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Nanotechnology & Micromechanics

Revised: June 2006

Contents: Books Articles Internet Resources Congressional Hearings

Micromechanics is the art of making devices smaller than a millimeter, often at the same size as a cell in a human being. The properties of these devices lie in a no-mans'-land between the world of classical physics, which we experience every day, and the world of quantum mechanics, whose curious effects are normally invisible to us. Micromachines and micromechanically produced items are already opening windows into new fields of endeavor in labs and in commerce.

One of the barriers to Mankind's expansion into space is the high cost of launching a fully functional spacecraft. Micromechanics holds out the possibility of smaller, lighter spacecraft, first by providing components for conventionally built spacecraft, and then building spacecraft by entirely micromechanical means. Also, micromachines could act like miniature tailors or shipwrights, repairing holes created by impacts of space debris or micrometeorites. Micromachines embedded in otherwise inert items could modify antennae and other structural components as required. Micromechanically made computer components that use less power to process data quicker are being tested in labs. More far-fetched possibilities include tiny robotic doctors healing patients on a cell-by-cell basis, swarms of tiny probes combing the minor planets, and miniscule miners, quarries, and builders helping humans to settle other worlds.

On the other hand, there are always risks with new technology. Doctors have known for many years that microscopic particles can injure the lungs (for instance, anthracosis or black lung, an affliction of many retired miners). Some fear that if self-replicating micromachines went amok in circumstances outside their intended locale, they could wreck their surroundings, even the entire globe, turning it into a gob of "grey goo".

This bibliography covers the small yet large field of micromachines and micromechanically produced items, especially those devices, items, and techniques that have been developed for or by NASA. All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: call (358-0172) or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public, contact your Local Library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.


Cleland, Andrew N. Foundations of Nanomechanics: From Solid-State Theory to Device Applications. Berlin; New York: Springer, 2003.
T174.7 .C55 2003 BOOKSTACKS
Crandall, B.C. and James Lewis, eds. Nanotechnology: Research and Perspectives: Papers from the First Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989.
T174.7 .F67 1989 BOOKSTACKS
Drexler, K. Eric, Peterson, Chris, and Gayle Pergamit. Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution. New York, NY: Morrow, 1993.
T45 .D74 1993 BOOKSTACKS
Fleeter, Rick. The Logic of Microspace. El Segundo, CA: Microcosm Press; Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.
TL795.4 .F53 2000 BOOKSTACKS
Hall, J. Storrs. Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2005.
T174.7 .H35 2005 BOOKSTACKS
Helvajian, Henry, ed. Microengineering Aerospace Systems. El Segundo, CA: Aerospace Press/American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1999.
TK7874 .M48 1999 BOOKSTACKS
Helvajian, H. and E.Y. Robinson, eds. Micro- and Nanotechnology for Space Systems. Los Angeles, CA: Aerospace Corp., 1997.
T174.7 .M53 1997 BOOKSTACKS
Helvajian, Henry, ed. Microengineering Aerospace Systems. El Segundo, CA: Aerospace Press, 1997.
TK7874 .M53 1997 BOOKSTACKS
Helvajian, Henry, ed. Microengineering Technology for Space Systems. Los Angeles, CA: Aerospace Corp., 1997.
TK7874 .M53 1997 BOOKSTACKS
Micci, Michael M. and Andrew D. Ketsdever (eds.). Micropropulsion for Small Spacecraft. Reston, VA : American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2000.
Nalwa, Hari Singh. Nanostructured Materials and Nanotechnology. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2002.
T174.7 .N25 2002 BOOKSTACKS
National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Synthetic Hierarchical Structures. Hierarchical Structures in Biology as a Guide for New Materials Technology. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1994.
TA404.2 .H54 1994 BOOKSTACKS
Poole, Charles P. and Frank J. Owens. Introduction to Nanotechnology. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley, 2003.
T174.7 .P66 2003 BOOKSTACKS
Rai-Choudhury, P., ed. MEMS and MOEMS: Technology and Applications. Bellingham, WA: SPIE Press, 2000.
TK7875 .M46 2000 BOOKSTACKS
Rycroft, M. and N. Crosby. Smaller Satellites: Bigger Business?: Concepts, Applications and Markets for Micro/nanosatellites in a New Information World. Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2002.
TL796 .S57 2002 BOOKSTACKS
Sarikaya, Mehmet and Ilhan A. Aksay (eds.). Biomimetics: Design and Processing of Materials. Woodbury, N.Y.: AIP Press, 1995.
QP517 .B56 B57 1995 BOOKSTACKS
Sarsfield, Liam. The Cosmos on a Shoestring: Small Spacecraft for Space and Earth Science. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, Critical Technologies Institute, 1998.
TL795.4 .S27 1998 BOOKSTACKS
Smith, Robert H. "An Analysis of Shuttle-Based Performance of Mems Sensors." In Spaceflight Mechanics 1998; Proceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting: Monterey, CA. Feb. 9-11, 1998; San Diego, CA: Univelt, Inc. (Advances in Astronautical Sciences. v.99 pt.1), 1998, pp.629-639.
Timp, Gregory L., ed. Nanotechnology. New York: Springer, 1999.
T174.7 .N36 1999 BOOKSTACKS


