The Hidden Forces Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Technologies
👀 What is happening at the atomic level?
Our sense of self is not limited to our body, our sense of self ends at the last layer of atoms controlled directly by our brain, not the last layer of our skin.
Humans have always counted on new technologies to reshape our world, and we are on the verge of crossing another technology frontier that will give us the ultimate control over any material. And that superpower comes with Nanotechnology.
What is Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is also known as Nanotech and deals with individual atoms and particles of dimensions less than 100 nanometres, especially for the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular levels.
It deals with the same particles we encounter at the smallest possible level where a particle is almost all surface with no core on a bulky central part. At nanoscales, the same atoms behave differently and contribute very significantly to the overall properties of the material. Gold atoms at the nanoscale look red.
As we said earlier, humans crave more and more control, and nanotech gives us atomic-level control over any material around us. This simply means with Nanotech you can control almost every cell of your body. Doctors can make any cell die, take medication, rebuild it from scratch from its DNA and whatnot, a combination set of nano-coating can make your cloth or shoe mud resistant, your house walls rain-resistant, and so on.
Take a minute to fathom the level of construction and destruction that is possible with this level of atomic control by Nanotechnology.
The list of possibilities with innovation in Nanotechnology and their repurcusions is not limited to Healthcare, Tech, Agriculture or Fashion industry. It deals with any or every type of matter and no sector of life and industry is untouched by its applications. It can detect early-stage cancerous cells, tumors, do targeted drug delivery at the cellular level, and can also kill you with an atomic poison by a robotic mosquito.
It can manipulate the most intimate mechanics of life, and promise us more control of our body and our environment, and help us explore the new dimension of a new tiny universe to revolutionize everything from the atomic scale.
It’s a transformative technology that’s comparable to Information technology. The only difference is that it deals with the world of matter. Nanotech is the next frontier of a technological revolution at the material level and gives the ability to control the most basic structure of any matter we can think of. You can imagine it like having the ability to see, modify, and control every atom around you. It has already pervaded your world, but most of us will never notice its arrival because this technology is invisible because of its sheer nanoscale.
Unlike the previous revolution, NanoTech is distinguished by its apparent absence and unseen world that is small in scale but potentially bigger in impact, opening up a wondrous new world.
Open your minds to the science of the small and the future it could make possible.
How Nanotech is changing the world
Matter when miniaturized to the sub-100-nanometer scale it behaves differently and has completely new properties, regardless of how it behaves in its normal shape and size.
They have strange chemical and physical properties compared to their larger-particle kin. It’s used in everything from sunscreen to chemical catalysts to antibacterial agents–from industrial ones to lifesaving drugs.
Nanotechnology in Healthcare
Healthcare is an industry that will be greatly benefited by nanotechnology. Researchers are developing nanoscale drugs, nanobots to identify early-stage cancer, infection, and even genes mismatch. Gold nanoparticles doped with DNA can be used to detect bacteria in a person’s bloodstream to determine the type of infection and location of the infection in the patient’s body.
They can also be used to detect a disease from the breath of a person to detect early-stage lung cancers. Nano-flares can measure the genetic content of cells, and light up when they detect a specific cell that can be cancerous, stem cells, or even the reaction to a small molecule used in a new drug.
Applications of Nanotech
Nanotech offers more control and monitoring at the atomic and cluster levels, this makes manufacturing techniques more cost-effective, durable, and energy-efficient. Here are some applications of nanotech in day to day life:
Water Proof materials
Changing the structure of materials at the nanoscale can give them some amazing properties — an innovative use case of that is a texture that repels water. Similarly, other nanotech coatings and additives can even allow materials to “heal” when damaged or worn. Japan is already using water repellent coatings at their public spaces to save on maintenance cost.
Cancer treatment and drug delivery
Customized nanobots that are of the size of our body cell can deliver drugs directly to diseased cells in your body. When it's perfected, this method should greatly reduce the damage treatment that chemotherapy does to a patient's healthy cells.
Hydrogen fuel cell
Nanotechnology can enable hydrogen energy at a much higher capacity. Hydrogen fuel cells are not an energy source themselves, rather they allow for storing energy from sunlight and other renewable sources in an environmentally-friendly fashion without any CO2 emissions. But nanoparticles improve the durability and price of Hydrogen Fuel cells over time.
Nanotech on electronic components and circuits can make our devices even smaller and thinner. It aims to improve the performance of electronic devices by shrinking them. With nanoelectronics, circuits can be printed on a piece of nanotube sheets.
Nanotechnology's ability to observe and control matter at the nanoscopic level can offer great potential for construction development. It can help improve the strength and durability of construction materials, including cement, steel, wood, and glass.
Nanoparticles used in solar cells can revolutionize the way we capture solar energy, It can revolutionize the design and manufacture of solar cells. We need new ways to generate and use electricity, and nanotechnology is already playing a role. Nanotube batteries can store more energy for electric cars and have enabled solar panels to convert more sunlight into electricity.
It can improve the performance of catalysts used to selectively capture harmful smoke and dirt vapors escaping from cars or industrial plants into harmless gasses by increasing the surface area of the catalyst.
Nanoparticles can pull out toxins like Arsenic and Lead from unhealthy or poisoned water of cities and water sources near Industrial Plants, this has resulted in the renovation of many Industrial areas which were derelict because their soil and water were toxic for human use
The carbon nanotube is made up of a 1nm diameter hexagon carbon chain rolled out in cylinder forms and it’s 20X times stronger than steel.
It offers a plethora of applications same as steel but is commonly used for electrostatic dissipation, EMI shielding, coatings of gaskets, enclosures, antistatic materials, and conductive materials.
Graphene can replace silicon from all electronic devices because of its lighter nature and smaller atomic gaps that can’t be achieved in bulky silicon atoms after a certain level. It’s made of carbon atoms arranged into hexagons, forming a 2 d sheet, and is less than 1 nm thickness. Graphene is extremely 200X times stronger than steel and flexible. It can carry a high electric current and is approximately 1000 times more efficient than copper. A huge number of high-performance computing devices can be made from graphene.
Nanotechnology in daily life
Nanotech is an invisible technology that makes it hard to identify its applications in our life. Its applications work in hindsight without making you, even being aware of it. With the latest advancement in Nanotech, many products have been built by improving current products at the atomic level.
We are already encountering nanotechnology in a range of everyday consumer products –such as Wrinkle-resistant fabrics, modern Sunscreens containing zinc or titanium, hand washes with antimicrobial properties, deep-fabricated cosmetics to look young, liquid crystal displays (LCD), durable construction materials, bandages, warm socks, and zinc or titanium nanoparticles are the active UV-protective elements in modern sunscreens, water-repellent paints, higher density hydrogen fuel cells are other conveniences using nanotechnology that are on the market.
This list is only going to grow at an exponential rate with a decrease in government regulations and more research approvals. The main hurdle which is blocking nanotechnology from becoming mainstream is the unseen and unprecedented repercussion effects of one application on other microscopic creatures by creating butterfly effects.
That’s why the government approvals and various levels of laboratory tests are put in place to ensure so there won’t be any irreversible damage to nature with its use. These are the only major concern in making research and innovation products a mainstream product.
That’s it for this week.
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Until next week
Stay hungry, Stay curious