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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 vehicles’ 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