What would you say about a single functional electrical unit thinner than a cell thick? So small you would need an electron microscope to view that component, yet so effective that a group of those microscopic units could come together and deliver a function a giant machine would only dream of doing. Now, that’s the effect nanotechnology would give.
Right on this platform, we will give a precise explanation of nanotechnology, with descriptions of its necessary applications and implications, to the best of our knowledge, to help those with a limited information bandwidth get well informed.
If you are a good reader, sit tight and enjoy; if you are a bad one, we hope this article locks you up with vibranium chains.
What Is Nanotechnology?
According to wiktionary, nanotechnology is the science and technology of creating nanoparticles and manufacturing machines with sizes within the nanometer range. To break this down, a nanometer is a measurement within the range of (1-100 x10^-9) meters. A nanoparticle or a nanomachine would be about ten million to one billion times smaller than a meter and smaller than even the smallest bacteria.
Talk about hitting the super micro scale. Imagine the good machines would do if they were tiny enough to manipulate matter from an atomic scale. That would be truly revolutionary; we would be able to tweak anything from a sub-molecular level to build matter from an atomic level up to the point where it can be seen with the naked eye. To hit the nail on the head, we could perform a perfect artificial creation with whatever element and in whatever combination matrix we desire. Man would be gods, and a perfect understanding of the utilization of nanotechnology would result in the uncanny ability to create anything.
Application Of Nanotechnology Today/Future
In science today, the study and development of nanotechnology have gained practical applications and insightful research on the futuristic values nanotechnology holds for humanity’s progress. A few will be discussed and simplified for all, with little or no knowledge of this branch of science to grasp.
This is one of the fields in which the superiority of nanotechnology or nanotech rears its head. Electricity is a form of energy that serves as the fuel to do work. Electronics is a study that deals with devices that harness electricity by controlling the movement of electrons in themselves or other forms of matter. This is done with conductors and semiconductors.
Now nanotechnology has helped reduce the size of electronic devices by enabling nano components to assemble a device that would have appeared bulky in past times. For instance, the design of the MOSFET, a type of metal oxide silicon transistor within the nanoscale level, is used in designing tiny features in most electronics today.
Nanotech has been essential in making nanochips smaller than the smallest bacteria yet enabling a machine to function more efficiently. In an account recorded by wikipedia.org, Samsung succeeded in inventing a ten nanometer (MLC) nano flash memory in 2013. This was a massive breakthrough in developing nanotech for better and more efficient electrical purposes.
did you know that evolution accounts that we, and everything else, developed from a single cell, which kept replicating and building into something more complex with time? So basic knowledge in biology is that a cell is the building block of life. Imagine achieving the scientific know-how of replicating a cell’s imitation in its most diminutive nature. With this gift, you can build or repair any damaged organ from scratch, one cell at a time. You could repair worn-out tissues and replace deteriorated cells. Make a man brand new again.
As of today, this is ongoing research on the unequivocal benefits of nanotechnology to health. But nanotechnology contributes to health in our present time, with what little knowledge we have garnered so far. More advanced medical bandages have been infused with silver nanoparticles to help heal wounds faster.
Also, the medical sectors are developing nanoparticles engineered to deliver drugs, heat, or light to particular cells in the body, such as cancer cells. This would reduce damage to healthy cells through chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and powerful drugs. These nanoparticles could equally be tweaked to perform early detection of diseases and cut them down before
Durability/Performance Of Materials
The creation of nanoparticles has been essential in increasing the durability of materials. Nanotech has grown to a point where fibers made from nanoparticles (nanofibres) can be designed to exhibit better strength than normal materials.
These nanoparticles can be used to make clothes with stable features and can, at the same time, be programmed to protect the wearer during adverse cold weather. And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t need to be heavy or wooly as a regular sweater, just a thin layer of beautiful garments infused with nanoparticles. Some tennis balls, shoes, etc., have elements of nanoparticles that help them bounce better and last longer respectively. This shows how nanotechnology is important in getting things done efficiently.
Our major problem with pollution is the inability to effectively clean them up as they occur, thereby leading to a stockpile of harmful unwanted substances; this is where the nanotech comes in. Take a moment to imagine a river being pumped with hydrocarbon waste products from a refinery; it compiles to an extent the hydrocarbons choke the sea organisms and contaminate the water.
But, if we were to prefer a form of nanobot (tiny robots on the nanoscale) designed to self-replicate from available resources at its disposal and break down these hydrocarbons into less dangerous forms, the pollution is taken care of, and the nanobot disintegrates.
The same goes for plants built from the nanoscale basis that replicate to feed on trapped carbon-di-oxide and prevent the greenhouse effect. But a kill-stop has to be installed in these assembled plant-like, nanotechnological cells to prevent over-replication and upset balance. This is another uncanny benefit that comes with the application of nanotech.
Implications Stemming From Nanotech Carelessness
As we discussed earlier, using self-replicating nanotech to take care of hydrocarbon pollution. What if, in a mistake of inadequate programming, the nanobots are done with the waste fuels and keep replicating and destroying everything with a hydrocarbon compound? These bots will keep replicating and growing geometrically as their numbers increase, as one makes another. It would continue this replication until it consumes all hydrocarbon-based compounds, leaving dust on Earth.
The only hindrance to this replication would be the availability of raw materials to create more. Erik K. Drexler, one of the founding believers in nanotechnology, called this the gray goo in his book Engines Of Creation.
We don’t fully understand how badly nanoparticles could pollute the environment because nanotechnology production hasn’t gotten to an industrial scale. It is just a mere 3-4 nano products released weekly, accounts recorded by Wikipedia. But some research on the effect of nanoparticles on rats shows that nanofibres used to make airplane wings and tennis balls etc. may cause pulmonary and brain inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and even accelerated aging.
Studies have also shown those bacteriostatic silver nanoparticles, which kill bacteria that cause foot odor in socks, are released into the water system during washing. This may go a long way to keep killing bacteria, including bio-friendly ones. These nano pollutants may get large enough to upset the system and prevent biodegradation, leading to a stockpile of harmful rubbish.
As effective as nanotechnology could prove, we must not gamble with the fact that an implication could arise that we may not handle properly due to a lack of proper calculations. Therefore, as we get to know better, we should try to cover all loopholes in using nanotech; this involves a complete look at both the benefits and implications of nanotechnological application. Gracias.
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