In 1965, Gordon Moore observed that silicon transistors were undergoing a continual process of scaling downward, an observation which was later codified as Moore’s law. Since his observation, transistor minimum feature sizes have decreased from 10 micrometers to the 10 nm range as of 2019. Note that the technology node doesn’t directly represent the minimum feature size. The field of nanoelectronic aims to enable the continued realization of this law by using new methods and materials to build electronic devices with feature sizes on the Nano scale. The volume of an object decreases as the third power of its linear dimensions, but the surface area only decreases as its second power. This somewhat subtle and unavoidable principle has huge ramifications. For example, the power of a drill (or any other machine) is proportional to the volume, while the friction of the drill’s bearings and gears is proportional to their surface area. For a normal-sized drill, the power of the device is enough to handily overcome any friction. However, scaling its length down by a factor of 1000, for example, decreases its power by 10003 (a factor of a billion) while reducing the friction by only 10002 (a factor of only a million). Proportionally it has 1000 times less power per unit friction than the original drill. If the original friction-to-power ratio was, say, 1%, that implies the smaller drill will have 10 times as much friction as power; the drill is useless. For this reason, while super-miniature electronic integrated circuits are fully functional, the same technology cannot be used to make working mechanical devices beyond the scales where frictional forces start to exceed the available power. So even though you may see microphotographs of delicately etched silicon gears, such devices are currently little more than curiosities with limited real world applications, for example, in moving mirrors and shutters. Surface tension increases in much the same way, thus magnifying the tendency for very small objects to stick together. This could possibly make any kind of “micro factory” impractical: even if robotic arms and hands could be scaled down, anything they pick up will tend to be impossible to put down.