Nanotechnology or simply ‘nanotech’ is the engineering of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. The credit of propagation of the concept of nanotechnology goes to Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize Winner.

Supramolecular Scale

In his lecture, There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom, Richard Feynman described the feasibility of synthesis through the direct manipulation of atoms. Further, Richard Feynman has written that −

“I want to build a billion tiny factories, models of each other, which are manufacturing simultaneously. . . The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big.”

However, in 1974, Norio Taniguchi first used the term ‘nanotechnology’. One nanometer, i.e., nm is equal to one billionth, or 10−9meter. Likewise, if we compare, then it is a typical carbon-carbon bond length, or the spacing between these atoms in a molecule, which is in the range 0.12–0.15 nm.

Application of Nanotechnology in Different Fields

Let us now discuss the application of Nanotechnology in different fields.

Nanotechnology is used in the following fields of Science −

  • Surface science
  • Organic chemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Semiconductor physics
  • Microfabrication
  • Molecular engineering, etc.

Nanotechnology is also used for the following purposes −

  • Making sunscreen and cosmetics

  • Packaging of food products (Silver nanoparticles is used in food packaging)

  • In clothing

  • In disinfectants and household appliances, e.g. Silver Nano

  • In carbon nanotubes (for stain-resistant textiles)

  • In treatment of disease and prevention of health issues (Nano-medicine)

  • In various industries

  • In purification processes

  • In environmental cleaning up applications

  • In desalination of water

  • In water filtration

  • In wastewater treatment

  • In groundwater treatment

  • Also used in military goods, Nano-machining of Nano-wires, construction materials, etc.

Terms Used in Nanotechnology

In terms of applications, following are the major terms used in the Science of Nanotechnology −

  • Nano-medicine
  • Nano-biotechnology
  • Nanoart
  • Green nanotechnology
  • Industrial applications of nanotechnology
  • Energy applications of nanotechnology
  • Potential applications of carbon nanotubes