Archive for category nanotechnology
The way we see, feel, and touch things is about to change. In fact, the change has already begun and though it hasn’t touched our lives in any significant manner yet the day when that happens is around the corner.
From self-cleaning windows to super energy efficient lighting, nanotechnology is revolutionizing the way we live.
Lighting has been an important aspect of our lives, of our existence.
Due to the awareness that the world is fast running out of fossil fuels and other natural sources of energy, the need for finding green and efficient lighting sources has become even more important.
CFL and LED or light emitting diodes lights are just two of the most common examples of green lighting sources.
However, as technology improves, and newer grounds are covered in science, the use of nanotechnology to further increase the efficiency of LED lighting has started looking more realistic. Read the rest of this entry »
Though nanotechnology has been making waves in the world of science and technology for some time now, its use in consumer products has only recently started making waves.
Nanotechnology and energy have an important co-relation and scientists and engineers have been working tirelessly to develop newer and exciting technologies that have the ability to significantly improve quality of life globally.
Nanotechnology And Consumer Products
Manufacturers of several consumer products have already begun to develop and harness the immense benefits of nanotechnology to develop consumer products for improved efficiency, better performance, and reducing negative impact on the environment.
Benefits like these are motivating more and more manufacturers to investment finances in the research and development of the applications for their products using nanotech.
Nanotechnology has entered the production and application of various personal care and cosmetics products, such as sunscreens, anti-aging creams, toothpastes, hair care and perfumes.
Due to blurred definition of applied nanotechnology in terms of production procedures and ingredients, as well as due to loose regulatory and safety control systems, is the current scope and scale of nano-based personal care and cosmetics products only a wild guess.
However, one such estimation shows there is currently around 1000 personal care and cosmetics products on the global market that are nano-based.
While nanotechnology is widely applied and marketed in certain groups of cosmetic products such as sunscreens, anti-aging skin care and hair care products, much less is known about nanotechnology in perfumes; their production and application.
Man has gone so far in terms of coming up with ways to preserve human life. Although there are still diseases that remain an enigma to medical science, still, treating illnesses from simple to severe conditions has become a lot easier. Among the most notable medical triumphs of modern-day science is the evolutionary concept and application of medical nanotechnology.
Medical nanotechnology or nanomedicine is the medical aspect or application of nanotechnology using different approaches such as nanoelectronic biosensors, nanomaterials, and a very futuristic but underdeveloped molecular nanotechnology that includes molecular manufacturing. Medical nanotechnology aims to provide cheaper yet quality health and medical equipment, facilities, and treatment strategies through continuous researches and studies. A lot of pharmaceutical and medical companies all over the world have already adhered to medical nanotechnology because of its numerous benefits and practical uses.
What Are the Benefits of Medical Nanotechnology?
Although some are still skeptical about the technology, scientists and researchers over continents have been practicing medicine using nanotechnology due to its numerous benefits. Some of these benefits to the medical field include the following:
- With nanotechnology, tools and equipment for surgery and diagnostic would be a lot cheaper yet remain to be effective and state of the art. Medical research and processes require highly advanced equipment that could be very expensive but once the equipment is fully developed, its manufacturing would be a lot easier and faster with the use of nanotechnology. The creation of complex tools that can diagnose serious diseases with a single laboratory test would minimize diagnostic costs and treatment. Using tiny nano-built sensors inserted to the human body for direct contact with the source of ailment would definitely make medical treatments easier and cheaper.
- With medical nanotechnology, treatment would be more efficient and precise. Instead of opening the whole body area for surgical purposes, a microscopic nanotool would spare the patient from bloody and risky surgical process. With nanotechnology in the medical field, treatment would be precise, eliminating trial-and-error drug prescription. With a single laboratory test and highly technical computers, a detailed image of the body’s system and processes can be automatically spotted including the cause of the disease and its possible treatment. With nanotechnology in the fields of medicine, medical malpractice would be eliminated and the side effects of taking medicines out of sheer guessing from the physicians would be avoided.
