Nanotechnology Applications Essay Example
Nanotechnology is a relatively new area of science that has evolved from the various studies conducted on manipulating matter at atomic and molecular levels. It has been found that the matter exhibits some unique properties at this nano scale which helps in in developing materials and devices for application in various walks of everyday life. The National Nanotechnology Initiative has defined nanotechnology as “the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.” This article will focus on demonstrating an understanding of the basic scientific and technical concepts of nanotechnology and its various applications in the area of medicine, engineering, space exploration, fuel cell technology, air and water purification and agriculture.
Scientific and Technical Concepts
Nanotechnology incorporates all other areas of science like physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics in such a manner that it is fast becoming an interdisciplinary field. It should be noted that quantum mechanics plays an important role in nanotechnology which is very different from the classical physics. At the extremely small size, atoms and molecules exhibits new properties and functions and can behave erratically. It is this unique property of matter at the atomic and molecular level that nanotechnology attempts to manipulate in an attempt to develop applications and produce desired structures which are unthinkable on the realms of conventional physics.
Applications of Nanotechnology
Medicine. Three major examples of adoption of nanotechnology in medicine are- Drug Delivery - The pattern of drug delivery can be personalized by using nanoparticles by targeting the specific cells (like cancer cells) that requires the treatment. Tissue Engineering – Nanomaterial-based growth factors can be used as a part of tissue engineering to repair damaged tissues finding applications in organ transplants and artificial implants. Implantable Medical Devices – Nanotechnology finds application like biosensors, integration with monitoring systems, chronic disease monitoring, cardioverter defibrillators and drug delivery systems.
Engineering. The three examples where nanotechnology finds application are Automobiles – Nanotechnology finds multiple areas of application in the automobile industry like construction of body panels, scratch resistant coating and glasses, development of enhanced safety, self-cleaning capability etc. Stronger Materials/Higher Strength Composites – Graphene and carbon nanotube based devices enables stronger structures finding applications in automobiles and sporting equipment. Electronics and Information Technology Applications – Some of the existing applications include Nano scale transistors, magnetic random access memory, OLED displays, flash memory chips, RFID tag etc.
Space Exploration. - Nanotechnology finds immense applications in the area of space technology. Some of them include propulsion systems, radiation shielding, anti- satellite weapon countermeasure, space elevator, space instrumentation etc.
Fuel Cell Technology. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology - One of the areas where a lot of money has been spent on research is the development of cars running on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology. Other applications of nanotechnology include reduction of packing density of platinum nanoparticles and development of catalyst using platinum cobalt nanoparticles.
Water Purification. –Nanotechnology finds applications in purification of water by controlling water at Nano scale. The various methodologies adopted include water remediation with iron nanomaterial where water is pumped from the soil to the surface, treated and injected back to the soil, water remediation with ferritin where water is treated with ferritin which has the ability to treat toxic metals and chlorocarbon and water remediation using polymer nanoparticles where nanoparticles offer a solution for commonly used conventional surfactants to enhance remediation of hydrophobic organic contaminants.
Agriculture. - Some of the major areas of application of nanotechnology in the area of agriculture include Nano sensors – used for monitoring soil conditions, detecting crop pests, delivery systems for nutrients and plant growth hormones, Magnetic nanoparticles for filtration- used to remove toxic chemicals from water used for irrigation purposes, Nanotechnology in organic farming – the focus here is on precision farming by customizing the requirements and reducing agricultural waste.
Nanotechnology is the science of future; it helps in achieving pinnacles of efficiency and building technological marvels benefitting the world in multiple ways. This article has focussed on generating an understanding of the nanotechnology and some of its applications in various fields like medicine, engineering, space, fuel cells, water purification and agriculture.
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