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Coming to Terms with Nanotechnology – Basics, Applications, and Future


Nanotechnology – heard the term? Is it new to you? What is it that comes in mind when you hear about Nanotechnology? Well, if you ask about the definition then, Nanotechnology is the scientific process of getting the functional systems engineered at a molecular scale. This is the most advanced level of engineering concept associated with the functional systems till date. It covers all the advanced concepts as well the current principles used for working with this technology.

Coming to Terms with Nanotechnology

A look at the history

Way back in 1959, eminent physicist Richard Feynman first gave some hint on this technology. He predicted that there will come a time when materials and structures will be developed through manipulation of molecules and atoms. The structures and materials that will be developed following this concept will definitely be higher in terms of strength and lighter in terms of weight. These structures will also feature increased control over the light spectrum while assuring much higher chemical reactivity.

Manipulating the atoms on NANO SCALE

In this world, anything that has a physical existence is made up from molecules and atoms. Yes, anything and everything, be it human beings, animals, minerals, plants, air, water, fire, anything. They have been formed (and will continue to be) due to certain reactions from atom and molecules via some charge that may be electronic or physically bounded. Now when humans will manipulate the atoms on a Nano scale, do you have any idea what will happen? The human beings will acquire the power to reproduce everything. Yes, you have read it right – everything, from diamonds to living beings to foods.

All positive or…..something to fear about

Every good thing has something negative to talk about, no matter how “nano” it may be. Yes, there are limitless scopes of improvements with nanotechnology but there are some issues that can be considered seriously negative about this technology. The manipulation of atoms and molecules can result in something highly destructive – human extinction!

The Harmful Effects or Risks

  • Over population
  • Increase in terrorism and criminal activities
  • Human Cloning
  • Conflicts over lifestyle and religious beliefs
  • Disparity between have-not’s and have’s

The Four Generations of nanotechnology

  • Passive nanostructures
  • Active nanostructures
  • Systems of Nano systems
  • Molecular Nano systems

Passive Nanostructure is the phase where materials are designed to perform some specific task. Active nanostructure is the second phase that focuses more on multitasking from a single device. Systems of Nano Systems is the third generation that features Nano systems with numerous interacting components. This is followed by Molecular Nano Systems. This is the most advanced phase where integrated nano systems functions more like mammalian cells with the inclusion of hierarchical systems.

Scale and Scope – Importance of nanotechnology

When talking about the scale of improvement through nanotechnology, then you need to think big. Yes, nanotechnology can be best used on larger scale. Want to develop those extraordinary precision instruments? Then, follow nanotechnology principles to get the task done. Nanotechnology deals a lot with quantum physics concepts. In fact, it is a part of Quantum Physics. Although Quantum Physics mostly deals with ultra-small objects, same cannot be said about nanotechnology that focuses more on large dimensions.

The Future

Advancement in nanotechnology has definitely helped in producing a large variety of new materials. Not only this but this technology is also adapting the old materials for reusability purpose. This concept has offered great potential to improvise on the industrial and consumer products while improving on the medical field, enhancing security systems, and addressing critical energy requirements.

Examples of products being developed using the nanotechnology concept:

  • Mineral Water system, a carbon nanotube based filtration device from Seldon Technologies has been developed using the nanotechnology. This water filtration device very effectively removes the contaminants and pathogens from water like bacteria, virus, spores, and cysts and delivery the most hygienic and potable water that even exceeds the USEPA standard.
  • Carbon nanotube ink from Linde Electronics is used for sensors, displays, & electronic devices with rollup screens, and GPS devices installed in cars.
  • Cosmetics like the sunscreen lotions that have titanium dioxide or zinc oxide nano-particles as ingredients that protects the skin from absorbing the cancer-causing ultraviolet light. More importantly, these lotions are long lasting and never cause irritation and are also anti-allergic.
  • A certain category of bandages consist of silver nanoparticles that help in preventing infection from abrasions and cuts. Also, the presence of silver nanoparticles effectively blends the antibiotic ointment or lotion with the bandage.
  • Antibacterial liquids to free the swimming pool water from germs. Nano particles are more effective in fighting the harmful bacteria that resides in the swimming pools.

The nanofactory effect – Advantages to gain from Nanotechnology in recent future

  • Reverse the aging process while curing deadly diseases – The Medical nanorobots can be used for microscopic and cellular surgeriers, patrolling the body for identifying diseases and resisting their effects, and also repair the specific injuries. Nanorobots will also help in forming new neurons while replacing the damaged or even drying brain cells with newer ones.
  • Significant reduction in the cost for manufactured products – The cost of raw materials like nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen will significantly reduce. If considered theoretically, any type of object or material can easily be assembled through nanofactories.
  • Improved artificial general intelligence – In the near future, the nanofactories will include specific machine systems to perform technical and engineering works that, in return, will manufacture massively powerful computers but much inexpensive that the current ones available. Transferring of knowledge from one environment to another becomes easier and faster. Using this technology will also help in providing easy and fast options in regard to debt consolidation lenders.
  • Complete elimination of chemical pollution – Development of artificial fuel that helps in eliminating all the by-products or even converting all the harmful residues into non-harmful form would result in making the environment a healthier one, and also, less expensive.

Final Words

Nanotechnology is not about “if”. Whatever you think will take shape with the help of this technological brilliance. The question is only “when”. The change is near and will happen. And when it does, it will be profound and tremendous – for the good or bad. Only the future will tell.

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