What is Nanotechnology : Types, and Its Uses

All the matter around us is composed of atoms and molecules. To understand the behavior of a particular material the quantum characteristics of the atoms are looked up for. But with the advent of research, it was found that there exists a scale that is way smaller than the molecular scale. It is the nanoscale that measures one-billionth of a meter. An atom of a matter measures about 0.1nm. As atoms are the building blocks of the matter, at nanoscale one can arrange these atoms together to form new materials. All the research around the study and inventions involving the properties of elements at this nanoscale is termed as Nanotechnology.

What is Nanotechnology?

The term nano refers to the scale of one-billionth of a meter. This is smaller than the wavelength of the light. Nanotechnology refers to all the research involved with the manipulation of matter at the nanoscale level. It was found that the quantum properties of matter at nanoscale differ from those of the atomic scale. So, the research associated with nanotechnology is very broad which includes many fields of science such as Organic chemistry, molecular biology, Surface science, Energy storage, Molecular engineering, Semiconductor physics, and microfabrication.

Basics 

Nanoscale research of matter is fascinating as it is the basic stage where the atoms are arranged together. Thus, one can form many different types of materials by manipulating matter at this scale. Nanoscale ranges from 1-100nm. It is smaller than the microscale and larger than the atomic scale. As the research around this technology involves various properties of the matter, it is important to have a strong background in multiple sciences.

Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology

At the nanoscale level, the rules of the quantum mechanics of the material are very different from its atomic level. For example, a material that behaves as an insulator at molecular form can behave as a semiconductor when breakdown into the nanoscale. At this level, the melting point of the substances can also change due to an increase in the surface area. All the research around nanotechnology today involves the study of these properties at nanoscale and to know how to use them for new applications.

Today Nanotechnology refers also refers to the science of constructing items from bottom-up using the tools and technology available today, to form high-performance products.

Types of Nanotechnology

As nanotechnology deals with the study of matter at the nanoscale, and sciences at this scale come under nanotechnology. The science which deals with the manipulation of matter for forming high-performance transistors and microprocessors is known as Nanoengineering. When nanotechnology is used for producing pharmaceutical products it is referred to as Nanomedicine. Nanotechnology is highly used for the fabrication of electronic devices known as Nanoelectronics.

Nanotechnology has two types of approaches- the bottom-up approach and the Top-dow approach. In the bottom-up approach, materials are formed from small components moving towards larger components. In the Top-down approach, the nano-materials are formed from larger entities.

Over the years nanotechnology is also developed as Nanomechanics, Nanophotonics, and Nanoionics providing a basic scientific foundation for nanotechnology.

Uses of Nanotechnology

Nanoscale materials are used for bulk applications. Nanofillers are formed which are used in solar cells to reduce their production cost. Nanotechnology has made a great contribution to the biomedical field. Applications such as Tissue engineering, drug delivery, and biosensors are evolved.

Nanotechnology helped in the structuring of artificial DNA and the study of other nucleic acids. In the synthesis of materials, this technology has helped in designing of well-shaped molecules. New fabrication techniques such as nanolithography, Atomic Layer deposition were developed.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The development of this field has helped in the evolution of various new sciences. Using nanotechnology, the properties of the materials can be manipulated according to our necessity. Materials can be made more durable, stable, stronger, lighter, more reactive, better electrical conductors, etc..

The disadvantages involving nanotechnology are similar to the ones which normally occur with the development of new technology. The effect of nanotechnology on environmental conditions is most feared. The impact of this technology on the global economy is also of concern.

Future research in this field involves the development of nanorobotics and its applications in medicines. New nanomanufacturing devices are being proposed for future commercial applications. Nanomachines are being proposed which will help in the development of new nano material s and nanosystems. Matter whose properties can be easily reversible and externally controlled are being developed. New terms such as biotechnology and Femto technology have been coined with this technology. What are the two approaches used in the manufacturing of nanomaterials?

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