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Nanotechnology history has been viewed with skepticism and as a major contributor in driving new phases of industrial revolutions. Some scholars argue that nanotechnology is a new approach of scientific revolution and emerged between the early 1990's and the late 1980's. Some scholars have also found evidence of existence of nanotechnology in the late 1950's. Either way, nanotechnology is relatively new in scientific researches. Some scientists arguably believe that human beings applied methods of nanotechnology in decades ago or perhaps longer.
Nanotechnology is often viewed as a development of growth or progress and has entailed rubber vulcanization and steel introduction in the society. According to majority of scientist, this advancement reveals the strides made in nanotechnology. It's imperative to appreciate that nanotechnology basics have been applied for decades but scientist did not appreciate this until the early 1960's.
In order to document accurately nanotechnology's history, scientist can argue that nanotechnology began when ability determine size of particles was realized. This realization or invention was made particularly around the 20th century. During this period, the size of particles became a major scientific factor in exploration. The measurement of less than 10nm were recorded which are less than microscopic measurements are.
For a majority, the history of nanotechnology began with nanometers. Nanometers came into the lime light in the start of the year 1960. After it was measured it formed a point of reference that was vital in scientific exploration. In the mid of the 19th century, particles were easily recognizable by the use of ultra microscope. The ultra microscope could detect very tiny particles in measurement of up to 1/1 million millimeter. These categories of particles are tiny to the extent that they cannot be detected by eyes that are naked. Some critics hold the view that nanotechnology documentation actually started in this period i.e. 19th century.
The word or term nanotechnology came from the Science University of Tokyo through a paper that was released in 1974. A student in this university reinvented this word in his working paper and since then this name stuck on. By the year 1974, nanotechnology had flourished truly and scientist recorded significant breakthroughs which aided further advancement of this field by scientist. The Finn's process is a famous discovery which assisted in placing nanotechnology on the maps of scientific achievement or breakthroughs among the scientific community.
From the year 1980, the notion that molecules or atoms are touchable came into existence when scientist in nanotechnology backed Dr. K. Eric theory. Dr. K. Eric is hailed for his contribution in the ability to manipulate molecules or atoms. This invention was controversial since mishandling of molecules and atoms could lead to serious consequences such as restructuring of the natural world. Between the year 1990 and 1980, the popularity of nanotechnology increased significantly. This ability of nanotechnology can be reflected by scientist ability to power people's lives using molecules and atoms. Nanotechnology can be regarded as a science where advancements are constantly being made and tested.
Efforts by the government
A report released in 2004 by Organization for Economic Development commonly abbreviated as OECD, revealed that many countries have created nanotechnology definitions as a field of technology and science. It further recognizes that countries appreciate nanotechnology to be multidisciplinary and drawing upon physical sciences. Government's organizations support for nanotechnology is multidisciplinary and funding for nanotechnology is distributed through ministries responsible for such researches and applications. Some countries have embraced efforts and strategy to centralize development and research.
Most countries appreciate the vital role of technology hence have adopted measure to make sure they are abreast with these technological developments. Research and programs of development by government are aimed at constructing world class facility of R&D in nanotechnology. Most governments recognize the output from nanotechnology and hence are focused in ensuring it advancement. Japan for instance, has developed variety of programs focused on strengthening its capacity of basic research in nanoelectronic gadgets and nanomaterials.
Canada has created a nanotechnology national institute to deal with research in nanotechnology and has over 150 experienced researchers in various disciplines. Denmark has followed suit by establishing three centers for research, two of these institutes focusing on approaches that are interdisciplinary in nanoscience and the remaining one institute dealing in nanoengineering systems.
In addition to most government's efforts of creating centers of research, some countries have established programs that are more focused to R&D and to suit specific needs of the country. Netherlands is funding three programs namely nanotechnology, molecular nanotechnologies and microelectronics nanotechnology. Norway has specialized in smart materials, micro-technology and sensors. Poland development and research unit has prioritized on processing of nano-materials, nano metals used in construction activities and polymers. The support exhibited by most governments is beyond efforts in development and research.
America enacted Development and Research Act of nanotechnology in the 21st century which authorized $3.7 billion to be allocated to these projects. The sixth framework of the EU comprises of nanosciences and nanotechnologies which further clarifies the efforts by most countries in nanotechnology advancement. The EU had an ongoing nanotechnology project to ensure that industry of nanotechnology are established between the years 2009 to 2006. The effort by most countries to ensure the growth of nanotechnology cannot be overemphasized.
Most countries have made significant efforts to ensure compliance with nanotechnology by establishing centers for development and research and establishing programs and industries of nanotechnology among many others. The spending in public and private sectors has increased steadily due formulation of strategies to ensure companies remain ahead of technology. Research on technology has grown worldwide and private sectors are incurring more to ensure they have a competitive edge in technology. Nanotechnology is a vital technological force that has revolutionized the environment of business hence business and countries should embrace this concept to ensure relevance in the business environment.
Nanotechnology is viewed by most people as the future way and has numerous benefits to its users. Below are some of the disadvantages and advantages of nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology can revolutionize most products that are electronic, applications and procedures. Nano transistors, OLED, nano diodes, quantum computers and plasma displays are among the sections that experience the benefits of development in nanotechnology.
The sector for energy benefits from nanotechnology through the development of energy absorbing, energy storage and energy producing products that are effective. This devices or products include solar panels, fuel cells, and batteries, and may be built in sizes that are small but not compromising their quality and efficiency.
The manufacturing division also benefits greatly from nanotechnology since materials such as aerogels, nanotubes, nano particles and similar products are produced by these industries. These materials are lighter as opposed to those material or products produced without nano technology. These materials are also more durable, stronger and lighter than non nano produced products.
