<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

What is nanotechnology?

There exists the popular misconception that nanotechnology is a discreet industry or sector. Rather nanotechnology is a set of tools and processes for manipulating matter that can be applied to virtually any manufactured good. Nanotechnology is an emerging and promising field of research, loosely defined as the study of functional structures with dimensions in the 1-1000 nanometer range ( [link] ). During the last decade, however, developments in the areas of surface microscopy, silicon fabrication, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and computational engineering have converged to provide remarkable capabilities for understanding, fabricating and manipulating structures at the atomic level (Adams, 2007).

Scale of nano; Adapted from: The Scale of things (Source: Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (www.nano.gov 2009).

Sizing up nanotechnology

Research in nanoscience has gained momentum, due to the intellectual attraction and the potential societal impact and with the forecasted global market impact across several sectors it lends nanotechnology to be a dominant and enabling technology in the 21st century. Nanotechnology is not an industry or a sector rather a set of tools and processes for manipulating matter that can be applied to virtually any manufactured good.

Nanotechnology as an emerging and disruptive force has already faced the initial challenges of public acceptance globally. Notable commentators such as HRH Prince of Wales famously commented on a potential of “Green Goo” while numerous academics examine the toxicology of the technology to guard against the next “asbestos” ( [link] ). Despite this often high-profile cautiousness, the technology has already found its way into the mainstream through products such as antimicrobial refrigerators.

Launch of Prince of Wales Innovation Scholars Program: HRH the Prince of Wales (right), Professor Andrew R. Barron the first Prince of Wales Visiting Innovator (center) and Professor Marc Clement Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales (far right).

Emergence of “nano” as a commercial opportunity

The commercial interest in nanotechnology can be tracked back over significant period. For example, the first trademarks incorporating “nano” was registered in 1965 though this has grown rapidly over recent years. (Lux Research, 2006) Nanotechnology is a disruptive technology crossing many industrial sectors and at the middle of the last decade had already become incorporated in over $50 billion worth of products sold worldwide. The growth of scale has been matched by the growth of scope, with products ranging from nano-formulated drugs through to high performance nanophosphate batteries. A key breakthrough was the discovery of fullerene by Harry Kroto (University of Sussex, United Kingdom), Bob Curl and Richard Smalley (Rice University, Texas), which has become a major enabler in numerous technologies for sectors across the board. The discovery of fullerene helped put the then-emerging field of nanotechnology, which involves making products from designer molecules, into the limelight. Besides the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Smalley was awarded the Irving Langmuir Prize, the Franklin Medal, and the Ernest O. Lawrence Memorial Award (Kanellos 2005).

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.

Get the best Nanomaterials and nano... course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Nanomaterials and nanotechnology. OpenStax CNX. May 07, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10700/1.13
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Nanomaterials and nanotechnology' conversation and receive update notifications?