Nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to
"nanotech") is the study of manipulating matter
on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally,
nanotechnology deals with developing materials,
devices, or other structures possessing at least one
dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.
Although nanotechnology is a relatively recent
development in scientific research, the
development of its central concepts happened over
a longer period of time. The emergence of
nanotechnology in the 1980s was caused by the
convergence of experimental advances such as the
invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in
1981 and the discovery of fullerenes in 1985
Feynman gives after-dinner talk describing molecular machines
building with atomic precision
Taniguchi uses term "nano-technology" in paper on ion-sputter
Drexler originates molecular nanotechnology concepts at MIT
First technical paper on molecular engineering to build with
First book published
First organization formed
First protein engineered
First university symposium
First university course
IBM logo spelled in individual atoms
First national conference
DNA-based 'robotic' assembly begins
Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology awarded for work
in single atom manipulations and atomic switches, and for
development of quantum mechanical methods for
theoretical predictions of molecules and solids
2011molecular robots learn to walk in any direction
along a branched track
Mechanical manipulation of silicon dimers on a
Top down approach
Bottom up approach
It refers to the traditional
It refers to methods where
work shop or
where tools are used to cut,
mill and shape materials into
the desired shape and order
devices create themselves by
self assembly chemical
synthesis is a good example.
This approach is much
cheaper than top down but
dificult to handle becaus
things become larger and
Branches of nanotechnology
Green nanotech – use of
nanotechnology to enhance the
processes currently producing
negative externalities. It also refers
to the use of the products of
nanotechnology to enhance
Wet nanotechnology– involves working
up to large masses from small ones.
Nanoengineering– practice of
engineering on the nanoscale.
Nanobiotech – intersection of
nanotechnology and biology.
- drug delivery
- cancer treatment
- medical robotics
- national safety
- water pollution
Nanotechnology in Medicine
Applications of medical nanotechnology span across a
variety of areas such as
In Drugs, Medicines, Therapeutics, etc
In Diagnostics of diseases, abnormal conditions etc.
In Medical Robotics
In the general sake of increasing knowledge of the
The basic point to use drug delivery
is based upon three facts:
a) efficient encapsulation of the
b) successful delivery of said drugs
to the targeted region of the body,
c) successful release of that drug
With nanotechnology, minute surgical
instruments and robots can be made which can
be used to perform microsurgeries on any part
of the body.
Instead of damaging a large amount of the
body, these instruments would be precise and
accurate, targeting only the area where surgery
should be done.
Visualization of surgery can also be improved.
Instead of a surgeon holding the instrument,
computers can be used to control the nanosized surgical instruments. “Nanocameras” can
provide close up visualization of the surgery
Less chance of any mistakes or faults
Surgery could also be done on tissue, genetic
and cellular levels.
Nanotechnology has been used for the first time to
destroy cancer cells with a highly targeted package of
"tumor busting" genes.
-Deliver nanoparticles directly to the cancer tissues
-Minimize undesirable toxicity to the rest of the
-This nanoparticle therapy leads to the
extermination of the tumor from the body.
-It does not leave Secondary Effects on the body.
Nano-robotics, although having
many applications in other areas,
have the most useful and variety of
uses in medical fields.
Potential applications include early
diagnosis and targeted drug
delivery for cancer, biomedical
of diabetes, and health care.
Future medical nanotechnology
expected to employ nanorobots
injected into the patient to perform
treatment on a cellular level.
Miscellaneous Applications of
Nanotechnology in Health
Snapshots of the human body for better
understanding of how it works.
The workings of cells, bacteria, viruses
etc can be better explored. The causes of
relatively new diseases can be found and
Restore vision. Genome sequencing can
be made much easier. Biological causes of
mental diseases can be monitored and
identified. Simple curiosity can be
“Tissue engineering” could also be done
using nano-materials. Tissue engineering
makes use of artificially stimulated cell
proliferation by using suitable nanomaterialbased scaffolds and growth factors.
Advances in nanotechnology-based tissue
engineering could also lead to life extension
in humans and other animals.
Nanotechnology in Electronics
Branch of Engineering which uses nanometer scale
elements in design of integrated circuits such that
one of the three dimensions of the electronic
component is in nm.
Generally, Nanometer scale refers to electronic circuits
less than 100nm.