Baker, James R.; Balogh, Lajos; Majoros, Istvan; et al. Biosensors for Real-Time Monitoring of Radiation-Induced Biologic Effects in Space. NAS2-02069-4. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Biologic Nanotechnology in the University of Michigan.
(20020070827: (Aug. 2002) NASA ASD)
Bednarcyk, Brett A. Multi-Scale Sizing of Lightweight Multifunctional Spacecraft Structural Components; Final Report. NCC3-878. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050185537: (2005), NASA ASD)
Benavides, Jeannette. Nanotechnology: A Vast Field For The Creative Mind. (>50MB)
(20040171623: (2004) NASA ASD)
Chapman, J. N.; Schmidt, H. J.; Ruoff, R. S.; et al. Flightweight Carbon Nanotube Magnet Technology. NASA/TP-2003-212342. Huntsville, AL: Marshall Space Flight Center.
(20030053395: (March 2003) NASA ASD)
Ciftcioglu, N.; McKay, D. S. Overview of Biomineralization and Nanobacteria. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 3
(20050167136: (2005) NASA ASD)
Coontz, Robert, et al. "Issues in Nanotechnology (contains several articles)." Science. 290, no.5496 (November 24, 2000): 1523-1545.
(available online)
Decker, Arthur J.; Anderson, Robert C.; Weiland, Kenneth E.; Wrbanek, Susan Y. Neural Network for Image-to-Image Control of Optical Tweezers. NASA/TM-2004-213201. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050123593: (July 2004) NASA ASD)
DellaCorte, Christopher. Future Issues and Approaches to Health Monitoring and Failure Prevention for Oil-Free Gas Turbines. NASA/TM-2004-213058. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20040062033: (2004), NASA ASD)
Dynys, Frederick W.; Sayir, Ali. Structures Self-Assembled Through Directional Solidification. NASA/TM-2005-213419. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050217173: (June 2005) NASA ASD)
Frogel, Jay (Technical Monitor); Smith, Howard A. Nanotechnology Infrared Optics for Astronomy Missions; Annual Report. NAG5-9363. Cambridge, MA: Harvard/SAO
(20040027547 (Jan. 2004) NASA ASD)
Gates, Thomas S.; Hinkley, Jeffrey A. Computational Materials: Modeling and Simulation of Nanostructured Materials and Systems. NASA/TM-2003-212163. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center.
(20030025366: (March 2003) NASA ASD)
Globus, Al; Bailey, David; Han, Jie; et al. "NASA Applications of Molecular Nanotechnology." Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS). 51 (1998): 145-152.
(20020049431: (1998) NASA ASD)
Harik, V. M.; Gates, T. S.; Bushnell, Dennis M. (Technical Monitor). Optimization of Designs for Nanotube-based Scanning Probes; Final Report. NASA/CR-2002-211756. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center
(20020078108: (July 2002) NASA ASD)
Hepp, Aloysius F.; Bailey, Sheila G.; Rafaelle, Ryne P. Inorganic Photovoltaics Materials and Devices: Past, Present, and Future. NASA/TM-2005-213341. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050215679: (Aug. 2005), NASA ASD)
Hinkley, Jeffrey A.; Huber, Amy. Impression Testing of Self-Healing Polymers. NASA/TM-2005-213532. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center.
(20050082215: (2005) NASA ASD)
Jenkins, Phillip (Compiler). 17th Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology Conference. NASA/CP-2002-211831. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20030000584: (Oct. 2002) NASA ASD)
Kahn, Jennifer. Nano's Big Future. National Geographic. v. 209, no. 6 (June 2006): 98-119.
King, Glen C.; Choi, Sang H.; Chu, Sang-Hyon; et al. Bio-Nanobattery Development and Characterization; Final Report. 3rd International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference; 15-18 Aug. 2005; San Francisco, CA; United States.
(20050232737: (Aug. 2005) NASA ASD)
Lekki, John D.; Nguyen, Quang-Viet. Quantum Sensing and Communications Being Developed for Nanotechnology. NASA/TM-2005-213419. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050216444: (June 2005), NASA ASD)
Li, Jing. Carbon Nanotube Sensors for Gas and Vapor Detection in Space and Terrestrial Applications. Moffat Field, CA: Ames Research Center.
(20050082113: (2005) NASA ASD)
Li, Jing; Powell, Dan; Getty, Stephanie; Lu, Yi-Jiang. High Sensitivity, Low Power Nano Sensors and Devices for Chemical Sensing. CANEUS 2004 Conference on Micro-Nano-Technologies for Aerospace Applications: From Concepts to Systems; 1-5 Nov. 2004; Monterey, CA; United States.
(20050082006: (2004) NASA ASD)
Li, Jun; Koehne, Jessica; Chen, Hua; Cassell, Alan; et al. Ultrasensitive Label-free Electronic Chip for DNA Analysis Using Carbon Nanotube Nanoelectrode Arrays. Oak Ridge Conference of AACC; 29-30 Apr. 2004; San Jose, CA.
(20040081231: (2004) NASA ASD)
