Introduction to nanotechnology
Science & Tech

Nanotechnology

Do you remember that scene from Ironman movie in which the Ironman suit becomes invisible when it closes. Do you think, how it is possible ? Well, Ironman is a fictional character but, it’s not impossible nowadays to make things like that in real life.

This article will help you in understanding this technology in easy and simple words. This introduction to nanotechnology will help you in understanding the basics of nanotechnology.

Introduction to nanotechnology

   This is an introduction to nanotechnology. Nanotechnology consists of two words, Nano & Technology. Nano is a Gree word meaning small. The simplest definition of nanotechnology is “technology at nanoscale”.

Now, what is nanometer ? Nanometer is a scale, have you imagined yet how small it is. It is denoted by “nm”. A nanometer is one-billionth of a metre that is ten times the diameter of a hydrogen atom. Nanotechnology is the study of materials on ultra – small scale.

1 nm = 10-9 m.

  • For the reference, a sheet of paper is 1,00,000 nm thick.
  • A human hair is approximately 80,000 – 1,00,000 nanometers wide.

  I think, now it’s clear that how small is the nanometer. It is a field of research and innovation concerned with building things generally materials and devices on the scale of atoms and molecules .

It is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Nanotechnology is the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields for example, physics, biology, chemistry, materials science and engineering.

History

 Nanotechnology is not a new technology. The first time introduction to nanotechnology was in 1981. The American physicist Richard Feynman is known as the “Father of Nanotechnology”.

The ideas and concepts behind nanotechnology started with a talk entitled “There’s plenty of room at the bottom” by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute Of Technology (CalTech) on december 29, 1959.

Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atom and molecule.

Over a decade later, in his explorations of ultraprecision machining, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term nanotechnology. It involves the ability to see and control individual atom and molecule. But, something as small as an atom is impossible to see with the eye.

Why Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is associated with the main three advantages :

  1. The possibility of creating and modifying materials with amazing combination of properties.
  2. The nanoscale devices require less material to make them, use less amount of energy and other consumables, and they may have an extended range of accessibilities.
  3. It also provides universal fabrication technology.

Applications

  This introduction to nanotechnology helps a lot in many fields. Once, scientists had the right tools, like the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM) , the age of nanotechnology was born . Once, the scientists and engineers know the right introduction to nanotechnology, it would help them in designing and creating new and advance things. Today’s  scientists and engineers are finding a wide variety of ways to deliberately make materials at nanoscale to take advantage of their enhanced properties such as higher strength , lighter weight,  increased control of light spectrum and greater chemical reactivity than their larger scale counterparts.

The space industry has a constant and heavily pressing requirement for making payloads as small as lightweight as possible. The size of processors in mobile and computer reduces day-by-day using this technology.

Future aspects

    In future we can see nanotechnology in many fields like medical science, robotics, drones and many more. The hi-tech medicines find their target locations inside the body and transport the medical assistance in small period of time.

It can be used in treating cancer by finding the cancer cell inside the body and destroy that cancer causing cell. Nano robots can be used in researches, where normal robots can’t reach. There are many more uses of this technology. As technology is upgrading, the size is also reducing simultaneously. The small and thin computers we use are the best examples of these technologies.

Disadvantages

   However the technology provides lots of advantages but, it can produce some pollutants and toxins having negative effects on the environment. Since the nanotechnology requires high level of research and development, that’s why it is not economical at all. The materials in which nanotechnology is used will be very expensive. The nanotechnology used in modern weapons may be more dangerous when it will be in wrong hands. Even a small mistake can cause a large scale danger.

Conclusion

  It is the study of the materials at the ultra small scale. It is used in many fields, like medical science, physics, robotics, materials science etc. The American Physicist Richard Feynman is known as the “Father of nanotechnology”.

An atom is important because it is the fundamental building component of a matter. It was therefore very natural for Richard Feynman to suggest atom-by-atom construction of the objects as the lower limit of miniaturization of engineering. The scale of the individual atom might be considered as sufficient for a definition of the nanoscale.

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