About the Nanomaterials

about-the-nanomaterialsNanomaterials have gained this much notoriety in the scientific community exactly because of the change of properties at different scale. Developers already work on the next generation of day to day products, designed from the macro scale. These are display technologies, lightning, solar cells and biological imaging. Solar cells based on materials made of nanopillars already start to replace the usual solar cells, based on silicon.

Scientists and researchers usually approach the building of nanoscale novelty from the bottom-up, top-down, functional, biomimetic and speculative approach. The bottom-up approach seeks to build complex structures based on smaller components. The top down-approach looks into rebuilding and packing existing devices into smaller sizes. The functional approach looks solely on the desired functionally of the desired product, without taking into account the size it might have at the finality of the process. The biomimetic approach studies nature and its systems in order to recreate its methods and functions starting with atoms.

The speculative field looks into the future of nanotechnology discoveries and tries to anticipate future products that might have a positive impact and create a useful product, method or device.

All these processes start with the Atomic Force Miscroscope, AFM and the Scanning Tunneling Miscroscope. Even if they exist from almost the same time as nanotechnology, these tools, together with scanning probe microscopy tools are the basic tools to manipulate matter at the atomic level. Other techniques derived from these: the X-ray lithography, the electron beam lithography, the optical lithography, the dip pen nanolithography. All these make easier the manipulation of the material at nano scale.

Some of the small inventions that make life easier are tennis balls that are stronger, thus last longer, golf balls that fly straight, trousers and socks that either keep cool or warm, bandages that heal faster. Some of the projects in progress imply diesel engines that will have cleaner exhaust fumes, cheaper and faster computers or scaffolds that support bone growth.