Miranda, Felix A. NASA Efforts on Nanotechnology. 21st Century Science: Technology, Creativity and Innovation; 21-23 Nov. 2003; San Juan; Puerto Rico
(20040020117: (2003) NASA ASD)
Miyoshi, Kazuhisa; VanderWal, Randall L.; Tomasek, Aaron J.; Sayir, Ali; Farmer, Serene C. New Effective Material Couple--Oxide Ceramic and Carbon Nanotube-- Developed for Aerospace Microsystem and Micromachine Technologies. NASA/TM-2004-212729. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20050192258: (May 2004) NASA ASD)
Molnar, Linda K.; Xu, Ting; Trent, Jonathan D.; Russell, Thomas P. Bio-Organic Nanotechnology: Using Proteins and Synthetic Polymers for Nanoscale Devices. Materials Research Society Fall Meeting; 1-5 Dec. 2003; Boston, MA; United States
(20050157068: (2003) NASA ASD)
Murakawa, M.(Editor); Miyoshi, K.(Editor); Koga, Y.; et al . Proceedings of the Seventh Applied Diamond Conference/Third Frontier Carbon Technology Joint Conference (ADC/FCT 2003). NASA/CP-2003-212319. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20030068525: (AUgust 2003) NASA ASD)
Nanotechnology Presentation Agenda. Capabilities Roadmap Briefings to the National Research Council. NASA: Washington, DC.
(20050205018: (March 2005) NASA ASD)
Noor, Ahmed K. (Compiler). Multiscale Modeling, Simulation and Visualization and Their Potential for Future Aerospace Systems. NASA/CP-2002-211741. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center
(20020076258: (July 2002) NASA ASD)
Noor, Ahmed K. (Compiler). Nanobiotechnology. NASA/CP-2000-210546. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center
(20010003781: (Oct. 2000) NASA ASD)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Nanotechnology Overview." Advanced Materials & Processes. 157, no.5 (May 2000): 48-51.
Pater, Ruth H.; Curto, Paul A. Advanced Materials for Space Applications; Final Report. 56th International Astronautical Congress 2005; 17-21 Oct. 2005; Fukuoka; Japan.
(20050239567: (Oct. 2005) NASA ASD)
Proceedings of an International Symposium on Small Satellite Systems and Services. 24-28 Jun. 1996; Annecy; France
(19970014014: (June 1996) NASA ASD)
Srivastava, D. Carbon based Nanotechnology Nano-Materials, Electronics, and Machines. Carbon versus Silicon: Thinking Small Thinking Fast; 7-11 Aug. 2003; Banff, Alberta; Canada.
(20030071239: (Dec. 2002) NASA ASD)
Srivastava, Deepak; Meyyappan, Meyya; Yan, Jerry (Technical Monitor).Nanotechnology at NASA Ames. Nanoscale and Molecular Electronics Workshop; 18-19 May 2000; Arlington, VA; United States
(20020033524: (2000) NASA ASD)
Srivastava, Deepaka; Cho, K.; Brenner, Don; et al. Nanotechnology Based Materials and Devices for Health Care. SASTRA International Conference; 11-12 Jan. 2003; Thanjavur; India
(20030015194: (Dec. 2002) NASA ASD)
Srivastava, Deepak; Menon, M.; Andriotis, Antonis; et al. Nanotube Heterojunctions and Endo-Fullerenes for Nanoelectronics. 6th Molecular Electronics Conference (UEF); 15-19 Dec. 2002; Key West, FL; United States
(20030018891: (Dec. 2002) NASA ASD)
Stenmark, Lars; Lang, Martin. Micro propulsion thrusters and technologies. ESA-SP-398. Proceedings of the 2nd European Spacecraft Propulsion Conference; 27-29 May 1997; Noordwijk; Netherlands.
(19980019362: (Aug. 1997) NASA ASD)
Sun, Sam. Novel High Efficient Organic Photovoltaic Materials: Final Summary of Research; Final Report. NONP-NASA-CD-2002153467. Hampton, VA: Langley Research Center
(20030016516: (2002) NASA ASD)
Thayer, Ann M. Nanotechnology: Chance of a Lifetime. Chemical & Engineering News.v. 84, no. 18 (May 1, 2006): 10-18.
Trent, Jonathan. The Future of Bio-technology. Bio-Tech Israel 2005 Conference and Exhibition; 24-26 May 2005; Tel Aviv; Israel.
(20050184184: (May 2005) NASA ASD)
Truszkowski, Walt; Rash, James; Hinchey, Mike; Rouff, Chrustopher A. A Survey of Formal Methods for Intelligent Swarms. Greenbelt, MD: Goddard Space Flight Center.
(20050156631: (Dec. 2004) NASA ASD)
Truszkowski, Walt; Rash, James; Rouff, Christopher; Hinchey, Mike. Asteroid Exploration with Autonomic Systems. IEEE ECBS/EASE 2004; 24-27 May 2004; Brno; Czech Republic.
(20040079373: (May 2004) NASA ASD)
Willcoxon, Rita; Thronson, Harley; Varsi, Guilio; et al. NASA Capability Roadmaps Executive Summary; Final Report.
(20050204002: (May 2005) NASA ASD)
Wrbanek, Susan Y.; Weiland, Kenneth E. Optical Levitation of Micro-Scale Particles in Air. NASA/TM-2004-212889. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20040028040 (Jan. 2004) NASA ASD)
Zeller, Mary V.; Lei, Jih-Fen.Instrumentation and Controls Division Overview: Sensors Development for Harsh Environments at Glenn Research Center. NONP-NASA-CD-2002119783. Cleveland, OH: Glenn Research Center.
(20020073404: (July 2002) NASA ASD)

