Following 20 years of intense nanoscience research, applications of nanotechnology are delivering both expected and unexpected results to benefit society. It is playing a considerable role in improving many technology sectors such as information technology, transportation, medicine, environmental science, etc.
Today, you will find nontechnology to be an important part of your engineering assignment. This is because it has become an integral part of our lifestyle. Here are five ways how nanotechnology has played a pivotal role:
1. IT and Electronics
It is projected that by the end of 2020, the nanotechnology market will increase to 76 million US dollars. Today, transistors have gotten smaller due to nanotechnology, magnetic RAM in computers has made processing faster and much more. Compact and powerful computers have made their way into the market and have allowed Moore’s Law to continue.
Are you aware of the fact that nanoparticle copper suspensions have been developed as a cheaper, and more reliable alternative to lead-based solder? Furthermore, other applications involve Flash memory chips for smartphones, antibacterial coatings on keyboards, smart cards, etc.
Nanotechnology is being relied upon to diagnose tumors. Antibodies that are over-expressed in cancerous cells can be latched on to nanoparticles. These particles can then produce a high contrast when Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) scans are used. This technology is also being used to treat atherosclerosis. The nanoparticle mimics the HDL, which helps to shrink plaque.
Moreover, nanotechnology finds application in biomarker screening. As the quantum dots get exposed to different frequencies of light energy, they transfer the energy to fluorescent molecules. It is then displayed as pink globes that emit a glow. Scientists are currently working on vaccines that can be delivered to the body without the use of needles.
Nanocomposite materials have resulted in improved vehicle fuel efficiency and corrosion resistance vehicle parts. These materials are lighter, stronger, and more chemically resistant than metal. Moreover, nanofillers remove airborne particles from the air before it reaches the combustion chamber, enhancing gas mileage.
Experts are working on carbon nanotubes, which have much lower resistance than higher-tension wires. The technology has also found its way into the production of solar panels, and batteries. It is enabling efficient lighting systems; and light-responsive smart coatings for glass. These solar cells are easier to install, since they can use print-like manufacturing processes. They can be made in flexible rolls.
As far as the transportation industry is concerned, nanotechnology has surely had a severe impact. Nanoscale devices offer cost-effective continuous monitoring of the performance and structural integrity of tunnels, rails, bridges, etc. Moreover, it can also support an enhanced transportation infrastructure to help drivers maintain lane position, avoid collisions, etc.
Infusing nano-engineering into the manufacturing of aluminum, steel, asphalt, concrete, and other materials were the greatest decision of all. It increases the resiliency, longevity and performance of highway and infrastructure components while reducing their life cycle cost.
Water filters, 15-20 nanometers wide, can eliminate nano-sized particles, including all viruses and bacteria. These cost-efficient water treatment systems have improved the quality of drinking water. This should be a relief for 790 million people without access to the improved water supply. Experts have created nanofabric “paper towel”, tiny wires of potassium manganese oxide that can absorb 20 times its weight in oil. Thus, it is extremely suitable for cleaning applications.
The technology has paved the way for the researchers to develop sensors able to detect chemical agents in the soil and air with much higher sensitivity. Materials such as iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) and tungsten oxide (WO3) may serve as nanosize semiconductor photocatalysts.
Now, let us have a look at how nanotechnology is being used in our everyday schedule.
Nanotechnology in Other Daily Processes
Mentioned below are some of the instances where we get to see the application of nanotechnology, although you wouldn’t have given it much thought.
Nanoscale additives or surface treatments of fabrics:
These nanoscale treatments provide lightweight ballistic energy deflection. Moreover, it can help the fabric resist wrinkling, staining, and hinder bacterial growth.
Nanoscale films on glasses:
These films are attached to computer and camera lens, windows, and eyeglasses to make them water- and residue-repellent. Moreover, it makes the surface of the glass antireflective, resistant to ultraviolet or infrared light, antifog, etc.
Lightweighting of materials:
Imagine if trucks, airplanes, boats were lightweight, how much fuel consumption could be saved? That is precisely what the experts are focusing on. Nanoscale additives in polymer composite materials are being used in bicycles, motorcycle helmets, automobile parts, making them lightweight and durable.
As you can see, nanotechnology has played a monumental role in our lives, and it is yet to deliver more in the coming years. If you are working on an engineering assignment involving nanotechnology, make sure to go through the university libraries and journals. You will have a thorough idea of the latest research projects.
Author Bio: Alley John is a former nanotechnology professor at a reputed university in the USA. Now she is a guest lecturer and an active member of the MyAssignmenthelp team. She supervises the engineering assignments written by the experts.