The state-of-the-art in nano-turning is evolving rapidly due to the economic and application benefits that nano-scale engineering creates. This paper describes the state of the art in nano-turning with a focus on single point diamond tools (SPDT) and integrated sensory systems. Research in this area has thus far lagged behind other nano-scale research efforts in the chemical and biological sciences. Discussion of the fundamentals of nano-scale turning is presented along with the state-of-the-art in sensor systems. Surface finish is a critical performance characteristic for nano-turned parts, which is detailed in terms of the impact of machining parameters, tool geometry, and material anisotropy. Ongoing research into computer modeling of the cutting mechanics at the nano-scale is presented. Sensors and automation systems for nano-turning are discussed with a focus on active control and in-process adjustments. Finally, recommendations are given for the future of nano-turning and nano-scale machining in general.

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