Nanotechnology is the study, science, research, and development of materials and devices that are measured at the atomic or molecular scale. In other words, things that are very very small. It is useful in the research and development of medicines, electronics, and new ways of producing energy.
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Increases in Nanotechnology Funds and the benefits of nanotechnology
Manipulation of individual molecules and atoms in matter is called nanotechnology. It deals with dimensions of less than 100 nanometres. It covers engineering, medicine, robotics, computing and various other fields at the nanoscale.
Increases in nanotechnology funds
Potential to use nanotechnology for industrial and military purposes itself is huge and still remains largely unexplored. The fields in which nanotechnology can be used are also being explored by the day. Because of this immensely large field of potential applications of nanotechnology, governments of various countries have invested large sums of money in the nanotechnology initiatives. As per published figures, until the year 2012 itself, the U.S. government had invested 3.7 billion dollars while the figure for Japan stood at 750 million dollars. The European Union had invested 1.2 billion dollars in the development and research projects for nanotechnology. Different countries are gradually increasing their yearly allocations for nanotechnology funds. For the year 2017, the U.S. Federal Budget has allocated more than $1.4 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).
Diverse fields such as organic chemistry, semiconductor physics, surface science, molecular engineering and molecular biology are already included in various projects involving nanotechnology. Future implications of nanotechnology are still a hot topic for debate amongst the world scientists. It is expected that nanotechnology will be able to create a large number of new materials and devices which will have a big range of applications that may extend from consumer products to energy production.
Benefits of nanotechnology
The fact that the essential structure of materials can be altered at the nanoscale for achieving desired properties forms the basis of all benefits that accrue with the use of nanotechnology – both now and in future. Using nanotechnology, materials can be made more durable, stronger and lighter, in addition to other changes in their conductivity properties etc. Major benefits of nanotechnology, both current and future, are enumerated below:
Electronics and Information Technology
Faster and more powerful transistors
Smaller and faster chips with higher storage capacities
Water purification for drinking purposes
Nano-equipments for detection and cleaning up of contaminants from the air including those meant for use in airplanes and cars
Removal of pollutants from the groundwater through chemical reactions
Removal of salt from the sea water
Non-paper towels which absorb 20 times their own weight in oil cleanup operations.
Medical and Health
Quantum dots for use in medical diagnostics
Imaging technology for diagnosing the buildup of plaque in arteries
Detection of early stage Alzheimer’s disease
Detection of early malignancies
Advancements in the field of nanotechnology are likely to result in the development of smarter, lighter and more efficient aircrafts, ships, cars and other vehicles. Better performing steel, asphalt and concrete will bring about a revolution. New devices and nano-sensors will also change the way we move around on the roads in our vehicles while adjusting travel routes and avoiding collisions.