Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions (between 1 and 100 nano meters). To put things in context, a nano meter is one billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is 100,000 nano meters thick. A single gold atom is one third of a nano meter in diameter. Within the scope of nano-science, involves imaging, measuring, modeling and manipulating matter. At this scale, nano particles enjoy unusual physical, chemical and biological properties, from the properties of bulk materials (with similar composition).
A bulk form of gold is chemically inert. The minute gold nano-particles come in different appearances and color, and has strong potential to be used as a major catalyst, including in the case for diagnosing and treating cancer.
Another example of nanotechnology is the carbon nano tubes. Bulk carbon is waste by-product of combustion, whereas Graphene (the subject of 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics) – exhibit remarkable mechanical and electrical properties – that could enable the next generation of computers, and composites. Graphene is stronger than steel. Semi-conductor nano particles, also known as ‘Quantum Dots’ are now being used in flat-panel TVs and light bulbs – to provide more vivid and accurate colors. Quantum Dots semi-conductor nano particles have all three dimensions confined to 1 – 100 nano meters.
This is just the beginning of the upcoming nanotechnology wide-scale adoption. We shall be seeing extensive disruptions in the areas, ranging from electronics to energy conversion, medicine and advanced manufacturing. Nanotechnology-enabled products are projected to have values of $ 3 trillion by 2018 (according to Lux Research, Feb 2014, nanotechnology Update: Corporations Up their Spending as Revenues for nano-enabled Products Increase, available by subscription at http://portal.luxresearchinc.com/). As per the analysis highlighted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), nanotechnology shall make profound impact on the
#2) National security
#3) Health care
At the same time, offering an opportunity to excite a new generation of students to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and math.