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Nanotechnology isÂ¦Â¦.. The creation of functional materials, devices and systems through control of matter at the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers, and the exploitation of novel properties and phenomena at the same scale. Engineering on an extremely small scale - a billionth of a meter. Not just an extension of miniaturization, but making clever and novel products with added functionality.
What Does ËœNano' Mean?
The 'nano' in 'nanotechnology' is often thought of as a shortened form of 'nanometerËœ, which is one billionth (10-9) of a meter. The diameter of one human hair is about 10,000 to 80,000 nanometers. A picture of nanofibrils shown with a human hair for reference
By 2010 the population is expected to reach 7 billion. To provide anything remotely approaching the present standard of consumption of the approximately 1 billion inhabitants of the industrialized nations is taxing the planetâ„¢s resources to breaking point. New technologies, including nanotechnology, may provide a part of the answer on how to create alternative lifestyles for the population that will be in harmony with the planet.
In 1962,Isaac Asimov wrote a novel about a fantastic voyage through a human body in which he used a shrinking machine with 3 people inside. It was injected into a human body to cure plague.
Basis of Nanotechnology
Atoms are the building blocks for all matter in our universe. Everything around us are made of atoms. Nature has perfected the science of manufacturing matter molecularly. For instance, our bodies are assembled in a specific manner from millions of living cells. Cells are nature's nanomachines. Imagine if we could manipulate each individual atom of an object. That's the basic idea of nanotechnology.
Why is Nanotechnology in the headlines?
Miniaturization limit reached in current computer technology- Much of impetus for nanotechnology came from integrated circuit industry Promise of new materials â€œ stronger, cheaper, faster, more powerful, more durable Possibility of revolutionary medical breakthroughs in detection/treatment Intelâ„¢s transistors â€œ current and near-future.
What is REAL nanotechnology?
1) Nanoscale technology Big machines making small products
2) Molecular manufacturing Small machines making big products Nanogears like these may replace current manufacturing processes.
1. Sunscreens, paints, and varnishes Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and
Nan particulate UV absorbers
sun screen iron oxide nanoparticles (~ 30 nm) skin
2. Tennis balls and tires e.g., Wilson Double Core â€œ Exfoliated clay nanoparticles in butyl rubber microspheres form coating inside tennis ball â€œ Coating is barrier to air so tennis balls keep bounce twice as long as before clay platelets butyl rubber Bugbot for traveling and taking photos in human digestive system (Carnegie Mellon University) Nanoparticles that fluoresce and can track poisons, proteins, DNA, and cancer cells (University of Illinois) Iron nanoparticles (with high surface area-to-volume ratio) to clean poisons such as TCE from water (Lehigh University)
Most digital computers, like the one you are using to read this article, are based on the Turing Theory. Quantum computers aren't limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits. A qubit can be a 1 or a 0, or it can exist in a superposition that is simultaneously both 1 and 0 or somewhere in between. Qubits represent atoms that are working together to act as computer memory and a processor. Because a quantum computer can contain these multiple states simultaneously, it has the potential to be millions of times more powerful than today's most powerful supercomputers.
Power of Quantum Computers
Quantum computers could one day replace silicon chips.While a normal Turing machine can only perform one calculation at a time, a quantum Turing machine can perform many calculations at once. This superposition of qubits is what gives quantum computers their inherent parallelism. This parallelism allows a quantum computer to work on a million computations at once, while your desktop PC works on one.
They will be extremely useful for decoding and encoding secret information. Quantum computers could also be used to search large databases in a fraction of time that it would take a conventional computer.
A Functional Quantum ComputerÂ¦
Researchers at IBM-Almaden Research Center have developed the most advanced quantum computer developed to date - The 5-qubit quantum computer. The IBM team was able to solve in one step a mathematical problem that would take conventional computers repeated cycles. The problem, called order-finding, involves finding the period of a particular function, a typical aspect of many mathematical problems involved in cryptography. Positioning single atoms with scanning tunneling microscope (Xe on Ni). Eigler, IBM
Millions of natural supercomputers exist inside living organisms, including your body. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecules, the material our genes are made of, have the potential to perform calculations many times faster than the world's most powerful human-built computers.
DNA computing is a form of computing which uses DNA nanotechnology instead of the traditional silicon-based computer technologies.
Power of DNA Computers
There are several advantages to using DNA instead of silicon:
As long as there are cellular organisms, there will always be a supply of DNA. The large supply of DNA makes it a cheap resource. Unlike the toxic materials used to make traditional microprocessors, DNA biochips can be made cleanly. DNA computers are many times smaller than today's computers while at the same time holding more data. . Unlike conventional computers, DNA computers perform calculations parallel to other calculations
Nanomedicine The most important applications of machine-phase nanotechnology will be in medicine. Not only will human health, comfort, safety, and pleasure be vastly improved, but nanomedicine could dramatically extend the lifespan of the individual human being and greatly expand the possibilities of the human form.
NEAR TERM PRODUCTS
3. Complete medical diagnostic laboratories on a single computer chip measuring less than one- inch square â€œ i.e., lab on a chip technology preconcentrator that collects chemical vapors for gas-phase analysis surface acoustic wave sensor array miniature gas chromatograph column
DISTANT NANOPRODUCTS PNANOPRODUCTSRODUCTS
Erasable, re-writable paper for books and 1 newspapers Powerful computers that a person can wear Smart buildings that resist earthquakes Long-lasting batteries Molecular machines Pharmaceuticals specifically tailored to the individual Ultra high-speed supercomputers capable of understanding some of the most basic processes of life Inexpensive solar power that allows cities to use roads and windows as energy- collectors.
ISSUES WITH NANOTECHNOLOGY
Nanotechnology encompasses a range of areas rather than a single discipline â€œ It touches medicine, physics, engineering, and chemistry For some, nanotechnology is the next big thing to emerge from science and engineering.
It could offer tremendous Benefits. â€œ But does it also present unacceptable risks? Nanobot works on red blood cells
What could nanofactories make?
Lifesaving medical robots Networked computers for everyone in the world Trillions of dollars of abundance Rapid invention of wondrous products
Untraceable weapons of mass destruction Networked cameras so governments can watch our every move A vicious scramble to own everything Weapons development fast enough to destabilize any arms race
Easy to build Cheaper and more destructive weapons Easy to deliver Programmable and controllable.
NANOTECHNOLOGY: THE NEXT BIG THING
By 2015, nanotechnology is expected to yield new technologies and products worth about $1 trillion per year These technologies and products will occur in a wide range of sectors, including materials, computer sciences, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and aerospace. New technologies and new products will produce new jobs Currently, nanotechnology research and some production employs about 20,000 workers. In 2015, there will be an estimated 2 million new workers in nanotechnology companies.
Nothing is stranger than nature itself, and it is exciting to uncover what nature has in store for us
- Dr. Rowland Kawakami, Physics
This work is revolutionary. Working at the interface of biology and nanotechnology is one of the highly emphasized areas of research.
- Dr.Mihri Ozkan, Chemical Engineering, UCR
THE END - But this is just the beginning because THE NEXT BIG THING IS REALLY SMALL !