Nanotechnology deals with creating and manipulating materials, devices, and systems at the Nano scale (that is one billionth of a metre 10-9m). Nanotechnology also deals with building up by self-assembling atoms and molecules into useful structures. Nanotechnology is usually used to describe technology involved in the development and use of materials of size 100nanometre or smaller.
Nanotechnology has generated lots of interest because of its immense potential. At Nano scale, materials exhibit different properties compared to bulk materials. For example, Nano particles of Platinum become more catalytically at Nano scale. Even some materials that are normally non-catalytically as bulk materials become catalytically at Nano scale. This change in properties of Nano materials is a major attraction to Nanotechnology.
With Nanotechnology, materials with new properties can be created for applications in medicine, electronics, energy, and so on.
Promises of Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology proves to be very useful in semiconductor technology, where Moore’s law is being stretched to its limits and designers are looking for a way out. Nanotechnology holds the promise of building semiconductor devices atom by atom making it possible to build even smaller semiconductor devices.
Currently Semiconductor devices are built using lithographic techniques. Silicon is usually used as base material, and then other materials are deposited on the base. The new assembly is then etched away until the required circuit remains using lithographic techniques. Building smaller Semiconductor devices are becoming more challenging as there is limit to etching with traditional lithographic techniques as circuits gets smaller. Nanotechnology offers a way out.
Smaller components are attractive because they will enable more capability to be built into size-restricted systems like smart weapons, sensors, and satellites. Nanotechnology will also enable miniaturisation of existing electronic systems like computers and mobile phones.
Nanorobotics is another possible application of Nanotechnology. Nanorobotics deals with the prospect of creating tiny independent machines capable of performing specifics tasks.
Nanorobotics will have lots of applications; however, one area that is much talked about is in medicine. One fanciful application is the possibility of Nanorobots unblocking clogged arteries saving people from harmful effects heart ailments and brain damages.
One area that Nanotechnology is already useful is in deodorisation, purification, anti-bacterial, and detoxification applications.
Nano Titanium and Silver Nano are currently used in products like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners. Samsung uses Silver Nano technology to make a germ-free home possible. Hitachi uses Nano Titanium Technology to achieve the same feat.
Nano Titanium and Silver Nano remove bacteria and odour from your refrigerators. You also get germ free air circulation in your home via your air conditioner.
Threats of Nanotechnology
There are some concerns about Nanotechnology. This concerns range from concerns about the possible effects of Nanoparticles on the environment to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Of course, there is also the possibility of Nano sized robots taking over the planet marking an end to our civilization.
More Resources on Nanotechnology
Find a list of Nanotechnology products available today at www.nanotechproject.org
The Wikipedia free online encyclopaedia has lots of information on Nanotechnology here are some useful links:
- DNA Nanotechnology
- Nanotechnology Education
- Nanotechnology in fiction
You can also learn more about Nanotechnology at the department of Nanotechnology at Wikiversity.