Ok, so you’ve read through all of the information on what nanotechnology is capable of and what we expect our future to be like due to its amazing breakthroughs, but how exactly does nanotechnology work? Read through this article and hopefully you’ll gain a little more understanding on the science of it all. I’ll try to address all of the major components of nanotechnology and what makes it tick. Let us begin.
The word fullerene describes a molecule at the nanoscale that is made up of only carbon. Carbon, as we know, is the basis of nature’s construction and, therefore, also represents our very own construction on nanotechnology. Fullerenes allow us to build nanostructures, the very foundation of the nano-object in question, so that we may then tweak in our own programming and machinary that will go on to perform marvelous tasks. Think of fullerenes as the framework at a construction site. In the construction of a building, you must first lay down the flooring, then erect the beams, setup the walls, and finally you must add in features such as the roof, doors, and windows. Fullerenes allow us to lay down the “flooring”, erect the “beams”, and setup the “walls” of nanotechnology so that designers can then set forth to add in the commodities.
Scanning Tunneling Microscope
The scanning tunneling microscope is a device that allows scientists to observe molecules close up – as in the atomic level. The microscope plays on the concept of quantum tunneling which involves individual subatomic particles tunneling in between two forces. By bringing an object extremely close to the microscope and applying a very small electrical force, scientists are able to duplicate this quantum property in the lab. Scientists are then able to observe how the electrons flow into this “tunnel” and then make an analysis of those findings. It’s kind of how a bat uses ultrasonic waves to get around. The scanning tunneling micoscope doesn’t tell us what is there, but rather what is not there. Without this technology, we may not be able to work with nanotechnology at all.
The science of quantum dots would be way over the majority of our heads, but the gist of it is that quantum dots are nanosized colors that can allow scientists to identify objects on a very small scale. For example, quantum dots will someday allow art dealers to mark their special artwork with a unique, tiny blot of color that will be nearly impossible to replicate by anyone else. That means that the forgery business of artwork will be put to a halt. Quantum dots can also allow doctors to mark individual cells so as to keep track of important features such as cancer cells.
Considering that nanotechnology is comprised of nanostructures, it is logical to believe that there are also nanosized minerals that make up those structures. Such belief would be correct, of course, as nanotechnology is most predominately constructed of gold, silver, iron, and platinum – all in amounts that would be smaller than the width of a single hair! Below is a small list of some of these nanominerals and what they do for both us and nanotechnology.
Colloidal gold is simply gold on a nanoscale that’s suspended in a liquid, usually being water. The important thing about colloidal gold is that it’s not just gold that’s broken apart to fit into small things; it’s actually created using chemical procedures through science. Yes, folks, we are capable of actually creating our own gold. Believe it or not, colloidal gold has actually been used since ancient times and was early used to color glass. Today, we have also found a use for colloidal gold in the production of eletronic wiring which uses bacteria coated in colloidal gold to produce a current. We have also found that colloidal gold can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in rats and a study has shown that gold beads that are implanted near the hip joints in dogs can reduce the pain of arthritis.
Silver nanoparticles, as the name suggests, are particles comprised of silver on the nanoscale. Largely, silver nanoparticles are sometimes comprised of silver oxide due to the way they are created. Silver nanoparticles have found many uses, particularly in the medical field. Silver nanoparticles may be found in bone cement, many surgical instruments, surgical masks, and wound dressings, many of these due to the antimicrobial effect of silver nanoparticles that keep these objects extremely sterile. Samsung has also come out with a technology known as Silver Nano which applies silver nanoparticles to many household appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators to ward off bacteria. In the case of the washing machine, the appliance generates over 400 billion silver ions into your clothes in order to keep them germ-resistant for up to 30 days after washing and will fight off over 650 different types of bacteria. That means when wearing those clothes, you are basically a walking, sterile germ-retardant.
Iron nanoparticles are, of course, iron particles clumped together on a nanoscale. These tiny minerals have been found to be exceedingly beneficial to the removal of toxins from contaminated ground and soil. Iron nanoparticles are also easily transportable through water which means that the cleansing of infected ground, soil, sand, or bodies of water could easily be carried out simply by dispersing the nanoparticles through the aquifer or other sources of water that naturally flow through the ground. Iron is also naturally found in our own bodies and is actually benefitial to our health, which means that we won’t be harmed if these nanoparticles were to end up in our drinking water. Despite all this, iron nanoparticles are not yet the prime method of contamination cleansing as there are still some problems associated with the method.
Hopefully you now have a clear understanding about all of the things that go into the production of nanotechnology and how it works. This guide is, by no means, the entirity of the complex nature of nanotechnology but I hope that it has given you a basis of the different aspects that the field represents. If you are truly intrigued by the science of nanotechnology then it is now upon you to research this industry further and dwelve your mind deeper down the rabbit hole and approach such sciences for yourself. As for now, I wish you the best of luck.