachines, Nanonetworks and Their Applications
In 1959, the Nobel laureate physicist Richard Feynman, in his famous speech entitled “There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, described for the first time how the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules would give rise to more functional and powerful man-made devices. More than half a century later, nanotechnology is providing a new set of tools to the engineering community to control entities at the atomic and molecular scales. Foremost amongst these new capabilities are nanomachines, integrated functional devices consisting of nanoscale components. Nanomachines used in applications today typically operate independently and accomplish tasks ranging from computing and data storing to sensing and actuation.
Enabling nanomachines to communicate with each other and hence form nanonetworks will considerably expand the types of applications they can be used in. Because of this, there is the need to define the way in which a single nanomachine communicates with other nanomachines based on their physical and practical limitations. In addition, the interconnection of nanomachines with the micro-world will require the development of nano-micro interfaces. Moreover, the communication among thousands or even millions of distributed nanomachines demands for novel cost-effective hardware and software solutions. Classical communication paradigms need to undergo a profound rethinking and redesign in order to meet the requirements (e.g., size, power consumption, etc.) of these new nanonetworks' applications. Existing networking architectures and communication protocols/software have to be completely rethought in light of these new communication paradigms.
While there is a large number of applications that nanonetworks could apply to, we briefly present three categories of applications below that are capture the significance of nanonetworks:
Several communication paradigms can be considered for use in nanonetworks, but our focus is on using molecular communication. [Back to top]