Nanotechnology is an area where all the technical fields are integrated. Its applications are used in many areas including electronics, food processing, textile industry, agriculture, automobiles, environment protection etc. It is expected to be the next revolution of technology. However the last revolution (still going on ) which is based on ICT has influenced all the areas and today people are using software to make their life easy. Same scenario is applied to the nanotechnology as well. Therefore software is going to play a major role in nanotechnology.
Software used in nanotechnology
Nanotechnology, by its name, is all about the things which are at nanoscale (a billionth of a meter) and unseen to the naked eye or even to the optical microscopes. Therefore special equipments such as AFM (Atomic Force Microscope), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) are used in the study of nanotechnology.
As a result, nanotechnology research has become expensive and a task where extreme care and attention is needed. To assist this and make the process much easier, software have been introduced and successfully being used under many areas of nanotechnology under different categories.
Since the molecular structures are at nanoscale are unseen to the naked eye, one of the computation's most marvellous features, the virtual reality plays a major role in modelling and simulating the nano-world. A collection of knowledge of different disciplines such as physics, computing, electronic and mechanical engineering is need to fulfil the requirement of such a task.
Most equipments used in nanotechnology are integrated with a computer and hence provided with a software for its operation and safety. They are enriched with many sophisticated features for data analysis and visualization. Most of these kind of software is developed by equipment manufactures themselves.
Analysis and processing of images of nano-structures reveals a lot of information about the properties of that structure. Most of the time human eye is incapable of identifying such properties. Therefore image processing and analysis software are introduced to the nanotechnology for greater results.
Ninithi - Nanotechnology project of Lanka Software Foundation
Lanka Software Foundation, a non-profit and research oriented organization in Sri Lanka initiated a project in 2009 to develop opensource software to be used in nanotechnology research work. The idea was welcome by Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and agreed to assist in the progress.
The plan was to release a tool in 2010 and continue the progress in to a bigger project after the release. The inceptive project known as 'Ninithi' ( translation for 'nano') , is gradually approaching its completion at the moment. The goal is to develop a tool to visualize and analyse Graphene, Carbon nanoribbons, Carbon nanotubes and Fullerines.
The software provides 3-D views of these molecular structures and graphs illustrating electrical properties of them.