Thinking from small to big: Nanotechnology a booming field?
Yes!!! Sometimes, working on small leads to a big future, i.e. bigger ideas come in smaller chunks through the rapidly advancing field of Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is a science, engineering, and technology of shaping the materials at nanometer scale which is 1-100 nm and deals with the study and application of nanomaterials which can encompass across various other science fields such as chemistry, physics, biology, material science, and engineering.
Emergence of the bright field
The father of Nanotechnology or we can say the very first notion of Nanotechnology and Nanoscience was introduced by Physicist Richard Feynman in his talk entitled “There’s plenty of Room at the Bottom” at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959, where he put forward the idea of manufacturing things on a very small scale and construed a process in which scientists can be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules. Over a decade later, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term “Nanotechnology” in 1974 and gave a talk describing the improvement in the dimensional accuracy over time. The term was expanded and popularized by K Eric Drexler, in a 1986 book “Engines of Creation: the coming era of nanotechnology” which he applied it to Feynman’s vision.
Applications flowing from field to field
Nanotechnology is having the capability to create many novel materials and devices with ample of applications such as in medicine, electronics, and energy production. Most of the applications are limited to the use of passive nanomaterials which include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreen, cosmetics, and some food products, silver nanoparticles in food packaging, clothing, disinfectants and household appliances such as Silver Nano, carbon nanotubes for stain-resistant textiles and cerium oxide as a fuel catalyst.
One immensely useful application of nanotechnology in medicine is drug delivery where nanoparticles are employed to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such as cancer cells). Researchers at Wyss University are working on nanoparticles that release drugs when subjected to some sheer force which is useful in dissolving the clots. Some of the nanoparticles being hired for the drug release purpose are silica nanoparticle and gelatin nanoparticles. Other medical applications of nanotechnology are in therapy, diagnostic, anti-microbial and cell repair.
Nanoelectronics has explained how with reducing the weight and power consumption of an electronic device nanotechnology increasing its capability. Some of the examples of this fascinating field are- Researchers at Georgia Tech., University of Tokyo have used silver nanoparticle ink to form the conductive lines needed in circuit boards. At Stanford University, researchers have demonstrated a method to make functioning integrated circuits using carbon nanotubes. Others scientists developed electrodes made up of nanowires are being used in thin film solar cells.
Nanotechnology and Energy
Nanotechnology is being used in several applications to improve the efficiency of energy production and develop new methods to produce energy. Researchers have illustrated that sunlight exposes on nanoparticles can produce steam with very high efficiency, and some are developing nanoparticles which use sunlight to generate steam for use in running power plants. Researchers are using sodium borohydride nanoparticles for storing hydrogen for fuel cell powered gas.
Impact on day to day life
From the clothes and sunscreen, we put to computer hard drives and even cleaning water, nanotechnology plays a big role in the manufacture of many familiar products and influence our lives on a daily basis.
Future of the compelling technology
Trends of this astonishing field will be included in each and every field of science in upcoming future. A brief review of future trends in nanotechnology developments is given in the news by Themis Prodromakis, University Of Southampton.
If this movement of the fascinating research continues, then we might say that nanotechnology could be expected to be the answer to the world’s problems. This cannot be factored in until the future becomes the present. The funding for nano research requires something interesting in order to continue this fascinating field.