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Nanotechnology is the study to manipulate, control, assemble, produce, and manufacture the things at their atomic or molecular level.
In other words we can say that makes product or a material lighter, stronger, cleaner, less expensive and more precise by the designer and users point of view because of it's very very small size.
Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1 -100 nanometer range.
Creating and using structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functionsbecause of their small and/or intermediate size.
Ability to control or manipulate on the atomic scale
ELABORATING THE TERM:
The prefix nano in the term nanotechnology refers to the one billionth(1x10^-9) part of anything. So by this term nanotechnology cn be said that the technology which works with the matter to this precison. Nanotechnology deals with the various structures of matter having dimensions of the order of the one billionth part of the matter. While the word nanotechnology is relatively new, the existence of functional devices and structures of nanometer dimensions is not new, and in fact such structures have existed on the earth earlier also. Because of its size it the materials or products that are created or manufactured using the concept of nanotechnology are more flexible, useful and are more efficient also in terms of size cost and capacity that it can have.
-It is derived from the Greek word for "dwarf".
-Idea of manipulating materials at the atomic/molecular level first introduced by Richard Feynman in 1959.
-Term "nanotechnology"was first used in 1974 by Norio Taniguchi.
-One nanometer (nm) = 10-9meters.
-Size of greatest interest is 0.2 to 100 nm.
Let us talk it about in some detail. The evolution was and development in the field of nanotechnology upto late 1980's was somehow nill. As scientific development is going on. Still nanotechnology is a new and a very creative and fresh area of scientific research. Nanotechnology is the development of progress, as many like to put it, and progress has included the vulcanization of rubber and the introduction of steel into society. These advancements count in the history of nanotechnology according to many well known scientific experts.
*image source- http://particlezoo.wordpress.com
Perhaps it might be safer to acknowledge that the basics of the history of nanotechnology have been implemented for thousands of years or longer, but we as a scientific society did not put a name to it until somewhere in the mid 60's.
It was during this time that particle size became a constant factor in scientific exploration. These measurements were recorded at smaller than 10nm, which in lay terms translates roughly into less than microscopic.
WHY NANOTECHNOLOGY IS USEFUL?
Nanotechnology, at its core deals with the modification and the control of the matter at its molecular or we can say that at its atomic level. This is a fact proved by all of the research works that the properties of a matter change a very dramatically when the surface to area ratio is increased to nano scales. Let us consider an example, the inert elements or we can say that are radioactive elements at the nano scale start to react as a catalyst. As in the same way many of the elements show their unique colloidal properties, solubility, and electrical properties and as we know that these are the properties that proves to be very useful for the real world as in the manufacture of the electronic devices,
medicines and off course energy production with the help of nanotechnology.
The size of the nanotechnological products are very small, this is the main reason that the nanotechnological products are attracting attention of every person. What nanotechnology can do that can be seen easily with the picture given below.
POWER OF NANOTECHNOLOGY
This is a robot that is designed with the help of nanotechnology. It is clearly visible in the image that the robot is too small in size and as it is designed using the concept of nanotechnology, it is more efficient and for the same reason it is too much compact and lighter in weight. It can be implemented in many of the fields due to its unique features which are described on the next page.
*Image source - www.scienceblogs.com
This robot can be used as:
Spy camera and can be used by many Intelligence agencies.
A device which can hang over traffic and can record the pictures of the traffic and thus can be helpful by the cops in taking quick action.
GPS tracking device- It can be fixed in cars and thus the position of the vehicle can be recorded in case of theft or loss.
There are many places where we can use it. It was just an idea about its implications.
Nanotechnology industry is the industry that refers to the commercial field that earns income by designing matter at a molecular or atomic state. The most popular and common examples of the nanotechnology are silver in food packaging and zinc oxide in cosmetics and sunscreens. The number of products produced by the nanotech today has exceeded a magical number of more than 1,000 at present. Most of the nanotech products are limited to the passive materials like cosmetics and food products. The use of titanium dioxide in products like sunscreen is due to material manipulation at the molecular and atomic level. The application of zinc oxide in paints, outdoor furniture varnishes and surface coatings is made possible only due to the smart use of nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is also used in the field of medical sciences. It is used in the therapy and treatment of various diseases and mainly for the treatment of cancer. When nanotechnology is used in the field of medical sciences, it is known as the bionanotechnolgy. Nanotechnology is also used in the field of chemical analysis and filtration process. Nano science is also used in the fabrication of photocatalytic devices and catalytic converters.
