This book grew out of my desire to understand the mechanics of nanomaterials, and to be able to rationalize in my own mind the variety of topics on which the people around me were doing research at the time. The ?eld of nanomaterials has been growing rapidly since the early 1990s. I- tially, the ?eld was populated mostly by researchers working in the ?elds of synt- sis and processing. These scientists were able to make new materials much faster than the rest of us could develop ways of looking at them (or understanding them). However, a con?uence of interests and capabilities in the 1990s led to the exp- sive growth of papers in the characterization and modeling parts of the ?eld. That con?uence came from three primary directions: the rapid growth in our ability to make nanomaterials, a relatively newfound ability to characterize the nanomate- als at the appropriate length and time scales, and the rapid growth in our ability to model nanomaterials at atomistic and molecular scales. Simultaneously, the commercial potential of nanotechnology has become app- ent to most high-technology industries, as well as to some industries that are tra- tionally not viewed as high-technology (such as textiles). Much of the rapid growth came through the inventions of physicists and chemists who were able to develop nanotechnology products (nanomaterials) through a dizzying array of routes, and who began to interface directly with biological entities at the nanometer scale. That growth continues unabated.
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