The Nano-Micro Interface: Bridging the Micro and Nano Worlds

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BOOKS & MEDIA UPDATEDecember 200464A materials science primerGonzlez-Vias and Mancini have produced a helpful guide to materials sciencefor those who want to familiarize themselves with the subject quickly, saysSiegmar Roth.This book is a useful introduction to materials science.It is especially helpful for undergraduate students andother newcomers who want to become quicklyinformed about the basics of the field. It aims at aqualitative understanding rather than a rigidmathematical treatment. Readers can easily familiarize themselves with theprinciples of solid-state physics. The crystalline latticeis introduced and, using only a few lines, so is thereciprocal lattice (a hard task, but there is no easy wayto cover the reciprocal lattice, no matter how manylines you use). Based on the concept of energy bands,the difference between metals and semiconductors isdiscussed, and semiconductorphysics is elaborated so far thateven p-n junctions, polartransistors, and field-effecttransistors are presented. A shortoutline of X-ray diffraction is alsogiven; just enough to catch theessentials. A chapter is devoted toimperfections and defects (pointdefects, excitons, and dislocations)and a very short chapter coversmechanical and thermal properties(including the introduction ofphonons). In a concise and usefulway (using only one diagram!), themost important parameters ofelasticity are demonstrated.Magnetic, dielectric, and superconducting materials aretreated somewhat more extensively. Not only thebasics, but also high-temperature superconductors, theJosephson effect, and Josephson junctions arediscussed. More space is used for optical materials(including solid-state lasers, semiconductor lasers, andnonlinear optics) and for noncrystalline solids (glasses,glassy metals, amorphous semiconductors, and asurprisingly detailed section on quasicrystals).The chapter on polymers is the longest. This gives avery useful overview of the classification of polymers,chemical structures of common polymers, and themost important polymerization procedures. Order inchains, as well as molecular weight and methods ofobtaining molecular distribution curves, are discussed. I find such diagrams as the phase diagram of oligomersand polymers of ethylene (showing the path fromliquids over greases and waxes to soft and hardplastics) very instructive. There are several practicaltables with material properties of polymers (glasstemperature, melting temperature, thermalconductivity, electrical conductivity, etc.). These tablesallow quick orientation for someone who has to usepolymers and wants to know which class of polymersis worthwhile to inspect more closely. The book also contains a few pages on surface scienceand even fewer (six pages!) on new materials:fullerenes, liquid crystals, and biocompatible materials.Personally, I regret that there is not more spacedevoted to these exciting new materials and that theyhave not been used as an incentiveto attract people to the topic.Actually, very little effort is madeto attract readers. There are nocolor figures or fancy photographs,and there is no speculation onspectacular futuristic applications.Anyone who has not yet decided tobecome a materials scientist willhardly be motivated to do so by thebook, but those who want or haveto learn the essentials of materialsscience, and have only a few daysto devote to the task, will certainlybenefit from scanning over thepages. They will manage this withina few days because the book doesnot have more than 170 pages. But it does containdetails on everything a material scientist has to know. I will pass the book to new members of my team andtell them to read it first before they pick upmonographs from the library or download reviewarticles from the Internet. They should read it to be ina position to ask questions at seminars andconferences. The price is perhaps too much to buy apersonal copy for each team member but, if two orthree copies float around in the coffee corner, theinvestment will not be wasted.Siegmar Roth is at the Max-Planck-Institut frFestkrperforschung in Stuttgart, Germany.Wenceslao Gonzlez-Vias and Hctor L. ManciniAn Introduction to Materials SciencePrinceton University Press (2004), 200 pp., ISBN: 0-691-07097-0$60.00 / 38.95 Three-Dimensional X-rayDiffraction MicroscopyHenning F. PoulsenSpringer (2004), 154 pp.ISBN: 3-540-22330-4$149 / 88.50 / 114.95Poulsen presents a comprehensiveaccount of three-dimensional X-raydiffraction microscopy for thestructural characterization ofpolycrystalline materials. Thismethod allows the position,morphology, phase, strain, andorientation of hundreds of grainswithin a specimen to be determined.The dynamics of structural elementscan be monitored during annealing ordeformation processes. Nanotechnology andNanoelectronicsW. R. Fahrner (ed.)Springer (2005), 269 pp.ISBN: 3-540-22452-1$79.95 / 54 / 69.95Subtitled Materials, Devices, andMeasurement Techniques, this is aconcise overview of the state-of-the-art in functional nanostructures. Itcovers the production andcharacterization of structures in thenanometer size range. Applications inelectronics are covered alongside anevaluation of the future prospects ofnanotechnology. The Nano-MicroInterface: Bridging theMicro and Nano WorldsHans-Jrg Fecht and MatthiasWerner (eds.)John Wiley & Sons (2004), 351 pp.ISBN: 3-527-30978-0$135 / 70 / 105Micro- and nanotechnology mergewhere the top-down miniaturizationof microelectronics meets thebottom-up assembly ofnanostructures. Contributions to thisvolume discuss issues at the nano-micro interface including materialssynthesis, fabrication technologies,characterization methods, electronicdevices, and bio-interfaces. ExpertGraduateUndergraduate


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