PIE-CHART FOR NANOTECHNOLGY INDUSTRY
*Image source- directionsmag.com
APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY:
Nanotechnology now a days are getting to be used in many of the areas and is widely used. The fields of application are shown in the following picture.
Now we will discuss some of the important applications here in detail.
1. ENERGY: A very important field of nanotechnology related to the energy is NANOFABRICATION. It is the process of designing devices on nanoscale. Creating devices at this level i.e. at a lovel of around 100nm opens a new way for the development of new ways to capture, store and transfer energy. For example- NANOGENERATOR. They are used to to store and transfer energy.
*Image source- www.nstc.in
2. MEDICINES AND DRUGS: The very first nano medicine that came into use was the NANOCRYSTALLINE SILVER which was used to treat the wounds. A nanoparticle cream is also used sometimes to fight staph infections. They contain nitric oxide gas which is very well known to kill the harmful bacteria.
One other use of the nanotechnology in the above mentioned field is that if a burn dressing that is being coated with the NANOCAPSULES CONTAINING ANTIBIOTICS, if the infection starts at the wound or where the dressing is being done causes the nanocapsules break to open, releasing the antibiotics, which ultimately results in the immediate treatment of the wound and a better dressing again.
3. NANOBIO-TECHNOLOGY- Nanobio- technology is the combination of nanotechnology with biological and biochemical applications. Recent developments in nanotechnology have provided researchers with new tools for cancer imaging and
* Image source -www.eco-trees.org
treatment. This technology has enabled the development of nanoscale devices that can
be conjugated with several functional molecules simultaneously, including tumor-specific ligands, antibodies, anticancer drugs, and imaging probes. Since these nanodevices are 100 to 1,000-fold smaller than cancer cells, they can be easily transferred through leaky blood vessels and interact with targeted tumor-specific proteins both on the surface of and inside cancer cells. Therefore, their application as cancer cell-specific delivery vehicles will be a significant addition to the currently available armory for cancer therapeutics and imaging.
*Image source- www.edinformatics.com
4.OPTICAL ENGINEERING: In our internet driven society there is a huge volume of data to be transferred and shared across the networks and these needs are going to be increased day by day. Optical networks are very important to meet these future demands. Due to the nanotechnology the coming future networks of the coming years can revolutionize this. Instead of maximizing one parameter that is SPEED future optical networks will need to be simultaneously sensitive and responsive to the competing needs of many users. Optical switches will route beams of light from different points of origin into the many different fibers, amplifiers, and nodes of the network. But a smart and sophisticated strategy is needed to bring order and reliability to this potentially challenging environment.
5. DEFENCE AND SECURITY: Nanotechnology plays a vital role in the field of defence and security. Ion beams which are generated by the nanoparticles of that particular element and those ion beams can be used to study forensic material. By this technique we can identify forensic specimens such as gunhost residues, explosives, fingerprints, soils and inks, with the ultimate aim of linking a suspect to a scene of a crime by comparing the elemental composition of forensic material found on the suspect to the composition of forensic material at the crime scene.
Image source- www.nanotech-now.com
6. COSMETICS: It is believed that by the proper use of nanotechnology we can prevent the graying hair and combat hair loss in some cases. Nanotechnology is increasing the development of the skin care products and other cosmetics. Nanotechnology in the beauty industry involves making products with nanoparticles that can go deeper below the skin's surface to give better results. Sunscreens and some anti-aging products are the main cosmetic products on the market currently being made using nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is not going away, it will become a part of life and is expected to result in significant improvement in the quality of life as we know in the field of the lotions, sunscreens, and all types of cosmetics products. The world's largest cosmetical company LOREAL'S say this thing and now a days they are doing and making their products s effective by the use of this renowed technology which is known as nanotechnology.
7. NANO- FABRICS- Nanotechnology has also arrived in the fashion and fabrics industry from a past few years. Nano coating on fabrics and coats and other clothing wears makes sure that water collects in beads, and rolls off, rather than soaking in. The same technology has been used to create stain repellant fabrics.
The fibres used to make socks have been coated in nano-silver particles, which afford anti-microbial protection, preventing ichiness and odour!
*Image source- www.physorg.com