Nanotechnology is not just an industry; nowadays it is referred as a general purpose technology. In the last two decades, scientists have given more emphasis on the research and development of applications using nanotechnology. Today, it is improving and revolutionizing several technology sectors. Nano particles are mostly used in cosmetics products, food, medicines and many other useful compounds. According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, there are over 800 everyday commercial products that are based on nano scale processes. At present, it’s hard to imagine the future without the presence of nanotechnology. Read the following unfamiliar uses of nanotechnology in the modern world.
12. Nanotechnology in Food Industry
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Nano engineered particles are used in the food industry to minimize the carbon dioxide leakage in carbonated beverages. Using this technology, we can reduce the fat and enhance the nutritional value in the food. It maintains the moisture outflow and controls the growth of bacteria to keep food fresh. Smart packaging also helps in identifying contaminated food and the presence of bacteria using the nano scale sensors. Nanosensors are built into plastic and designed in a way to detect salmonella and pesticides.
11. Molecular Communication
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Could you imagine that every kind of wireless technology is based on electromagnetic waves? This matter has been examined for many years by the researchers from the University of Warwick and in UK and York University in Canada. After researching the pheromones (secreted by animals) for many years, they develop a communication method in which message is coded in the molecules of evaporated alcohols. Using this technology, they were able to send and receive messages across the distance of several feet. This tech is still under development.
10. Growing Nerve Cells
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The use of nanotechnology in the growth of nerve cells is underway. Nerve cells are used in damaged spinal cords or brain cells. Scientists are creating a nanostructured gel that fills the space between the cells and encourages them to grow. They are also working on alternate method that includes exploring the use of nanofibers to recreate damaged cells.
9. Improved Solar Panels
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The world’s increasing demand of energy is a big problem in keeping the environment green. Solar panels made of nanotechnology are more efficient than standard designs. They are cheaper to manufacture and can use the print like manufacturing technology. They are made in flexible rolls instead of discrete panels. Scientists suggest that future solar panels might be paintable.
8. Film Making
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The technology of scanning tunneling microscope was invented in 1981. Several microscopy techniques have been developed that are based upon scanning tunneling microscope. A team of researchers at IBM created a film, “A Boy and His Atom”, which was the world’s smallest animated film. It was developed on a copper surface using moving individual atoms. The movie is based on a boy made from carbon monoxide who plays with a ball and jumps on trampoline. This 90 second movie consists 202 frames.
7. Nano Art
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Nano size art is an emerging field that allows us to create a nano world under the preservation of microscope. John Hart, a mechanical engineer from the University of Michigan made a nano portrait of President Barack Obama. He first draws the poster and then prints the drawing on glass plate. Then he coated the drawing with nanoparticles to grow nanotubes. In the portrait, each face is sculpted from 150 nanotubes.
6. Diagnosis of Several Disease
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Nanotechnology has been used in the diagnosis of several diseases like atherosclerosis. In this disease, artery walls become thick as a result of the invasion of Red Blood Cells. Scientists developed an imaging technology that measures the amount of antibody nanoparticles in the blood. It consists biosensors made of nanoscale components that detect genetic and rare molecular signals. They test this on a mouse and saw a positive result.
5. Fuel Production
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The oil exploration has risen exponentially since the last decade. Scientists discovered a new way to recover the maximum fuel from the oil well. In the drilling technique, they used water with nanoparticles to make a way in the drilling. Nanotechnology is also improving the efficiency of production of raw fuel. Using this method, China recovered over 50 percent of their total turnover in the last few years. It also improves the fuel consumption in vehicles and power plants by increasing the efficiency of combustion engines.
4. Increase Computer Storage
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Nanotechnology is already in use in the electronic industry. It is used to manage and store larger and larger amount of information. Nanoscale transistor is more powerful, faster and efficient as compared to other chips. A team of researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne creates a nano size film that stores electric charges in on and off stage. It is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and might be used in storage devices in the future. Researchers predict that the entire memory will be stored on a single tiny chip.
3. High resolution Display
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Any image on the display screen is created via a small element called pixels. The pixel is considered as the main factor of image quality. With traditional displays, more pixels mean bulky screen. Nano size pixels are a great choice for smart glasses, foldable screens and synthetic eye lens. At present, nanostructured polymer films are used in creating organic light emitting diode (OLED). OLED screens offer bright screen, better picture quality and long life.
2. Super Fast Mobile Charging
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Smartphones are the most useful devices, but they have a notorious downside of low battery life. Even the powerful devices need to be charged daily for heavy use. An Israel based startup, StoreDot has developed nanodots technology that need only 30 seconds to completely recharge a battery. The technology uses the peptide properties to improve the life of the battery. A prototype was demonstrated on the Samsung Galaxy S3 phone and the battery was charged from zero to full in less than a minute.
1. Color Changing Liquid
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There are many videos of experiments on YouTube that claim the color changing paint. But, most of the videos have been taken as a hoax. Recently, some scientists at the University of California discovered a way to change the color of any fluid. They created a sensor made of gold nanoparticles and added it to a flexible polymer film. When the pressure is applied to film, it stretches and changes the color of the particle. The polymer film turns into purple color by applying a little force while pressing harder turns it into red.