Nanotechnology, The Technology At Atomic Scale

Nanotechnology, the future technology.

Nanotechnology refers to the science and engineering of matter at an atomic scale. It is a science of manufacturing, utilizing and studying extremely small particles and devices having dimension between 1 nanometer to 100 nanometers. One nanometer is equal to 0.000000001 meters, now imagine how small it is! Even human hair has much higher dimension than this.

Nanotechnology holds a great future promise and below are few things about this technology:

  • It has been found that at nano dimension material shows very different properties as compared to what they would on a macro-scale. So with nanotechnology, we may have access to many new elements which didn’t exist before. When materials are reduced into nano-particles they show new odd properties like opaque substances may become transparent, stable materials turn combustible, plastics or insulators turn into conductors, gold particles can appear green or anything and solids can turn into liquids almost spontaneously at room temperature. Research are ongoing on these things worldwide.
  • Nanotechnology will make exactly what it is expected to make; there will be no more, no less and hence, no wastage. Matter will be used more efficiently and precisely with this technology. It holds some answers for how we might increase the capabilities of material and devices while we reduce their size, weight and power consumption. With nanotechnology, it will be possible to have smaller, lighter, flexible, self-cleaning type of electronic devices in future.
  • With the use of nanotechnology in the solar cells, solar energy can be efficiently harnessed. Manufacturers have developed nano-tech solar cells that can be manufactured at significantly lower cost than conventional solar cells and are better in performance.
  • Manufactures are currently developing batteries using nano-materials. With nanotechnology, it will possible to make much higher capacity and more durable batteries, at the same time it allow batteries to become smaller, lighter and thinner. Using nanotechnology, researchers developed what they call ultra-capacitors. Ultra-capacitors are being researched heavily as it may take over completely from batteries because of their potential for much higher discharge rates and much lesser recharge times.
  • It is possible, one day nano-chips may make computers many times faster than today’s supercomputers. Nanotechnology will significantly help in making computers that will be incredibly powerful, will use less power and will be much smaller in size. With nanotechnology, data storage capacity can be increased up to much greater extend as compared to the present date. It will be possible to store at least hundred terabytes of data in a cubic millimeter of space with nanotechnology.
  • Nanotechnology can leads to newer technology in the field of spacecraft, satellite, fuel, water cleaning methods and many more. Research and advancements in nano-materials will help in manufacture of lightweight spacecraft and satellite which will significantly reduce the amount of fuel required and hence, can lower the cost of space projects.
  • Nanotechnology will significantly play an important role in the field of medical in curing diseases like cancer and others. With the help of nanotechnology drug can be delivered directly to diseased cells in the human body. This directed method of drug delivery has great potential for treating cancer patients while producing less harmful side-affects than those produced by conventional chemotherapy. Research are ongoing on it.
  • Some clothing manufacturers are trying their hands on nanotechnology, they are making water and stain repellent clothing using nano-sized whiskers. The use of nanotechnology in fabric can greatly improve the fabric properties. Nano-sized particles of carbon like carbon nano-tubes are extremely strong and one proposed application that illustrates the strength of nano-sized particles of carbon is the manufacture of bullet proof vests made out of carbon nano-tubes.
  • It’s still a field of research what all we can achieve with nanotechnology. Some researchers believe nanotechnology can be used to significantly extend the human lifespan or produce replicator like devices that can create almost anything from simple raw materials, a device which would use manipulators to position atoms and molecules to build an object; it is also referred as molecular fabricator. Others see nanotechnology only as a tool to help us do what we do now, but faster or better.
  • Nanotechnology is having an impact on several aspects of food science; from how food is grown to how it is packaged. Some manufacturers are developing nano-materials that will make a difference not only in the taste of food but also in food safety, its packing and the health benefits that food will have.
  • Nanotechnology can enable sensors to detect very small amounts of chemical vapors. Various types of detecting elements, such as carbon nano-tubes or zinc oxide nano-wires can be used in nanotechnology based sensors. Because of the small size of nano-tubes, nano-wires, or nano-particles, a few gas molecules are sufficient to change the electrical properties of the sensing elements which allows the detection of a very low concentration of chemical vapors. Nanotechnology can also improve the performance of catalysts used to transform vapors escaping from vehicles or from industrial plants into harmless gasses. The larger surface area of catalyst made from nano-particles allows more chemicals to interact with the catalyst simultaneously, which makes the catalyst more effective.
  • Nanotechnology also has great applications in automobiles, agriculture, sports and in cosmetics too. In sports, nanotechnology is being used to increasing the strength of tennis racquets, reducing the rate at which air leaks from tennis balls, filling any imperfections in the some sports materials like club shaft materials and some others.
  • Despite of having numerous advantages nanotechnology has disadvantages too. With having the grip on nanotechnology, there will no limits to what we can do or the amount of things we can create with it. Probably, it has major risks in terms of both abuse and accidents. It grants us the power to absolutely annihilate ourselves and our beautiful planet. New developments in nanotechnology could even result in untraceable weapons of mass destruction because nano-materials have almost unlimited potential. Moreover, the environmental effect of nanotechnology is still unknown. It is believed that nanotechnology needs to be very strictly regulated in order to minimize the possible negative impact on our planet, on its living beings and its environment.
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