1 nm= 10-9 metres
In solar cells to trap electrons
There is great interest in constructing
nanoelectronic devices that could detect the
concentrations of biomolecules in real time for
use as medical diagnostics
nanoradio, a radio receiver consisting of a single
nanotube, was demonstrated in 2007
In fabrication of ultracapacitors (which have
high energy density)
Electrons in nanowires are quantum confined laterally
and thus occupy energy levels that are different from
that in bulk materials.
Aspect ratios (length-to-width ratio) of 1000 or more
Poor conductivity (edge effect)
WORLD’S SMALLEST TRANSISTOR
invented by Michelle Simmons
Nanotechnology in Energy &
• Energy Production
- Clean, less expensive sources enabled by
novel nanomaterials and processes
• Energy Utilization
- High efficiency and durable home and
- Solid state lighting can reduce total
electricity consumption by
10% and cut carbon emission
by the equivalent of 28 million tons/year
• Materials of construction sensing changing conditions and in
response, altering their inner structure
Batteries and Fuels
Companies are currently developing batteries using
These will be as good as new even after sitting on the
shelf for decades!! Also, Can be recharged significantly
faster than conventional batteries.
-Can make the production of fuels from low grade raw
-increasing the mileage of engines, and
-making the production of fuels from normal raw
materials more efficient
Fuel Cells & Solar Cells
Nanotechnology is being used to reduce the cost of catalysts
used in fuel cells to produce hydrogen ions from fuel such as
methanol and to improve the efficiency of membranes used
in fuel cells to separate hydrogen ions from other gases
such as oxygen.
Companies have developed nanotech solar cells that can be
manufactured at significantly lower cost than conventional
Nonmaterial's are materials possessing particles sizes on the order of a billionth
of a meter, nanometer.
At this size range, the particles will show some unique properties like quantum size
effect, surface effect, and macroscopic-quantum-tunnel effect.
Nano structures are the ordered system of one-dimension, two dimension or three
dimension constructed or assembled with nanometer scale unit in certain pattern,
which basically include nano-spheres, nano-rods, nano-wires, Nano-belts and
Clusters of atoms, grains that are less than 100 nm in size,
Fibers that are less than 100 nm in diameter,
Films that are less 100 nm in thickness,
Nano-holes and Composites that are a combination of these.
Applications of Nanomaterials
1. Nano materials or nano crystals provide large surface area. Hence
they act as better catalysts.
2. Tumors can be detected and located with incredible accuracy.
3. Nano shells can float through the body attaching only to cancer
cells. When excited by a laser beam, they give off heat and there by
4. New borns will have their DNA mapped quickly.
5. Nano technology will enable the delivery of right amount of
medicines to the exact spot of the body.
6. Nano technology can create biocompatible joint replacements and
artery stents that will last life of the patients. Hence these need not
be replaced every few years
Carbon Based Nanomaterials
The materials in which the “Nanocomponent” is pure carbon.
Example: Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) are sheets of graphite rolled up to make a tube.
Due to the large surface area, CNT are interesting media for electrical energy storage.
The excellent electrical and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes like electrical
conductivity, heat transmission capacity. Heat stability, high strength or low density
make them good candidates for use as fillers and many other applications.
Carbon nanotubes and polymers can form foams.
Carbon black is currently the most widely used carbon nanomaterial, it has found
application in car tyres, antistatic textiles and is used for colour effects.
Carbon Nano tubes
A carbon nanotube is a structure which seems to be formed by rolling a sheet of
graphite into the shapes of a cylindrical tube.
Nanotubes are categorized as single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) and multiwalled nanotubes (MWNT).
Single-walled nanotubes have a diameter of close to 1 nm, with a tube length
that can be many millions of times longer. The structure of a SWNT can be
conceptualized by wrapping a one-atom-thick layer of graphite called graphene
in to a seamless cylinder.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes consist of multiple concentric nanotube
cylinders. Based on the orientations of lattices, nanotubes are of three different
types-Armchair, Zigzag and Chiral.
Properties of Carbon Nanotubes
1. Carbon nanotubes are very strong.
2. Their tensile strength is 100 times greater than that of steel of the same
3. Young’s modulus is about 5 times higher than for steel.
4. They have high thermal conductivity-more than 10 times that of silver.
5. They conduct electricity better than metals.
6. Electron travelling through a carbon nanotube behaves like wave travelling
through a smooth channel. This movement of electrons within a nanotube is
called “ballistic transport”.