- With highly advanced medical equipment, potential diseases can easily be detected and prevented.
- Since diseases can be prevented, the quality of life for mankind would be improved and lifespan would be increased.
- With the application of nanotechnology in medicine, replacement of body organs using machines smaller than body cells can be possible. Because of advanced nanotechnology, candidates for organ replacement and augmentation will receive far better body organs enhanced by tiny machines introduced to the body for better organ performance and functions.
- Medical nanotechnology can largely contribute to genetic therapy and improvement. Diseases can be easily treated if approached at the genetic level. So instead of treating diseases based on the symptoms, nanotechnology will help medical practitioners treat the problem by looking at the root cause.
Things used for daily necessities used to be so simple, uncomplicated, and easy to use. But over time, out of man’s effort to improve his living conditions including his total wellness, more and more scientific and technological inventions were formulated and are now used at present time. Nanotechnology is one of the technologies applied for the improvement of several essential tools and equipment and even the simplest products available in the market we thought casual.
Nanotechnology refers to all the researches and studies being conducted in advance scientific laboratories that aim to produce nanotechnology materials to enhance the living conditions of man. Nanotechnology is also known as the science of small things or the development and engineering of functional systems at a molecular scale.
Where Can Nanotechnology Be Applied?
Basically, nanotechnology is used in most of the things we use today. Some of these things are still in the process of development while others are already enhanced and widely used in the fields of science and technology, medicine, electronics, industrial engineering, environment protection, and even in military. Nanotechnology is a complicated aspect of technology coupled with tremendous controversy and peppered with moral questions. But if handled and administered properly, nanotechnology can be very useful most people are even enjoying its research outcomes.
What Are Nanotechnology Materials?
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are basically concerned with new or enhanced functional materials that can be beneficial to man. These materials are called nanotechnology materials or nanomaterials. There are different approaches to construct nanomaterials. These approaches are the following:
- Reduction of large materials to small structures or top-down technique. Another way of doing this is the bottom-up technique. This is done by allowing atoms to arrange themselves or self-assemble to come up with functional structures out of their natural properties.
- Another approach is by using tools to help the molecules move individually. This process has greater construction control but laborious and not applicable for industrial uses.
The Different Dimensions of Nanomaterials
Nanomaterials are those that have structural components that have at least one dimension less than 100 nanometers. Nanomaterials have different dimensions, the single or one dimension, double dimension or two dimension, and three dimension nanomaterials. Examples of nanomaterials with different dimensions are the following:
- Surface coatings
- Engineered surfaces
- Thin films
- Carbon nanotubes or CNT
- Inorganic nanotubes
- Quantum dots
- Fullerenes or carbon 60
Applications of Nanotechnology Materials
While several of nanomaterials are still on the process of being developed and researched in various laboratories in the world, some of these nanomaterials are already being used in different areas in the society. You might be surprised that some of the products of extensive researches are right inside your very home. The applications of nanomaterials are divided into three categories: the current applications that include cosmetics, tougher tools, composites, clay, and coatings. Short-term applications comprise of fuel cells, batteries, catalysts, paints, fuel additives, and displays, among others. Long-term application of nanomaterials include lubricants, magnetic materials, medical implants, machinable ceramics, water purification, nanotube composites, and military battle suits.
As the world recognizes the importance of nanotechnology, a lot of job opportunities and career advancements are opened to those who do extremely well in science and technology. The demand for skilled workers and scientists has rapidly increased out of increased demand for nanotechnology development.
In What Fields Are Nanotechnology Experts Needed?
Nanotechnology can practically be applied to almost all areas of the society, from the simplest objects to the most complicated structures and functional systems. If you want to get a stable nanotechnology career, you must excel in science and technology to get the following nanotechnology careers:
- Nanobioscientists. With nanotechnology, medical experts are considering the possibility of treating serious disease such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, among others by using nanobots that directly attack the damaged cells and heal them at precise manner without damaging the healthy cells unlike other treatments such as chemotherapy.
