Nanotechnologies in our life

NANOTECNOLOGIES IN OUR LIFE

Orkusha Lidiya

NTUU “KPI”, RTF, RA-31

Nanotechnology is the science of building materials and devices from single atoms and molecules. This emerging interdisciplinary science combines chemistry, engineering, biochemistry and materials science.

Researchers have been working on understanding how matter changes if you alter the sizes of the individual molecules that constitute an object.

Nanotechnologies are increasingly used in mobile phones, computers and other high technology equipment. In 2008 the Nobel Prize in Physics went to the co-discoverers of the material phenomenon known as giant magnetoresistance (GMR). This discovery led to the ability to read data on high density hard drives, paving the way for the 100-gigabyte hard drive you have on your computer today.

Even the screens used on computers and other electronics are being developed with carbon nanotubes that will improve upon the color, the contrast and definition of other display technologies. They may also allow much thinner or even flexible screens.

Improved batteries could get a complete charge in just 5 minutes and their lifespan could be significantly increased.

Nano is used in construction to improve the properties and functions of commonly used building materials like: steel, wood, glass, coatings.

There are a number of nano-enhanced products. It’s long been known that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide block the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. But when you break down these substances to nano-sized particles, they become transparent.

Silver nanoparticles and so-called colloidal silver, which contains silver nanoparticles, are used in many personal care products, because they are very effective at killing bacteria.

Nano can help make very thin and flexible solar cells which are made in what’s called a roll-to-roll process in the same way wallpaper is printed.

There is the potential for nano to revolutionise the storage of hydrogen, making it a real alternative and environmentally friendly fuel for the future.

Nano could help create much lighter, more efficient batteries which would help electric cars be much more viable, and give much longer battery life to laptops, medical devices and other portable electronics.

The use of nanotechnologies is primarily in the area of energy saving. Nanotechnologies contribute to energy saving by making vehicles lighter thereby consuming less fuel, improving insulation, making lighting more efficient, and even putting additives in fuels to make them burn more efficiently.

‘Smart’ glass windows have also been developed using nano which can reflect heat, keeping the hot sun out and the central heating in, so saving a lot of energy, in particular in office buildings with lots of windows.

Nanotechnologies show a lot of promise for big benefits in terms of better pollution sensors and clean up systems, cheap and portable water treatment and more effective filters for pollution and viruses.

Stronger and lighter materials created by nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes may also have an important positive environmental impact by making lighter weight cars and airplanes  and by making things last longer to reduce the amount of material in landfills and recycling.

It is likely that in the near future nano will be more about enhancing existing foods than creating new materials or new food products.

Nano particles are also found in nature. Milk is in fact an example of a nanotechnology in which incredibly small particles of protein are suspended in water.

Nanotechnologies may have the greatest impact in the medical and healthcare fields.

The most notable changes will come from improvements in diagnosing illnesses more easily and treating them by better targeting of drugs. It will also make existing medical applications much cheaper and easier to use in different settings like GP surgeries and homes.

 

 

References:

http://www.nanoandme.org

http://www.rsc.org

http://science.kqed.org

 

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