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Home > News > Small Nanotechnology world badge A user's guide to nanotechnology: From cosmetics to cars, many products we use on a daily basis already utilise nanotechnology – but are you aware of the implications? Penny Sarchet and David Adam explain all you need to know

March 31st, 2012

Small Nanotechnology world badge A user's guide to nanotechnology: From cosmetics to cars, many products we use on a daily basis already utilise nanotechnology – but are you aware of the implications? Penny Sarchet and David Adam explain all you need to know

Abstract:
Nanotechnology is technology that operates on the nanoscale, about one billionth of a metre. If a living cell were a large city, then a nanometre would be about the size of a car. Nanotechnology is the art of engineering down at this hard-to-fathom scale.

The idea started in 1959 when famous physicist Richard Feynman suggested we could manipulate individual atoms and use them to build tiny machines. However, the term "nanotechnology" was not coined until the 1980s and lumps together different and varied ideas. All that unites these different technologies is that they use nano-sized building blocks. While other technologies make machines out of bulk materials - microchips out of silicon, wires out of copper, cars out of steel - nanotechnology makes machines out of large, complex molecules. Because nanotechnology works at such an extreme and unexplored scale, it opens up a world of new possibilities. Many nanomaterials possess special properties, such as great strength or high ability to conduct electricity.

Source:
guardian.co.uk

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