Internet Resources

Foresight Institute. Nanotechnology. 2006 [cited 26 May 2006].
Institute of Nanotechnology. Institute of Nanotechnology. 2006 [cited 25 May 2006].
Keczer, Amara de. CNT: Center for Nanotechnology. 7 April 2006 [cited 25 May 2006].
Keczer, Amara de. Nanotechnology Gallery. No date given. [cited 25 May 2006].
Miller, Gina. Nanotechnology Industries. March 2006 [cited 25 May 2006]
National Nanotechnology Initiative. 22 May 2006 [cited 26 May 2006].
National Nanotechnology Initiative. Government Departments and Agencies. No date given. [cited 26 May 2006]. - Links to the agencies' micromechanics research pages.
National Science Foundation. Nanoscience - Research Overview. 18 May 2006 [cited 26 May 2006].
Office of Science and Technology. The Issues. No date given. [cited 25 May 2006].
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The National Nanotechnology Initiative at Five Years: Assessment and Recommendations of the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel. May 2005 [cited 31 May 2006]
The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. Nanoscience and nanotechnology. 5 Jan. 2005 [cited 25 May 2006].
The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties. 29 July 2004 [cited 25 May 2006].

Congressional Hearings

House of Representatives' Science Committe and subcommittees:

108th Congress:

Subcommittee on Research Hearing on Nanotechnology Research and Development: The Biggest Little Thing in Texas, 5 Dec. 2003 [cited 26 May 2006]:

109th Congress:

Subcommittee on Research - Hearing - The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Review and Outlook. 18 May 2005 [cited 26 May 2006]
Subcommittee on Research - Hearing - Nanotechnology: Where Does the U.S. Stand? 29 June 2005 [cited 26 May 2006]

Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation:

107th Congress:

Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space Hearing on Nanotechnology, 17 Sept. 2002 [cited 26 May 2006]

108th Congress:

Full Committee Hearing on Nanotechnology, 1 May 2003 [cited 26 May 2006]

109th Congress:

Full Committee Hearing on Developments in Nanotechnology, 15 Feb. 2006 [cited 26 May 2006].
Subcommittee on Trade, Tourism, and Economic Development Hearing on Promoting Economic Development Opportunities Through Nano Commercialization, 4 May 2006 [cited 26 May 2006].

Last Updated: June 2006