27.1. Introduction

Nanotechnology is frequently discussed these days as an emerging frontier for the development of various future devices. Micro and/or nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) are the basis of future nanotechnologies, because they combine miniature sensors and actuators with electronics. Progress in this field demands the capability to fabricate nanostructures in a variety of materials with accuracy at the nanometer scale and sometimes at the atomic scale. Nanofabrication aims at building nanoscale structures, which can be adopted as components, devices, or systems, in a large quantity with potentially low costs. The past three decades have seen the critical length scales of the component devices decreased by a remarkable ...

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