Nanoarchitectonics: what's coming next after nanotechnology?
In science and technology today, the crucial importance of the regulation of nanoscale objects and structures is well recognized. The production of functional material systems using nanoscale units can be achieved via the fusion of nanotechnology with the other research disciplines. This task is a part of the emerging concept of nanoarchitectonics, which is a concept moving beyond the area of nanotechnology. The concept of nanoarchitectonics is supposed to involve the architecting of functional materials using nanoscale units based on the principles of nanotechnology. In this focus article, the essences of nanotechnology and nanoarchitectonics are first explained, together with their historical backgrounds. Then, several examples of material production based on the concept of nanoarchitectonics are introduced via several approaches: (i) from atomic switches to neuromorphic networks; (ii) from atomic nanostructure control to environmental and energy applications; (iii) from interfacial processes to devices; and (iv) from biomolecular assemblies to life science. Finally, perspectives relating to the final goals of the nanoarchitectonics approach are discussed.