- Nanoengineers. They would focus on building large structures by using small particles in lieu of huge materials. This technology allows atoms to arrange themselves or self-assemble to come up with a functional structure out of their natural properties. Nanoengineers would also focus on the production of substantial building materials on a nano scale and speed thus eliminating high costs and lengthy production time.
- Nanopharmacists. Nanopharmacists are responsible for developing and manufacturing quality medicines at a minimal cost and at a speed and large quantities beneficial to those who are in need of drugs. By coming up with medicines using nanotechnology, pharmaceutical companies can now dispose needed medicines at a lower price with low production cost and capital.
What Does It Take to Have a Career in Nanotechnology?
If you are aspiring to be a part of the history in the fields of science, technology, and other related fields, you must be equipped with the necessary background and characteristics. You should know that having a nanotechnology career is not only mentally challenging, it can also demand a lot of your time that should be devoted to your loved ones or personal necessities. If you want to make it big and be a part of the few who takes on the challenge of creating things at a molecular scale, you should be ready to sacrifice a lot and invest in obtaining necessary knowledge and technological know-how not just at an average level but at an exceptional degree.
To have a career in nanotechnology, you must have the following:
- Passion. To excel in any career, you must have the passion or drive to do things. Generally, passion starts at an early age and continually honed and fostered to fulfill your ultimate goal. If you are seeing potential interest in your child in the fields of science and technology, it would do him good to show support to encourage him to continue developing his talents and interest.
- Education. Interest and passion will die on its own without strengthening its foundations through education. There are several schools that offer quality education even at low tuition fees and even in not-so-reputable schools. You can obtain education in Ivy League schools, but if you lack interest, expensive schools will still get you nowhere.
While achieving your dream career, educational choice is a must. Pick a degree that is related to science and technology to get you nearer to your nanotechnology career.
With the evident effects of environmental neglect, energy all over the world is becoming more and more depleted. With energy sources becoming scarce, it generally results to a stiff competition to obtain the limited sources for energy resulting to high power charges. There are several sources of energy, and some of them are even natural resources such as wind, solar, and hydro. But even if the sources of energy are natural resources and should be delivered to the people at a lower cost, still, power costs are high due to expenses incurred while generating electricity.
For several years now, scientists and researches has been looking at other means to obtain the following:
- minimize generation costs of energy
- provide energy to the people without causing any damages to the environment
- generate renewable and recyclable energy resources
- provide energy and electricity with the least possible charges
- deliver electricity and energy to the public at the lowest possible cost
Achieving These Goals Using Nanotechnology Solar Panel
Nanotechnology aims to build important things with the use of tiny machines or by producing highly advanced, essential, and quality products using tools and techniques provided by nanotechnology.
Part of the researches being conducted is to come up with a solar panel that would accurately capture solar energy that can be utilized at home, in the office, and even in large-scale industrial areas. Although there are already solar panels available in the market today, these solar panels that are usually made of silicone panels only capture 67.4% light incident or solar energy emitted by the sun. Whereas, with nanotechnology, industrial and electrical manufacturers can now produce a coating for solar panels using nanorods that can capture 96.7 % light incident.
Nanorods used in nanotechnology solar panel looks like multi-layer funnels designed to capture light incident. The first layer absorbs the light that hits the panel at wide outer angles and turns it to a slightly narrower angle. The succeeding layers become narrower, like they are passing the light to the next layer even further as it funnels the light till it reaches the active region of the panel at a 90° angle. This process makes the solar panel securely capture the sun’s energy without having to rotate with the sun.
Benefits of Nanotechnology Solar Panel
Installing a nanorod on your solar panel can give out a lot of benefits not just for your personal advantages but to the whole of mankind. Some of these benefits include:
- Lower solar power cost. The usual silicone solar panels available in the market today are placed at a single angle and can therefore absorb and generate lesser energy making the cost of solar power high. Nanotechnology solar power is designed to absorb the sunlight from any angle thus making generating more energy and making it available at a lesser cost.