The field of medicine or the medical environment benefit significantly from nanotechnology. Medicines such as smart drugs have been manufactured aided by nanotechnology and enables curing of patients faster and with minimal side effects as opposed to the effects from traditional drugs. Medical research in nanotechnology is focusing more on repair of bones, regeneration of tissues, immunity and curatives for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and other disease which threaten lives of people.
Nanotechnology brings along the disadvantage of losing jobs in manufacturing industries and traditional farming.
The advancement of nano technology can lead to collapse of certain markets due to decline in diamond and oil value. This collapse is caused by the invention of efficient energy sources that use fossil fuels. This imply that, at the level of molecules, people can create or develop products hence leading to loss of value in diamond for example as it can be produced in masses.
Atomic weapons are destructive and are made more accessible due to increased adoption of nanotechnology.
Problems may spring up in case of particles inhalation since they are minute. These problems are similar to cases where one has inhaled tiny asbestos particles.
Nanotechnology is presently relatively expensive and a lot of money may be incurred during its development. Products manufactured while using nanotechnology are expensive due to the difficulty encountered in manufacturing these products.
Evidence backing nanotechnology
Materials of nanoscale have been used for many years and are present in variety of products present in the market for use by consumers. Most of these products that are known clearly include window glasses which are coated with nanoparticles of titanium oxide. This reacts with rays from sunlight to breakdown dirt on glass windows. When water comes in contact with glass surfaces, it evenly spreads rather than forming drops of water. This enables removal of dirt particles found on glass surfaces using water. The car industry uses nanotechnology to reinforce car bumpers properties and improve properties of car paints. Other nanotechnology uses in products for consumer include;
Sunglasses- this entail usage of coatings of ultrathin antireflective polymers for protection against rays of the sun. Nanotechnology offers coating that are scratch resistant and which are based on transparent nanocomposites that can be cared for easily, priced reasonably and ideal for use daily.
Textiles- they may use nanotechnology to make improvements that are practical on areas such as water proofing and wind proofing, preventions of staining and guarding against discharges that are electrostatic. Countries that spend high on manufacturing of clothing's are focusing more on clothing's that are high tech to remain competitive in the market. These countries are focusing on introducing smart clothes that have extra functionalities of electronics. These may entail use of sensor to control functioning of the body or drug release in the necessary amount.
Sporting equipment- manufacturers of equipments for sports have turned to nanotechnology in manufacturing equipments for use in sports. Rackets for tennis with nanotubes of carbon have raised flex resistance and torsions. They are extra rigid than present rackets of carbon and are more powerful.
Cosmetics and sunscreens- customers prefer translucent products as they present the notion of cleanliness and purity. Mineral nanoparticles for sunscreen e.g. titanium dioxide relay several benefits to its consumers. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, offer stronger protection against ultraviolet rays compared to traditional sunscreens.
Televisions- Samsung has been using nanotubes of carbon since the year 2006. These materials of display use less energy than liquid display crystals or plasma and combines LCD's thinness and quality of images in tubes of cathode rays.
The table below gives a summary of future end products and existing products which will be developed and marketed by nanotechnology.
Medical device or products
Enhanced properties of foods
Extended life shelf's
Improved processes of production
Airbag generators of gas
Articles of sports
Most arguments against the usage of nanotechnology revolve around safety concerns. When Bauer Eddie released a clothing line that applied nanotechnology in removing stain, protesters converged around stores in Illinois drawing attention everywhere. There have been concerns that are widespread regarding food nanotechnology. Articles published point out the lack of government and public education on impacts and safety of nanotechnology as the main reservations.
Nanotechnology viability has been under study for decades of years now but it relatively new to some people or protesters. The same way computers have made progress is the same manner that nanotechnology has progressed in a similar frame of time. Concerns of safety are vividly a government concern and should be treated with utmost seriousness. Protests have been ignited by fiction the publication of fiction books hence raising tension among people.
Why using nanotechnology is essential and personal response
Nanotechnology enables human beings to develop or create anything which is better, stronger cheaper and lighter. This reflects to a large extent why countries should embrace this concept of nanotechnology. Efficiency in productions and processes is of great importance in current times since it assist it cost eliminations and development of official method of production, processes and manufacturing. There is creation of jobs thereby curbing the high unemployment rates among the youth, if the concept of nanotechnology is embraced. Of vital importance is the conservation of the environment since its existence largely determines the survival of people on planet earth.
The environment should be conserved to guarantee an environment that is habitable by human beings. Nanotechnology is a leader in conservations of the environment since it uses left over or scraps. Nanorobots are able to produce anything without destroying the environment hence ensuring its conservation. In my point of view, nanotechnology has numerous benefits to the environment, industries, countries and people. Efficiency is a vital concept that comes alongside nanotechnology. This technology should be embraced fully to realize the benefits posed by its use. Technology is changing rapidly and at a pace that is unimaginable hence it vital to be always technology compliant. To remain competitive globally countries should ensure that facilities that support the nanotechnology development are established such as program and research centers.
From the progress that has been realized so far in nanotechnology, one can attest to the fact sooner or later scientist will try to repair or fix large social problems though progress and technological implementation. Nanotechnology has numerous benefits which can largely benefit an industry or country. It's vital to search for efficient technology in processes of production so as to ensure that there is production of cheaper products that are environment friendly. Throughout this paper, one concept is crystal clear in regard to nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is beneficial regardless of its shortcomings. The government should invest in programs and research centers to ensure competitiveness in the market.