7. They are light weight, density about one fourth of steel.
8. They are sticky due to Van der Waal’s force of attraction.
Applications of Carbon Nanotubes
1. They are strengtheners of composite materials.
2. They act as molecular size test tubes or capsules for drug delivery
3. Depending on their size, they act as electrical conductors or
4. They are used as tips for analysis of DNA and proteins by atomic
The use of engineered nanofibers already makes clothes
water- and stain-repellent or wrinkle-free. Textiles with a
nanotechnological finish can be washed less frequently and at
lower temperatures. Nanotechnology has been used to
integrate tiny carbon particles membrane and guarantee fullsurface protection from electrostatic charges for the wearer.
Many other applications have been developed by research
institutions such as the Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at
Cornell University, and the UK's Dstl and its spin out company
wrinkle free cloth
To impart wrinkle resistance to fabric, resin is commonly used in
conventional methods. However, there are limitations to applying
resin, including a decrease in the tensile strength of fiber, abrasion
resistance, water absorbency and dye ability, as well as breathability.
Besides wrinkle-free clothing wearers are at risk for a skin condition
called contact dermatitis, which can cause itchy skin, rashes and
blisters, and it poses serious health implications for people who work
with the chemical in factories. To overcome the limitations of using
resin, some researchers employed nano-titanium dioxide and nanosilica
to improve the wrinkle resistance of cotton and silk
Nanotechnology in Cosmetics
One field of application is in sunscreens. The
traditional chemical UV protection approach suffers
from its poor long-term stability. A sunscreen based on
mineral nanoparticles such as titanium oxide offer
several advantages. Titanium oxide nanoparticles have
a comparable UV protection property as the bulk
material, but lose the cosmetically undesirable
whitening as the particle size is decreased.
Thermal barrier and wear resistant coatings
High strength, light weight composites for increasing fuel
High temperature sensors for ‘under the hood’
Nanotechnology in National
Very high sensitivity, low power sensor for detecting the
Light weight military platforms, without sacrificing
functionality, safety and soldier security
-Reduce fuel needs and logistical requirements
Reduce carry-on weight of soldier gear
-Increased functionality per unit weight
Nanotechnology in Water
Being used to develop solutions to different problems
in water quality.
One challenge is the removal of industrial wastes,
such as a cleaning solvent called TCE, from
groundwater. Nanoparticles can be used to convert the
contaminating chemical through a chemical reaction
to make it harmless. Studies have shown that this
method can be used successfully to reach
contaminates dispersed in underground ponds and at
much lower cost than methods which require pumping
the water out of the ground for treatment
Nanotechnology in Space
Nanotechnology may hold the key to making space flight
more practical. Advancements in nonmaterial make
lightweight solar sails and a cable for the space elevator
possible. By significantly reducing the amount of rocket
fuel required, these advances could lower the cost of
reaching orbit and traveling in space. In addition, new
materials combined with nanosensors and nanorobots
could improve the performance of spaceships, spacesuits,
and the equipment used to explore planets and moons,
making nanotechnology an important part of the ‘final
Gone are the days of huge
spaceships that cost a
Use of technology in space
Carbon nanotubes are the perfect choice for such an
elevator’s cable, since nanotechnology is able to create
carbon-based material that is light in weight yet strong
enough to withstand the forces it would face in space.
A space elevator would make all kinds of pioneering efforts
possible by dramatically reducing the cost of sending things
This becomes painfully obvious when one considers that
95% of a space shuttle’s takeoff weight is entirely devoted to
MERITS AND DEMERITS OF
Merits of nanotechnology:
* It is an enabling technology which has its impacts on
electronics and computing, materials and manufacturing,
* Large scale production of materials
* Great job opportunities
* Effective and cheap production of energy
* Water conservation
* Reduced pollution
Demerits of nanotechnology:
* Nanoparticles have the possibility of breaking into
blood-brain barrier - a membrane to protect brain
from harmful chemicals in blood stream
* Creation of powerful weapons - lethal & non-lethal
* Nano-divide [technological and economical
differences between rich and poor]
* Loss of traditional methods
* Increase in aristocracies and reduce democracies
* Brain drain and trade barriers
* Black market in nanotech
* Free range self-replication
Nanotechnology as Career
It is a powerful profession which aids the development
of products with futuristic performance. All field
sectors of life will be effected by this new area. The two
field categories of Nanotechnology are Nanoscale
profession and Molecular manufacturing. Nanoscale
profession covers small structures and crapper be used
for introducing stronger materials, meliorate
medicines, faster computers and so on. Molecular
manufacturing is an attempt at building mechanical
and chemical manufacturing systems that join