Five Uses for Nanotechnology
- Electronics and Electricity
- Consumer Products
- Sporting Goods
Despite being a relatively new science, nanotechnology is rapidly gaining traction. It already has numerous applications across a wide range of industries. Most people might not be aware but the world is awash with nanomaterials, ranging from consumer goods to medicine. Below are five great examples of the most innovative nanotechnology advancements.
The application of nanotechnology is most exciting in the biomedical field as scientists continue to make advances in the prevention, treatment and diagnostics areas. From nano-fabricated super condoms to sunscreen products with nano-particles that reflect cancer-causing ultraviolet light, researchers are coming up with better ways to protect people.
Early disease detection is possible thanks to nano-sensors that can identify and quantify biological substances in body fluids. Also, experts are currently working on a drug-delivery method that will make use of highly-targeted capsules to fight cancer cells. According to the ASME Organization, these capsules will only unleash the chemotherapy medicine once they are in the range of cancerous cells, thus, minimizing damage to normal tissue.
2. Electronics and Electricity
Nanotechnology makes it possible to expand the capabilities of electronic devices while reducing their power consumption and weight. The results are increased densities of memory chips and improved display screens on electronics devices, among others.
The sustainability and low maintenance of solar power make it the future of energy storage. However, its production costs twice as much as that of natural gas. In 2014, a team of scientists from the University of California created a new nano-material that increases thermal storage and enhances the conversion of light to electricity. The nano-material converts heat to molten salt so as to make it possible to synthesize power even after the sun goes down. With this technology, solar energy will be less costly and more efficient.
3. Consumer Products
Nanotechnology has already found its way to the shopping outlets. Some of the products used today employ the technology to improve their performance and longevity. For starters, lithium-ion batteries on electric cars use nanoparticle-based electrodes while some skin care products include nanoparticles that infuse or deliver vitamins deeper into the skin.
Also, manufacturers are coating furniture foam with flame-retardant carbon nanofibers and integrating silver nanoparticles in fabric to kill bacteria making clothes odor-resistant. In the alcohol industry, clay nanoparticles are allowing brewers to pack beer in cheaper plastic bottles.
4. Sporting Goods
Even sporting goods are not left behind. As of now, golf and tennis are the largest beneficiaries of nanotechnology but other sports are soon to receive a boost too. High-end tennis and golf balls keep their bounce longer thanks to a composite made of clay nanoparticles that spread out to keep air from escaping.
Adding nanotubes to the frames of tennis racquets increases their strength, which in turn increases power and overall control when hitting the ball. Nanoparticles also fill any imperfections in golf club shaft materials to improve the uniformity, and as a result, the swing.
Body armors are able to stop most calibers, but usually with a significant amount of damage. A heavy bullet carries a lot of force and could hurt the victim’s internals even without penetration. A weapons manufacturing company called First Choice Armor uses a substance dubbed Nanorepel in its N-Force line of vests to solve this problem.
When coated with Nanorepel, the armor spreads out the force over a much wider area. In effect, this cushions the blow by diverging the impact. The tech also integrates a layer of organic molecules that freeze upon impact to lock the strands in place and prevent further travel.
There are thousands of potential uses for nanotechnology and the field is expected to make great strides that will improve human lives in the near future. The possibilities are innumerable as scientists work day and night to discover more ways to take advantage of nanotechnology.