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The Job

Nanotechnicians help nanotechnologists, scientists, engineers, and other nanotechnology professionals create new products, tools, and technologies in a wide range of industries. For example, nanotechnicians in the hazardous-waste management industry helped develop a nanoscale dry powder that can neutralize gas and liquid toxins in chemical spills. In the sporting-goods industry, nanotechnicians tested and developed carbon nanotubes for use in baseball bats and tennis rackets; this nanotechnology makes these items stronger, yet lighter, as compared to conventional materials. In the automotive industry, nanotechnicians are currently working with engineers and scientists to create ultra-strong, lightweight nanoparticles to replace heavy steel structures in cars, thereby increasing the vehiclesā€™ gas mileage and reducing their production costs. Although job responsibilities for nanotechnicians vary by industry, most perform the following duties:

  • operate precision equipment to control microscopic or nanoscopic processes
  • process or characterize materials according to physical or chemical properties
  • measure or mix chemicals or compounds by following detailed instructions or formulas
  • write process specifications or documentation
  • measure physical or chemical properties of materials or objects
  • calibrate nanotechnology equipment, such as testing, weighing, or production equipment
  • prepare reports on nanotechnology experiments or applications
  • test products for functionality or quality
  • maintain accurate record or batch-record documentation of nanoproduction
  • measure emissions of nanoparticles or nanodust during nanocomposite or other nano-scale production processes, using aerosol detection systems and other technology
  • maintain test equipment and clean work areas