Nanotechnology has been an anticipated technology due to it giving complete and inexpensive control of the structure of matter. The thought of this technology came from the mind of Richard Feynman, a physicist, in 1959. The way Feynman first described nanotechnology was, “a process by which the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules might be developed, using one set of precise tools to build and operate another proportionally smaller set (History and Future of Nanotechnology, 2009).” Manufacturing at the molecular scale will enable the construction of cell repair machines, computers smaller than a cubic micron, and even personal manufacturing.
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6. Roll to roll processing – a high volume process that creates nanoscale devices on ultrathin plastic or metal rolls.
7. Self-assembly- a process where a group of components come together in an ordered structure with no outside help.
With these processes, nanomaterials can be stronger, lighter, durable, and many more traits. Even though the peak of nanomanufacturing may be years away, it is already improving manufacturing today. According to Lori Dick, “Nanomanufacturing is no longer the next frontier. It’s in action today, and it is improving products and processes and saving manufacturers money along the way. (Dick, 2012)” In her article she states that nanomanufacturing is already improving the manufacturing industry in five ways. The five ways are: in Materials, Coatings, Energy Collection and Storage, Lighting, and Manufacturing Processes. Nanotechnology is creating exceptionally light, yet extremely tough, materials. In coatings nanocoatings are known to be a thermal barrier, flame retardant, ultraviolet resistance, self and easy cleaning, and among other things. Nanoparticles use light more efficiently which is improving the efficiency and cost of solar panels. For lighting, quantum dots are used which are nanoparticles of a semiconductor material with unique optical and electrical properties. And lastly self-assembly is a branch of nanotechnology in which objects, devices and systems form structures without external prodding.
With what nanomanufacturing can do, the applications are endless. One of the applications that nanomanufacturing is being used in is in energy. Researchers have developed piezoelectric nanofibers that can be made into clothing. These fibers generate electricity from the motion of the clothing, which can power electrical devices. Energy consumption will be reduced due to newly developed lubricants with inorganic buckyballs, soccer ball shaped carbon molecules that reduce friction. Storing hydrogen for fuel cell cars will be easier with the graphene layers that increase the binding energy of hydrogen to the graphene surface. This could result in a higher amount of storage and a lighter fuel tank.
Another major field that uses nanotechnology and will benefit from it greatly is in the field of medicine. Professor Johannes Heitz from the University of Linz, Austria said, “About 10 years ago, scientists discovered the important influence that nano-structures had on the way a line of cells would develop. It was the beginning of an entire new scientific field (Nanotech Medicine to Rebuild Damaged Parts of Human Body, 2011).” One way nanotechnology has impacted medicine is the ability to help grow cells back in or on person’s body. One way this is shown is the ability to help grown skin cells back on a burn victim. Usually the material used now will cause imperfection and make it inefficient. With nanotechnology it will be possible to grow the cells back with little to no imperfections. Many more...