What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology: The branch of science and engineering that deals with designing, producing, and using structures, devices, and systems by altering atoms and molecules at the nanoscale is referred to as nanotechnology.


Nanotechnology is used in various industries for technological advancements. For example, it is currently used in the information and communications sectors, food industry, energy sectors, and in some medical products. In addition, nanomaterials offer methods for the reduction of environmental pollution.

However, there is a concern about nanomaterials. It is debated that these materials may cause threats to human health. Humans have created mechanisms of protection against several harmful agents. But, they had never been exposed to synthetic nanoparticles and their specific characteristics. Therefore the normal human defense mechanisms associated with, for example, immune and inflammatory systems may not be able to respond tolerably to these nanoparticles. In addition, there is also a threat that nanoparticles could disperse and persist in the environment, impacting the environment.

There are different types of nanomaterials which are natural nanomaterials and artificial nanomaterials. Natural nanomaterials occur naturally in the world. These include particles that form volcanic ash, smoke, and some molecules in our bodies, such as hemoglobin. Artificial nanomaterials occur from objects or processes created by people. Examples include exhaust from fossil fuel-burning engines and some forms of pollution. These are called intentionally produced nanomaterials.

There are two ways to produce materials on the nanometer-scale, which are top-down or bottom-up. Top-down nanomanufacturing refers to carving bulk materials to make features with nanometer-scale dimensions. Producers work to increase the efficiency of each “generation” of a microchip. Bottom-up nanomanufacturing creates products atom-by-atom. Using quantum dots and other nanomaterials, tech companies are now working to develop transistors and other electronic devices using individual molecules.

Many consumer products already benefit from nanotechnology, such as clothes, food, electronics, nanomedicine, etc. Nanotechnology is used to enhance clothing. Manufacturers can make clothes that provide better protection from ultraviolet radiation. Some researchers are working with nanotechnology for “personal climate control.”

The food industry is using nanomaterials in the packaging and agricultural sectors. For instance, clay nanocomposites offer a strong barrier to gases in lightweight bottles, cartons, and packaging films. In addition, silver nanoparticles embedded in the plastic of storage containers kill bacteria.

Nanotechnology has also transformed the realm of electronics. It offers quicker and more portable systems to manage and store larger amounts of data. Nanotech has even improved display screens on electronic devices. This involves reducing power consumption while decreasing the weight and thickness of the screens.


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