- Environment friendly. By patronizing renewable sources of energy such as energy coming from the sun, you would help in saving the world in your own little way. Solar power is also proven safe and does not emit hazardous waste.
Generating energy in a clean and green manner is, of course, just one element of a low carbon economy. Another element is the way in which energy is used and finding ways to reduce waste. In this area, home insulation is a very important factor – just think of how many poorly insulted homes there are in the world! A technology being developed to assist with insulating buildings use formaldehyde. The current tests are developing ways to coat ordinary doors and surfaces with the chemical to trap more air in, reducing heat transfer. This will be another breakthrough of the future.
Imagine producing essential products such as medicines, fabric, glass, steel, and plastic materials for your home and office in almost in a blink of an eye. Or think about treating chronic and serious health conditions such as cancer, lupus, or even HIV thru a tiny device that can travel inside the human body and destroy the infected cells before they spread and cause debilitating damages to the body. You picture this: a tiny device, even smaller than an atom but can store massive information such as all the information contained in an international library. If you think that is quite impossible, then you probably haven’t heard about nanotechnology yet.
What Is Nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology used to be regarded in the fields of science as a science fiction: impossible and unattainable. But over time, nanotechnology and its uses among different facets of the society such as agriculture, home improvement, industrial, even in areas of environmental protection is already widely accepted and practiced. Nanotechnology in pharmaceutic manufacturing is also being done in big pharmaceutical and health companies. But what is nanotechnology? For people who are not in the fields of sciences and engineering, nanotechnology may be an unfamiliar word.
Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale or thru tiny engineering. In essence, nanotechnology is the probability to build things from the bottom up using scientific techniques and tools that are currently developed today to come up with advanced, complete, and highly usable and essential products.
What Are the Benefits of Nanotechnology?
The basic benefit of nanotechnology is its ability to produce important products in a massive scale with the least or minimum cost. If managed properly, meaning, if the makers of products using nanotechnology would only make products that will provide benefit to mankind with utmost safety precautions in mind, nanotechnology is the next wave of industrial revolution. Nanotechnology will eliminate production costs for materials, labor, and energy because it can produce bigger and better things invented by our forefathers at a staggering speed and amazing precision there is no room for mistakes.
How Can Nanotechnology Be Applied to Pharmaceutic Manufacturing?
Man is exposed to varied health hazards these days due to the advent of science and technology that most often emit hazardous free radicals and pollutants that contribute to the general decline of mankind. Because of this and also because of man’s increasingly sedentary lifestyle, people need more medication for varied diseases. Millions of people are in need of medication and medical maintenance that is why pharmaceutical companies is a booming business.
If nanotechnology in pharmaceutic manufacturing would be applied, with the speedy production of quality medicines at a very minimal cost, it will cause economic and social ripples that could be beneficial to mankind. Because of very low production cost, manufacturing companies would be compelled to lower down the prices of medicines. Nanotechnology in pharmaceutic manufacturing would be beneficial not just to end consumers of the medicines but also to the pharmaceurical companies or drug makers because they would be able to produce quality and highly marketable drugs with the least capital and generation cost needed.
Cars are common expressions of how developed a nation is. True to this statement, the most developed nations of the world have their own and stable car manufacturing industries that they export to the rest of the world, earning revenues for the source country. More than that, some nations have become synonymous with the brand and quality of their manufactured cars as the case of Japan, Germany, and the United States. Unsatisfied with this and all the modifications they have created on their cars, they have taken automotive technology a bit further by using nanotechnology for cars.
When nanotechnology was discovered, the automotive industry was not seen as a possible beneficiary from this piece of knowledge. Yet in time, the automotive industry became one of the heaviest users of nanotech. With nanotechnology in cars, vehicles were made more efficient.
