Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale (1 to 100 nanometers). A single human hair is about 80,000 to 100,000 nm wide. The nanoscale is 1000 times smaller than the microscale. Materials display unique properties that impact their physical, chemical, and biological behavior at the nanoscale. Nanotechnology includes the subjects of physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and the full range of engineering disciplines. Nanotechnology has contributed to many advances in computing, electronics, medicine, consumer products, energy and so much more. For example, when a particle’s size is changed its color may vary also. This is because the arrangement of light in nanoscale particles reflects light differently. Nanotechnology is not microscopy because it allows “scientists to utilize the unique physical, chemical, mechanical, and optical properties of materials that naturally occur at that scale”.
There are different types of nanomaterials and ways of classifying them. Nanomaterials that occur naturally in the world are called natural nanomaterials. Molecules in our blood such as hemoglobin, volcanic ash particles, and smoke are examples of natural nanomaterials. Artificial nanomaterials come from objects or processes made by humans. Exhaust from fossil fuels is an example of this.
Many everyday products incorporate nanotechnology. A widely known product that uses nanotech is sunscreen. Titanium oxide and Zinc oxide are added to sunscreen because of their UV radiation-blocking properties and how light they feel on one’s skin. Another industry of products that includes nanotechnology is clothing. Silica nanoparticles help create fabrics that are liquid-repellent. When liquid beads roll off of clothing rather than soaking in, that is thanks to nanotechnology. One of the most important applications of nanotechnology is with computers. Intel is a leader in tiny computer processors and they came out with the 10-nanometer chip.
There are numerous opportunities in nanotechnology. With the help of nanotechnology, it may be possible to create materials that are stronger, lighter, and programmable. These materials would also be more fuel-efficient for land, sea, air, and space vehicles and would take less energy to produce than conventional materials. Nanotechnology is a staple in our world. Therefore we should learn more about it to understand the place that we live in.