Nanotechnology: Future and Present Utilizes of this Scientific Field
In the field of technological innovation, one of the concepts that may be more difficult to understand is that of nanotechnology. We have all heard it at some point; however, although it may seem complex to assimilate, the truth is that it is a sector with a lot of presents and, above all, a future. We will see what nanotechnology is, how it is applied to the practical field, and what its applications are.
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What is Nanotechnology?
The branch of science manipulates matter at the nanometric scale, that is, at more than microscopic levels of size. The National Nanotechnology Initiative defined it as manipulating matter in sizes from 1 to 100 nanometers. To take the perspective of the atomic or molecular level we are talking about, the diameter of a human hair is about 60,000 nanometers.
Nanotechnology is part of the next wave in terms of innovation. Its field is almost endless: it includes both the creation of materials and intervention in fabrics, manufacturing processes, and a long etcetera, aimed not only at creating but also at perfecting existing products.
Uses of Nanotechnology
We are talking about manipulation at the atomic level, which in medicine is used, for example, to make great advances in the detection and treatment of cancer.
It will also revolutionize pharmacology since we can administer drugs that only act on the damaged area and not on our entire body or bloodstream.
In addition, it is expected that it can help in degenerative processes such as Alzheimer’s.
Within the world of renewable energy, nanotechnology is also changing the atomic structure of fuels and the equipment that provides them.
The creation of new materials is developing, for example, lighter and more resistant wind turbines and blades or solar panels with greater duration and efficiency.
The new agriculture can optimize all those crops destined to manufacture biofuels. Or materials created with nanotechnology can coat tidal power systems to prevent corrosion from water or salt.
Space is also going to benefit from nanotechnology. In this race to analyze Mars, NASA is investigating microscopic-sized rovers to explore corners unexplored by current vehicles. It is also planned to develop nanosensors to detect certain organic compounds, and research is being done on external materials that make the ship lighter and more resistant.
Nanotechnology innovations will also affect astronaut equipment: lighter suits with fabrics whose structure repels dust and water, etc.
Computer chips and many components of today’s electronic devices already use nanotechnology in their manufacturing process.
Other uses of technology we already enjoy
- Cosmetics that integrate nanoparticles (against wrinkles to prevent damage from solar radiation, etc.).
- So-called smart fabrics, which repel stains and odors, are self-cleaning and change color…
- Fertilizers, pesticides, and other products used in agriculture are aimed at improving soils.
- Food packaging with properties that detects if the product deteriorates or manages to keep it fresh for longer.