The Application of Nanotechnology in Cars
The following are some of the most common examples of the application of nanotechnology in cars:
- Engine and transmission systems. In contemporary cars, a large share of the vehicle’s weight is due to the weight of the engine and the transmission system of the vehicle. As a result, cars are fuel-hungry because of the need to push forward such a heavy machine. Nonetheless, with the advent of alloys, engines were made lighter somewhat but not sufficient to make them fuel-efficient. The answer came with the arrival of nanotechnology. With nanotechnology, engines and parts were made a lot lighter, thus eliminating the need to consume more fuel just to power the vehicle forward.
- Chassis. In the same manner that the engine and its parts were made lighter, the same benefit happened in the case of the chassis. Aside from being lighter, chassis and engines were also made more durable, making them withstand daily workload on the road.
- One of the most advanced examples of nanotechnology in cars involves the production of paint that is constituted in microvolumes. The idea is to create a surface that automatically heals itself whenever it is scratched or tainted with some foreign mark. This procedure allows for the paint to release nano paint particles that automatically spreads to cover up the scratched area. It works instantly you’ll hardy notice the surface was scratched at some point.
- Another of the advanced applications of nanotechnology for cars involves the production of mirrors and side panels that are made out of nano particles. Being so, they filter the rays of the sun, smoke, and other pollutants in the atmosphere. The same technology allows radio and phone signals as well as sound waves to freely enter the cars so that the occupants of the vehicle will not be made oblivious to the world outside. This is beneficial for those who have some form of hearing defects; even with all the windows closed, you may still be able to hear the honking of the horn of the next car. Likewise, you do not have to open the window when it is raining just to get a clear signal when calling from your mobile phone.
Nanotechnology is one of the hottest scientific discoveries of the present times. This is because nanotechnology presents a lot of promise that all other treatment methodologies before it were unable to deliver. Moreover, nanotechnology also saw applications in other areas aside from the fields it was intended for. As a result, the fields of applications of nanotechnology are as varied as the possible risks that come with it. As such, safety concerns with nanotechnology aired by ordinary citizens and experts alike must not be ignored because it is one of the ways to make the technology very safe for anyone using them.
Common Concerns with Nanotechnology
The following are some of the most common concerns expressed by people on the use of nanotechnology:
- Nanotechnology is a new scientific application. Although this can also mean to be a benefit for mankind, there are safety concerns related to its applications mainly because of the fact that it is something that is not yet fully tested. One of the safety concerns with nanotechnology in this field involves the application of the technology in medical and health fields. Some are afraid that they might trigger harmful effects instead of the intended beneficial effects.
- Because nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular levels, there are fears that such manipulation may result to the production of materials that will radically alter man’s way of life. This is seen especially to be dangerous in the field of medical applications where nano particles are used in various ways such as sunscreen and injectable medications. Safety concerns with nanotechnology in these areas are heightened because such manipulation of matter may trigger the body to react in a negative way to the presence of nanotechnology products.
- There are also fears that the environment may be placed in jeopardy that nanotechnology products may increase the pollution level in many areas at a time when the need for environmental conservation is vigorously pursued everywhere. For example, the production of better engines for automotives and windows for cars may prompt car manufacturers and local dealers to wantonly discard these parts that can possibly cause environmental nightmare with the absence of better programs on waste disposal. An interesting twist here is nanotechnology is a thriving business in the United States, amounting to billions of dollars. However, despite all these income, very little thought is spared for health and environmental concerns. Because nano particles are very small, they are very difficult to degrade and may easily pass on from one person to another, in the process becoming agents of ailments.
- Another of the numerous safety concerns with nanotechnology is the lack of a centralized monitoring agency that will see to it that all endeavors in this field are religiously monitored. As a proof of this, there are very little journals and researches on the safety concerns with nanotechnology that inevitably enhances the fears that people may have on this technological applications and advancements.