Nanotechnology is the science and technology which is conducted at the nanoscale,between 1 to 100 nanometres.It is a field of innovation and research concerned with building materials and devices on the scale of molecules and atoms.
Nanotechnology is considered having the potential to increase the efficiency of energy consumption.It can also help to clean the environment and solve major health issues.It is said to be able to increase manufacturing production at much reduced costs.
The impact of nanotechnology on the lives of people is equivalent to the combined influences of microelectronics,computer engineering and man made polymers developed as said by Richard Smalley,Nobel Laureate in chemistry.It is he who first addressed the US house committee about the benefits of nanotechnology.
Eric Drexler, a scientist who invented the term ‘Nanotechnology’ has spoken about it as an extremely powerful as well as extremely dangerous technology. In his book ‘Engines of Creation’ he stated that self replicating molecules created by humans can escape our control.
Though this theory has been discredited by researchers in this field still activists worry that the development of nanotechnology will progress faster than expected and policy-makers will not be able to make appropriate regulatory measures.
Many governments believe that Nanotechnology will develop a new era of productivity and wealth and this is reflected by the way public investment has been made in nanotechnology research and development during the past decade.
It promises new solutions to problems which hinder the development of poor countries.It provides solutions to problems related to health, food,sanitization,security,food, and environment.
Nanoscience is very much important in developing countries as it involves little labour,land or maintenance & is very much productive and inexpensive.It requires only a small amount of materials and energy.
Applications of Nanotechnology
It can be used for cheaper and more reliable drug delivery. Materials which are built on the nanoscale will be able to provide encapsulation systems that will protect and secrete the enclosed drug in a controlled manner. This is a valuable solution for countries that don’t have adequate storage facilities and distribution networks.
Water Purification System
Filters which are structured on the nanoscale offer better water purification systems and are cheap to manufacture.This technology can absorb or neutralize Toxic materials in water such as arsenic.
One can use nanosensors on crops and nanoparticles in fertilisers. Nanosensors help to monitor the pathogens on crops and can also measure crop productivity. Nanoparticles can increase the efficiency of fertilisers.
According to a report by swiss insurance company SwissRe,nanoparticles can help fertilisers to penetrate deep layers of soil and travel greater distances.
This technology also helps to grow crops in hostile conditions.Researchers in both developed and developing countries are growing crops under hostile conditions such as growing crops on soil having high levels of salt and low level of water.They are manipulating the crops ‘genetic material’ by working on a nanotechnology scale with biological molecules.
Nanotechnology can be used in the areas of renewable and sustainable energy to get cleaner and cheaper sources of energy which can improve both human and environmental health.
Nanoparticles is also used to clean up oil spills and separating oil from sands.
Application of nanotechnology in manufacturing
This technology is making new materials which could revolutionize many areas of manufacturing.Nanotubes and nanoparticles are tubes and particles only a few atoms across and materials which are composed of very light and strong materials with superb insulating properties can pave the way for new techniques and superior products.Nanobots and nanofactories can help in constructing novel materials and objects.
Application of nanotechnology in Electronics and Computing:
The field of Electronics can be revolutionized with the help of Nanotechnology. Quantum dots are tiny light producing cells which can be used for illumination purposes such as for display screens.
Silicon chips contain millions of components but the technology has its limitation and the circuit becomes so small that whenever a molecule comes out of its place,a circuit will stop functioning properly.Nanoscience will construct circuits very accurately on an atomic level.
Application of nanotechnology in medicine:
Nanotechnology can bring out major advances in medicine.Nanobots can be sent to patient’s arteries to clean blockages.
This could make surgeries much faster and accurate.Injuries can be repaired cell by cell,it can heal genetic conditions by fixing damaged genes.It also helps in tailoring drugs at molecular level,to make them more effective and to reduce side effects.