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Nanotechnology Products

2013/4/9      view:

Throughout history, much of the technological progress made by humans has revolved around thinking big. The Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Roman Coliseum, the Hoover Dam, all have been on a grand scale. More recently, though, scientists and engineers have been thinking smaller. From the transistors that replaced vacuum tubes to give us radios that fit in the palm of one hand to the microchips that shrunk computers from behemoths that once filled a room to devices that fit in the palm of the other hand, the next big thing now looks to be the next small thing – and that next small thing is nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is technology that deals with matter on the nano-scale, between one and one hundred nanometers. (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.) Matter this tiny exists in a place where things work in a different way than they do in the “normal” world. The seemingly bizarre properties that matter displays on the nano-scale are precisely what give nanotechnology products such intriguing potential.

With applications in many fields, including medicine, solar energy, textiles, and manufacturing, many nanotechnology products are already in use, with many more in advanced stages of development. Among these nanotechnology products is NanoSphere, a product developed by Schoeller Technologies that, when applied as a coating to clothing, utilizes a self-cleaning property found in plant leaves to allow dirt and residue to easily wash off with just a small amount of water.

Other nanotechnology products include a thin-film solar cell developed by Magnolia Solar which uses the quantum properties of matter on the nano-scale to create solar cells that are more efficient than those produced using conventional technology, thus delivering on the promise of making solar energy affordable enough to compete with fossil fuels.

Every day, scientists and engineers are developing new nanotechnology products that have the potential to revolutionize entire industries. Now more than ever, when it comes to the cutting edge of technological advancement, it truly is a small world.