Nanotechnology is a branch of science that focuses on the manufacture of very tiny devices with various applications. Nanometers is the very small unit of measurement used to measure these devices. To give you a rough idea of how small this is, a strand of hair is approximately 100,000 nanometers.
These small devices in turn have better properties and improved functions. Their small nature gives them a better surface area-to-volume ratio. It also makes it easy to use them in different products. They are thus referred to as small solutions to big problems. Most people believe nanotechnology will lead the next industrial revolution. It has so many applications but let’s look at a few in energy, medicine, and electronics.
Energy demands in the world have been increasing in the past few decades. This has created the need for other energy sources to try and meet this rising demand. This has made scientists turn their attention to nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has helped create new energy-efficient products while also contributing to the improvement of already existing ones. Here are some applications of nanotechnology in energy.
- The technology has helped reduce fuel consumption in vehicles and machinery. This is by increasing the efficiency of combustion and reducing friction. We now have vehicles with better fuel consumption thanks to the use of nanoparticles in fuel. Businesses involved in frequent use of cars like vans in the delivery business, should opt for this type of fuel. Whether using your company vans or van rentals, insist on using fuel infused with this technology. It helps reduce your fuel costs through better fuel consumption.
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- In fuel extraction, the technology is being used in the oil pipes to identify any leakages.
- In electricity transmission, preference is now given to carbon nanotube wires. Due to their low resistance, they reduce power wastage during transmission.
- Solar panels are now manufactured using nanotechnology. This has helped to increase their efficiency leading to cheaper panels.
- Batteries are now produced using the technology. These batteries are much better since they are lighter, more efficient, and quick-charging.
- Windmills are a good example of the use of nanoelectronics for renewable energy. Through technology, we can produce longer but lighter windmill blades. This has helped increase the amount of electricity produced by these windmills.
- The technology has helped develop thin solar sheets that can fit on computer cases to help in harvesting solar energy.
Biomedical nanotechnology has increased the knowledge and medical tools available to medics. This has helped improve diagnosis, treatment, and even disease prevention.
Some applications of this technology in medicine include:
- In the treatment of plaque in arteries. This is done by shrinking plaque using the technology.
- To treat cancer, medication is now delivered to the affected cells through technology. This helps to avoid damaging other healthy cells. It also reduces the side effects associated with cancer treatment.
- It is being used in the administration of vaccines without having to inject them into the body. Researchers are burning the midnight oil to create a vaccine to replace the annual flu vaccine. The administration of the vaccine will use the technology.
- Research is also in an advanced stage on the use of technology in regenerative medicine. This will be a shot in the arm for medical disciplines dealing with tissue engineering.
Electronics are a major benefactor of nanotechnology. The technology has helped create smaller and faster devices. These devices also have large data storage capabilities compared to their other counterparts. As this technology keeps evolving, here are some of its applications in electronics.
- Through nanotechnology, transistors are becoming smaller and smaller. The smaller they become the faster and better they make devices like computers. In the early 2000s, the average transistor was around 180 nanometers. We now have a 1-nanometer transistor thanks to nanotechnology.
- Through nanotechnology, we are going to have computers that can boot instantly. This is through the incorporation of the technology in MRAM. This will enhance faster and more effective data saving during shutdown which will then translate to faster booting.
- Nanotechnology is being used to produce UHD displays with better colors while still saving energy.
- Flexible and bendable electronics are now manufactured using the technology using graphene.
- In manufacturing, electronics are now soldered together using nanoparticles. This is because they are cheaper and safer compared to their lead-based counterparts.
- Other electronics made using this technology include thumb drives and hearing aids.
Over the past few decades, the world has seen growth in the application of nanotechnology. From what started as a little-known subject. The technology has caught the collective imagination of the scientific community. Lots of research and development in this field is still ongoing and we can only expect more good. But as things stand, the future has never looked brighter.
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