10 examples of unusual applications of nanotechnology
10 examples of unusual applications of nanotechnology
It is hard to imagine a future without nanotechnology. Controlling matter at the level of atoms and molecules has paved the way for most of the most incredible discoveries in chemistry, biology, and medicine. But the possibilities of nanotechnology are much wider and not yet fully understood.
10. Making movies
If it were not for the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) in 1980, the field of nanotechnology would remain a simple fantasy of scientists. Using a microscope, scientists were able to study the structure of matter in a way that would not be possible using conventional optical microscopes, which could not provide atomic accuracy.
The amazing capabilities of a scanning microscope were demonstrated by IBM researchers when they created “A Boy and His Atom”, the smallest animated film in the world. It was created by moving individual atoms of matter on a copper surface. For 90 seconds, a boy from carbon monoxide molecules could play with the ball, dance and bounce on a trampoline. The entire plot of the film, consisting of 202 frames, took place on an area the size of 1/1000 of the thickness of a human hair. Scientists moved atoms using an electrically charged and very sharp stylus, on the tip of which there was one atom as a tip. Such a stylus is not only able to separate the molecule, but also move it to the right place and position.
9. Oil production
Over the past decade, the cost of oil production worldwide has increased, but the efficiency has not increased. The fact is that when oil production is canned by an oil company in a certain place, a little less than half of the previously extracted oil remains in the bowels of the earth. But these deposits are difficult and expensive to reach. Fortunately, scientists from China have come up with a way to solve this problem by improving the existing drilling method. The originality of the method lies in the fact that water is pumped into the pores of the oil-bearing rock, which pushes oil outward under pressure. But this technique has its difficulties, because after the oil is displaced, the previously pumped water will start to come out. And so, in order to prevent such an effect, the Chinese scientists Peng and Min Yuan Li proposed the idea of mixing water with nanoparticles, which can close the pores in the rock, allowing the water to choose narrower passages to push the oil out.
8. High Resolution Screens
High resolution screens
The image on the computer screen is transmitted in pixels - tiny dots. Due to the number of such points, and not on their size or shape, the image quality depends. If you increase the number of pixels on traditional monitors, it is automatically necessary to increase the size of the screen itself. The leading manufacturers are just busy selling large screens to the consumer.
Understanding the prospects for using nanopixels, researchers from Oxford University have come up with a way to create pixels a few hundred nanometers in diameter. During the experiment, when scientists squeezed several layers between the transparent electrodes, 300 by 300 nanometers each, of the GST material as a pixel, they obtained an image of high quality and high contrast. Thanks to their tiny size, nanopixels will be much more practical than traditional ones and can become the basis for the development of optical technologies, for example, smart glasses, artificial retina and folding screen. In addition, nanotechnology is not energy-consuming, since it is able to update only part of the screen for image transmission, which requires less energy.
7. Paint that is able to change color
Paint that can change color
Experimenting with gold nanoparticles, scientists at the University of California noticed that when stretched or compressed, the color of the golden thread surprisingly changes from bright blue to purple and red. They came up with the idea to create special sensors from gold nanoparticles to indicate certain processes that will affect particles in one way or another. For example, if you install a similar sensor on furniture, you can determine whether a person is sitting or sleeping.
To create such sensors, scientists added gold nanoparticles to a plastic film. At the moment when the film was exposed, it stretched, and the gold nanoparticles changed color. When lightly pressed, the sensor turns purple, and when pressed hard, it turns red. Particles of silver, for example, are also able to change color, but to yellow. Such sensors, despite the use of precious metals, will not be expensive, since their size is negligible.
6. Charging the phone
Whatever model or brand a phone or smartphone, iPhone or Samsung is, each of them has a significant drawback - battery life and charging time. Israeli scientists managed to create a battery, the charging of which lasts 30 seconds thanks to the discovery in the field of medicine. The fact is that when studying Alzheimer's disease at the University of Tel Aviv, scientists discovered the ability of the peptide molecules that cause the disease to accumulate an electric charge. StoreDot was interested in this discovery, as it has long been working in the field of practical applications of nanotechnology, and its researchers have developed NanoDots technology for efficient and longer battery life of smartphones. During a demonstration at the ThinkNext Achievement Show, hosted by Microsoft, the Samsung Galaxy S3's phone battery was charged in less than a minute from 0 to 100%.
