The Real Uses and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Author: Carole A. LeBlanc
Nanomaterials are gaining popularity in the past decade because of its exceptionally small size and potential industrial, electronics and biomedical, applications. Nanomaterials could be metals, polymeric materials, composite materials or ceramics. The nanometer unit gains its name from the Greek word “nano”, which means dwarf or very small.
1. Unique Uses of Nanomaterials
• Megatubes: Larger in diameter than nanotubes, and prepared with walls of different thicknesses. Nanomaterials could be potentially used for the transport of a variety of molecules of different sizes. • ‘Nano onions’ are particles in spherical shape, which are based on multiple carbon layers surrounding a buckyball core proposed for lubricants. • Silicon (as opposed to carbon) buckyballs are created around metal (for example, tungsten) ions and is suggested for storing quantum bits. • Fullerites are solid?state manifestation of fullerenes, and associated materials and compounds. ‘Ultra hard fullerite’ is a term used to define substances produced by high?pressure and high-temperature (HPHT).These treatments convert fullerite into a nanocrystalline form of diamond which has been reported to exhibit remarkable mechanical properties.
2. Defense applications of Nanomaterials
• Carbon nanotubes • EMI hardened electronics • Lightweight composites • Filtration • Infrared obscurants • Textiles • Reactive coatings • Light weight/hi energy batteries
3. Other Uses of Nanotechnology
• Nanotechnology could be made use of in many commercial products and processes, for example, Nanomaterials are used for manufacturing lightweight, tough materials for boat hulls, automotive parts and sporting equipment. Nanomaterials are also used in manufacturing cosmetics and sunscreens. • Nanostructured goods could be used in manufacturing space-saving insulators, which are helpful when weight and size are at a premium: To site an example, take the case of insulating pipelines at distant places, or reducing loss of heat from an old house. • Nanoceramics are also used in certain dental implants or to fill gaps in diseased bones. Certain pharmaceutical products are being reformulated with nano particles to develop their absorption.

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