What Is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is concerned with nano-scale materials and structures. Nano-scale refers to particles and devices that are less than 100 microns in size. A sheet of paper has a thickness of 100,000 nano-meters, while a person who stands six feet tall has a thickness of 2 billion nano-meters! The properties of materials at the nanoscale can vary significantly, providing unique functionalities and applications for technology.
What Are Nanomaterials?
Generally, nanomaterials range from 1 to 100 nanometers in size and have unique properties that enable them to be used in technology, such as large surface area, bio-compatibility, optical properties, and electrical properties. Nanomaterials can be divided into four main categories: nanoparticles, nano-fibers, nano-tubes, and nano-aminates.
Applications Of Nanotechnology
Many therapies and drugs used to treat chronic conditions, such as cancer and brain tumors, have serious side effects for patients. This is where nanoparticles come in. The drug will only affect the affected cells and not the whole body. Different types of nanomaterials are also used to enhance the performance of imaging systems. The medical applications of nanotechnologies are not restricted to the above-mentioned areas but also cover gene therapy, wound care, and more.
Electronics and Devices
With the development of technology, we’ve gone from big TVs and mobile phones to small TVs and smartphones. Nanomaterials such as Graphene have also been used to create thin, lightweight, and high-quality TV screens that are also energy efficient!
Textiles and Fabrics
Specialty fabrics containing nano-sized particles of Silver and Titanium are used to create a fabric that can be worn, wrinkle-resistant, and smell-free year-round. This has resulted in the development of lightweight, thin, and breathable fabrics. Other uses of nanotechnology in this sector include fabric stain resistance and durability.
In the last ten years, the automobile industry has transformed. Now and then, a new four-wheeler model or a new model for two-wheelers is introduced that is based on advanced technology. This is another sector where the use of nanotechnologies can be seen.
Different types of polymer nano-composites have been used to make tires resistant to abrasion, such as Natural rubber-organoclay. In addition, the mechanical properties of car fluids have been improved by adding nanoparticles such as tungsten nano-spheres.
Sporting Equipment and Goods
In the modern world, various types of extracurricular activities, such as sports, have become popular career paths. This has led to many innovative developments, particularly in the fields of Tennis and Golf.
Nanomaterials, such as Silica nanoparticles and nano-clay fullerenes are used to make high-quality racquets, ultra-lightweight tennis balls that release air slowly, lightweight hockey sticks, and club shaft materials with enhanced durability.
Enhancing Water Quality
One of the most promising uses of nanotechnology is in filtration membranes, where innovative nanoparticles are used to enhance water quality by eliminating chemical and industrial contaminants like TCE from rivers and groundwater. Nanotechnology for water purification is one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods.
Space Science and Research is another area where the potential of nanotechnology is being explored. In addition to making satellites more robust and lightweight through the use of materials such as CNT, scientists are also working on ways to make spacecraft more fuel-efficient.
Improving Air Quality
Air pollution is a global concern, and that’s where nano-materials come in. On the other hand, membranes are being coated with nano-materials, such as graphene oxide, to separate contaminants from the air.
On the other hand, research is being carried out to enhance the performance of catalysts, which can help reduce the impact of air pollution from industrial plants, vehicles, and AC systems. These catalysts, composed of nanoparticles, cover a wide surface area, allowing the chemical reactions to take place.
Nanomaterials such as zinc oxide nanowires, carbon nanotubes, and palladium nanoparticles are used to create sensors that can detect even small amounts of hazardous chemicals. This is because the electrical characteristics of these materials improve at the nanoscale.
From the cultivation of food to the packaging of foodstuffs, nanotechnology is revolutionizing many areas of food science. Companies are creating nano-materials that will not only enhance the flavor of food but also enhance food safety and the health benefits of food.
Nanotechnology is also being used to lower the cost of fuel cell catalysts that generate hydrogen ions from fuel like methanol and to enhance the performance of fuel cell membranes that separate hydrogen ions from oxygen.
Advantages Of Nanotechnology
To break down the pros and cons of nanotechnologies, let’s start with the pros:
- Nanotechnology has the potential to transform many electronic devices, processes, and applications. Nano transistors (NFTs), nano diodes, OLEDs, plasma displays, quantum computers, and many more are just a few of the areas that will benefit from the ongoing advancement of nanotechnology in electronic products.
- Nanotechnology also has a positive impact on the power sector. This technology enables the development of more efficient energy-generating, energy-reinforcing, and energy-storage products in smaller, more efficient devices. Batteries, fuel cells, and solar cells can all be made smaller, but they can also be made more efficient with this technology.
- Another sector that stands to gain from nanotechnology is manufacturing. Manufacturers will need materials such as nano-tubes, nano-aerogels, nano-plastics, and more. These materials are typically stronger, more resilient, and lighter than nanoelectric materials.
- In the medical field, nanotechnology has also been hailed as a game-changer as it can aid in the development of so-called smart drugs. They also help patients recover more quickly and without the adverse reactions associated with other traditional medications. You’ll also find that nanotechnologies in medicine are now being studied in fields such as tissue remodeling, bone remodeling, immunotherapy, and even treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and other critical conditions.
What is the major application of nanotechnology?
It is used to fabricate non-humidity-generating structures from coal, silicon, and inorganic materials, as well as metals and semiconductors. It is derived from biological systems in water, such as genetic material, membrane structures, enzymes, and cellular structures.
What are the impacts and applications of nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize dental medicine, improve healthcare, and improve human life more than a few innovations in the past. But it also has the potential to bring significant benefits, such as improved health, increased resource efficiency, and lower environmental impact.
Who is the father of nanotechnology?
The originator of nanotechnologies can be traced back to the American physicist Richard Feynman.