Nanotechnology can be defined as a branch of science in which we study about the matter at molecular, atomic, and supramolecular level. Individual molecules and atoms can be controlled in nanotechnology and nanoscience. Nanotechnology is used in all science fields such as biology, material science, chemistry, physics, etc
TOOLS USED IN NANOTECHNOLOGY:
Hardware and software tools are used in nanotechnology to manipulate the structure of the materials on a nanoscale. These tools can be probes, fabrication, manipulation systems, microscopes, lithography systems etc. Some important tools which are used are:
- Scanning tunneling microscope. It is also called STM. This tool is used to scan sharp wire tip made up of metal. The metal wire tip is brought close to the surface and then an electrical voltage is applied to the tip by which nanotechnologist can image the tip at very small scale and observe individual atoms.
- Scanning electron microscopy: It is also called SEM. This tool is used to know about characteristics of nanomaterials. Scanning electron microscopy is also used for X-ray microanalysis, nanomaterials imaging, high-resolution SEM, etc. With the help of SEM, we study about nanowires, nanoparticles, nanotubes, and other nanostructures.
- Field ion microscope: It is also called FIM. Field ion microscope is used to see how the atoms are arranged in sharp metal tip surfaces. This technique is used for material science.
- Atomic force microscope: It is also called AFM. As the name suggests, atomic force microscope is used to image the surface at the atomic level. Using AFM we can scan any surface at very high resolution. We can also study about the friction of the surface using AFM.
APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY:
- Used in construction: Nanotechnology helps is producing more stable and lighter construction materials having self-cleaning properties and anticorrosive resistance. This includes nano machines, military goods, nano rods, nano wires etc.
- Used in healthcare: Using nanoparticles, regenerative medicine is produced. Nanofiber polymers are used in orthopedic applications for preparing artificial organs, and for regeneration of tissue.
- Nanobiotechnology: This is used to prevent serious health issues and treat some diseases in developing countries. Examples of nanobiotechnology are biosensors and biochips.
- Used to save energy: Nanotechnology improved the use of fuel. Because of nanotechnology, we have more energy storage options and energy efficiency increased. For laser applications, nanocrystals are used.
- The environment: Using nanotechnology we can produce environmental friendly industrial products. It is used for water filtration, for disposal of toxic gases, and also to remove dust and other pollutants from underground water.