Nanotechnology is one of the most recent discoveries that has kick started a new era in modern science and technology. Initially, looked upon as a theory good enough to stay in the books, nanotechnology has worked its way up the pecking order and is used to manipulate atoms and molecules individually. In its original sense, nanotechnology can be defined as the projected ability to construct items from bottom up, using such techniques and tools that are being developed to make high performance products.
Nanotechnology not only allows one to make high-quality products at a very low price but also at a very rapid speed segmenting individual atoms and molecules. This unique means of mass production of goods is the reason why nanotechnology is exponential technology. It represents a manufacturing system that has the potential to make another manufacturing system rapidly, cheaply and cleanly. This means that production will have the capacity to reproduce exponentially in just a few weeks. It is a revolutionary, powerful and transformative process. It can be beneficial and dangerous depending upon the way we use it. It can combine solid state physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, biochemistry and material science. However, like every aspect of technology it is bounded within certain ethical measures, and with humongous popularity, Nanotechnology remains to be a hornet’s nest due to its implementation and working procedure.
Advantages of Nanotechnology:
• Nanotechnology has the capability to revolutionize many electronic products, their procedures and their applications. The areas that benefit from this technology include nano transistors, nano diodes, OLED, plasma display, quantum computers and many more.
• Some nanoparticles serve as an effective way to remove contaminants from the environment. Scientists had a huge success in using nanoparticles to remove polychlorinated biphenyls or PCB, DDT and various dioxins from industrial sites, arsenic salts and so on.
• The energy sector can also be benefited by nanotechnology. The development of a more effective source of energy- producing, absorbing and storing into smaller and more efficient devices is made possible with nanotechnology. Items like batteries, fuel cells and solar cells can be built in a smaller yet more effective size with this technology.
• Scientists are working to create nanosensors that will be able to detect and monitor pollutants with high sensitivity. These sensors will be capable enough to detect even the smallest number of contaminants and the presence of dangerous bacteria. Industrial areas will be provided with sensors that can alert the surrounding community in case of a leak into the ground water.
• Sectors that will be benefited due to this technology are the ones that will need aero gels, nanotubes, nano particles and other similar items that they will require to produce their products with. These materials are stronger, more durable and lighter than those that are not produced using nanotechnology.
• Nanotechnology is considered a boon in the medical world, since smart drugs can be produced using this technology. It will help people cure faster and without any side effects. It is also used in areas like tissue regeneration, bone repair and even cures for ailments like cancer.
Disadvantages of Nanotechnology:
• Improvement in nanotechnology means possible loss of jobs in traditional farming and manufacturing industry.
• With the advancement of nanotechnology, atomic weapons will be more accessible and can be made more powerful and destructive.
• Silver nano particles used as anti-microbial agents may harm beneficial microbes in the environment. Materials that enter the bottom of the food chain have a habit of organisms that are higher in the food chain.
• There are certain nano particles, which when breathed in may cause damage to the lung tissue and chronic breathing troubles. On the other hand, some of these particles can move from the lungs to the bloodstream or from the bloodstream to the brain. Exposure to a large amount of nano particles can cause brain inflammation.
• Nanotechnology is very expensive at this moment and developing it may cost a fortune. It is difficult to manufacture, which is one of the reasons why products made with nanotechnology are so expensive.
• Owing to the size of the nano particles, it may enter our immune system and cause a lot of damage. Nano particles can also bond with our DNA, thus deforming its structure. Altering of body structure exposes the risk of gene mutation.
Nanotechnology is being predicted as the next technological revolution. Thus, the products manufactured from it will be affecting both our lifestyle and our economy. It has been predicted that a huge workforce will be required to develop this and people from all areas of science and engineering will be required in its development.