At one point, nanotechnology sounded like a word from a sci-fi novel. Today, that is not the case though. Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter at very minute sizes called nanometers. The National Nanotechnology Initiative defines nanotechnology as manipulation of matter at 1-100 nanometers in dimension.
Earlier, this was all theoretical and imaginary. However, modern science has made it possible and today nanotechnology is used for a wide variety of applications such as in medicine as well as in materials such as C60 Fullerenes and more.
Nanotechnology was a term coined and popularized in the late 1900’s. Later, in 1981, the scanning tunneling microscope was invented and this opened new doors for scientists to study atoms and their bonds vividly. The first successful manipulation of atoms took place in 1989. In 1985, C60 Fullerenes were discovered and this marked a historic page in the world of nanotechnology.
Fullerenes also are known as Buckyballs were named after Buckminster Fuller who is said to have designed many structures that looked similar to the buckyballs.
Applications of Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology has made a lot of progress in the recent years. Several products that use nanotechnology have become part of our daily life. There are estimates stating that over 800 products using nanotechnology are used by the public. New products are being introduced every day.
Some of the items using nanotechnology are sunscreens, cosmetics, coatings, gecko tapes, disinfectants, tennis balls, bowling balls, trousers, socks, bandages, chips, and computers. You can buy nano-infused materials at this site.
Nanoscale materials can also make fabrics more durable and less wrinkly. Nano additives also help make lighter materials to be used in vehichles and housing tools. In addition, nanotechnology has enabled fuel enhancements in many ways.
Nanotechnology is a concern for human and environment health though. Industrial manufacturing being used for nanomaterials is harmful to the environment. Nanoparticles released by nanomaterials can result in permanent damage to humans. Inhalation or consumption of Nanoparticles causes accumulation in the body and can result in serious diseases. As a result, there have been several calls for the regulation of nanotechnology at the manufacturing level.
Nevertheless, Nanotechnology remains a wonderful achievement of science. The potential for this technology is limitless and what we have learned so far is just scratching the surface. Fullerenes, for example, have great potential for making a revolution in the field of medicine. If used carefully, nanotechnology could change the world for better.