layman's terms, nanotechnology refers to materials, applications and
processes designed to work on extremely tiny scales. A nanometre is
one-billionth of a metre. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometres
thick, while a single gold atom is about one-third of a nanometre in
properties and uses can be derived from structures built at the nanoscale,
giving nanotechnology enormous potential for future development.
new and emerging field of science, nanotechnology was first alluded
to in 1959, but remained largely theoretical until the 1980s. The invention
of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) allowed the first direct
manipulation of individual atoms. A major breakthrough occurred in 1989
when IBM used such a machine to spell out their corporate logo, using
just 35 atoms.
nanotubes were demonstrated in 1991. These cylindrical structures were
found to possess exceedingly high strength and unique electrical properties,
as well as being highly efficient thermal conductors.
other structures were developed over the following two decades, each
built on an atom-by-atom basis.
nanotechnology is among the fastest growing areas of science and technology,
with exponential progress being made. Just some of the recent breakthroughs
• The first integrated circuits using three-dimensional carbon nanotubes.
These could be vital in maintaining the growth of computer power, allowing
Moore's Law to continue.
• Solar panels
with greater efficiency through the use of nanotechnology materials.
• Water purification
bottles, with filters only 15 nanometres in width, allowing military
personnel and also civilians hit by disasters to create safe drinking
water (even if that water comes from a filthy source).
• Military equipment made lighter and stronger through the use of nanomaterial
polymers in display technologies allowing brighter images, lighter weight,
less power consumption and wider viewing angles.
surfaces which are highly resistant to bacteria, dirt and scratches.
• New fabrics
that are highly resistant to liquid, causing it to simply fall off without
leaving any dampness or stains.
catalysts used to make chemical manufacturing processes more efficient,
saving energy and reducing waste products.
• Pharmaceutical products reformulated with nanosized particles to improve
their absorption and make them easier to administer.
many other applications and the list is growing all the time.* By 2025, nanotechnology is expected to be a mature industry, with countless
into the future, nanotechnology will play a major role in medicine and
longevity. Blood cell-sized devices will go directly into the human
body, eradicating pathogens and keeping people healthy. Full-immersion
virtual reality and other advanced concepts will become possible through
the use of these "nanobots".
so-called "nanofabricators" would allow the creation of macro-scale
objects on an atom-by-atom basis. Home appliances using this technology
could serve as 3-D printers - downloading products from the web and
literally building them from scratch. Physical items would each have
their own code or algorithm that would program the machine to create
computers, invisibility cloaks and space elevators may one day become
a reality, thanks to nanotech.
more distant future, nanotechnology could allow humans to make the transition
to fully non-biological forms. Entire bodies and brains could be reconstructed
at the atomic scale, leading to practical immortality.
has taken place on the implications of nanotechnology. It has the potential
to create radically new materials and devices with a vast range of applications
in engineering, medicine, electronics and energy production. On the
other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as with any
introduction of new technology - including concerns about the toxicity
and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and their potential effects
on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios.* These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments
on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is required.
World countries will soon benefit from a revolutionary portable device.
First revealed in 2007, it may become widespread in the coming years.
Bottle" filters water-borne pathogens, using holes just 15 nanometers
across. This prevents even the smallest viruses (25 nanometers across)
getting through, and eliminates the need for chemicals to treat the
water. The Lifesaver Bottle is fitted with a 4000UF replaceable purification
cartridge that removes bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi, and
all other microbiological water-borne pathogens.*
comes with an activated carbon filter, made of a high specification
activated carbon block. This reduces a broad spectrum of chemical residues
including: pesticides, endocrine disrupting compounds, medical residues
and heavy metals such as lead and copper. The carbon filter also eliminates
bad tastes and odors from contaminates such as chlorine and sulphur.
It is designed to last for approximately 250 litres.*