5. Reasonable drug delivery
The body does not need medicine
Some medical companies, realizing the threat of the spread of diseases such as cancer, the treatment of which often becomes ineffective and untimely, have undertaken research on cheap and effective ways to combat them. One of these companies, Immusoft, is interested in developing ways to deliver drugs to the body. Their revolutionary approach is based on the principle that the human body itself can produce the right medicine with the help of the immune system, thereby saving billions of dollars on the production of drugs by pharmaceutical companies and therapy. The human immune system will be "reprogrammed" at the level of genetic information using a special nanosize capsule, as a result, the cells will begin to produce their own medicine. The method has so far been presented only in the form of theoretical developments, although experiments on mice have been successful. If effective, the method will speed recovery and reduce the cost of treating serious illnesses.
4. Molecular communication
Electromagnetic waves, the basis of modern communication technologies, are not a reliable means, since any electromagnetic pulse can not only disrupt the communication satellite, but also disable it. An unexpected solution to this problem was proposed by scientists at the University of Warwick, England, and the University of York, Canada. The decision was prompted by scientists by nature itself, namely, how animals communicate at a distance using the smell with which they encode the message. Scientists also tried to code the molecules of evaporating alcohol using revolutionary communication technology, and sent a message that contained the following: "Oh, Canada."
To encode, transmit and receive such a message, a transmitter and a receiver are required. On the transmitter, a text message is typed using Arduino One (a microcontroller for encoding), which converts text through binary code. This message is recognized by the electronic atomizer with alcohol, which replaces “1” with one injection, and “0” as a space. Then a receiver with a chemical sensor captures the alcohol in the air and decodes it into text. The message covered a few meters in open space. If the technology is improved, then a person will be able to transmit messages to hard-to-reach places, for example, tunnels or pipelines, where electromagnetic waves are useless.
3. The storage device
Computer technology over the past decade has made a huge leap in development regarding the capacity and capacity of information storage. At one time, 50 years ago, such a jump was predicted by James Moore. The law was even named after him. But modern physicists, namely Michio Kaku, claim that the law will cease to work, since the power and capacity of computer technology does not correspond to existing production technologies.
Scientists are now forced to look for alternative solutions to this problem. For example, researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, led by Sharata Sriram, are already on their way to creating devices that will simulate the work of the human brain, namely the information storage department. A nanofilm chemically programmed to store electric charges on the principle of “on”, “off” acts as the “brain”. Film 10,000 times thinner than a human hair will be a key factor in the development of revolutionary information storage devices.
2. Nanotechnology in the service of art
US President Nanoport
The prospects associated with the use of nanotechnology in science have long fascinated society, but the possibilities are so great that they cannot be limited to such areas as medicine, biology, and technology. The application of nanotechnology in art will lead to the emergence of nano-art - the creation of a tiny world under a microscope, which people will perceive in a completely different way. Nano-art suggests a connection between science and art. A striking example of such a relationship is the portrait of the US president called "Nanobama", created in 2008 by a mechanical engineer from the University of Michigan. The portrait is made of 150 nanotubes, and the size of his face is less than 0.5 millimeters.
1. New records
Teeny Ted From Turnip
Man worked hard to create something larger in size, the fastest in speed and the strongest in strength and power. When you need to create something very small, then you can not do without nanotechnology. For example, thanks to nanotechnology, the smallest book in the world, Teeny Ted From Turnip, was printed. Its dimensions are 70x100 micrometers. The book itself consists of 30 pages that contain letters made of crystalline silicon. The cost of the book is estimated at $ 15,000, and to read it you will need a no less expensive microscope.