Nanotechnology: A Big Little Frontier for Quality

Abstract:Nanotechnology is a field of applied science that deals with arranging particles on the atomic scale. Its basic goal is to engineer functional systems at the molecular level. More than 1700 companies worldwide, many of which specialize in business-to-business products, are pursuing the promise of nanotechnology. However, the growing nanotech trade has been hit with recurring quality problems because process control, reliability, and repeatability have not been well established. One of the foremost challenges nanomanufacturing faces is designing stable, durable materials that can be scaled up to microscale, mesoscale, and macroscale products. If a true process control could be established for nanotechnologies, it would lay the foundation for process scale-up. Discussion and examples demonstrate that the body of knowledge in design of experiments, statistical process control, Six Sigma, and certification and standards can make significant contributions to …

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