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Published byDylan Buckley Modified over 4 years ago

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An Early Nanotechnologist? Prelude

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Excerpt from Letter of Benjamin Franklin to William Brownrigg (Nov. 7, 1773)...At length being at Clapham, where there is, on the Common, a large Pond... I fetched out a Cruet of Oil, and dropt a little of it on the Water. I saw it spread itself with surprising Swiftness upon the Surface... the Oil tho' not more than a Tea Spoonful... which spread amazingly, and extended itself gradually till it reached the Lee Side, making all that Quarter of the Pond, perhaps half an Acre, as smooth as a Looking Glass....

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... the Oil tho' not more than a Tea Spoonful...... perhaps half an Acre CHALLENGE: How thick was the film of oil? Volume = (Area)(Thickness) V = A t V = 1 teaspoonful A = 0.5 acre ~ 2 cm 3 ~ 2,000 m 2 t = V/A 20,000,000 cm 2 = 2 cm 3 20,000,000 cm 2 = 0.0000001 cm = 1 x 10 -7 cm = 1 x 10 -9 m = 1 nanometer (nm)

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An Early Nanotechnologist! A monolayer film (single layer of molecules) 1 nm thick Langmuir film

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