“There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” This is the title of a lecture given by the Father of Nano-technology Richard Phillips Feynman (1959). The mastermind of nano-technology already knew at that time that there was a phenomenal potential for tiny (nano-) structures in the world.
What’s nano technology? Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology manipulated at the nano/molecule scale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. Nano-technology involves the development, manufacture and application of systemsproducts that are composed of nanometre sized (10-9 m) components.
Materials with basic units of only a few nanometres, open the door to a new dimension of material development. Structures that just a few years ago were deemed to be physically unachievable, have now slipped into feasibility. With systems of tiny nano scale, completely new advanced product characteristics, functions and processes have been achieved.
How Nano Particles Are Manufactured?
Tiny nano particles can be applied on certain surfaces and turn the coated surfaces into smooth/frictionless, waterproof, water repellent, etc. How nano particles are produced? Basically, there are two ways to form nano particles. 1. “Top-down” approach is the breaking down of large pieces of materials to generate the tiny nano particles. 2. Another way is called “bottom-up” in which single atoms and molecules are assembled into larger nanostructures.
Once uniformed nanoparticles are produced, scientists will test a variety of nanoparticles containing coating reagents on different surfaces and figure out the best coating formulas for certain surfaces. The most powerful tool to check the quality of coated surfaces is the high-resolution scanning tunneling microscope.
As showed on the picture the micropore on the coated stoneware (left) was not filled up by the coating, but rather protects it by covering up the miniscule nanostructures (right). On the coated micropore surface the nano particles form a waterproof, easy-clean ultra thin layer. Without abrasion the surface protection by the coated thin layer can be permanent (at least last for 10 years).
Nanotechnology Possible Future, A Future For All
Nano particles can contribute to stronger, lighter, cleaner and “smarter” surfaces and systems. They are already being used in the manufacture of scratchproof eyeglasses, crack-resistant paints, anti-graffiti coatings for walls, transparent sunscreens, stain-repellent fabrics, self-cleaning windows and ceramic coatings for solar cells.
Nanoparticles can increase tire adhesion to the road. Nanotechnology can be used to increase the safety of cars. Nanoparticles can improve adhesion of tyres to the road, reducing the stopping distance in wet conditions. In addition, the stiffness of the car body can also be improved by use of nanoparticle-strengthened steels. Moreover, ultra-thin transparent coatings can be applied to displays or panes to avoid glare or condensation, and in the future it may be possible to produce transparent car body parts to improve all-round vision.
Nanotechnology can be applied in the processing of food. In addition, food packaging – and, as a result, food safety – can be improved through nanomaterials placing anti-microbial agents on coated films and modifying gas permeability as required for different products.
Nanomaterials are also being used in biology and medicine in a wide variety of ways. Examples include products for drug delivery and gene therapy, tissue engineering, DNA probes and nanoscale “biochips”.
As mentioned by Ian Pearson and Ian Neild of BTexact Technologies.”In the next 60 years we will see nanotechnology and biotechnology making impacts on our life that might seem like magic to us but will be quite normal to our children’s children. The world is speeding up as each generation learns from their kids, and through knowledge sharing via the Internet, so who knows what the next 60 years will bring?”
Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in nano coating car, medicine, electronics, biomaterials energy production, and consumer products. The application of nanotechnology in surface science field will influence our everyday life.
We believe that, in the near future, there will be more and more items that are built or coated with water repellent materials. It’s not surprising to see water, oil or chemical droplets running off those item surfaces without wetting and damage to those items. The nanotechnology based super hydrophobic coating will save billions of dollars each year from industrial fields to common household applications.