In the previous blog we saw some unique applications of Nanotechnology in Medicine, Electronics, Food, Energy and Environment. In this blog we will go through some more applications of Nanotechnology in other domains and how it has improvised traditional methods that have proved to be beneficial.
List of Applications of Nanotechnology
1. Fabric –
Nano-sized particles has allowed us to improve the properties of the fabric without altering the weight, thickness or stiffness, unlike the previously-used techniques. For example nano whiskers when combined with fabric can be used to make pants which would be lightweight, and water and stain repellant. List of the current and future applications in this domain are –
- Current – Nanowhiskers are used to make material water and stain resistant. Silver nanoparticles are combined with fabric to make it clothing odor-resistant and also kills bacteria. Nanoparticles have been developed in order to give the fabric “lotus plat” effect so that it could rinse off the dirt in the rain.
- Future – Research is being done to make solar cell fabric using Konarka’s Power Fiber. Some other varieties of clothing material plans also include piezoelectric fibres (that could generate electricity through normal motions), fabric composed of proteins, fabric protective against hazardous chemicals etc.
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2. Sporting Goods –
A surprising news for all the tennis and golf fans, nanotechnology has improved the sporting goods of your games. Some of the current usage of the nanotechnology in the sports arena include –
- Nanotubes have been added to the frames of tennis racquets in order to increase its strength, which in turn increases control and power when you hit the ball.
- It has increased the longevity of the tennis ball by decreasing the rate at which air leaks from the ball.
- Nanoparticles have improved the uniformity of the club shaft materials, hence improving the swing of the shaft.
- Using the Silica Nanoparticles the fishing rods could be strengthened without increasing the weight of the rod. The nanoparticles fill in the spaces between carbon fibres.
3. Chemical And Biological Sensors –
The biggest advantage nanotechnology has given to sensors is minimizing their sizes which has increased their usability in the complex environments. Carbon nanotubes, zinc oxide nanowires or palladium nanoparticles are the various detecting elements which can be used in nanotechnology-based sensors. Some of the projects under development –
- Sensor is being developed which is made up of zinc oxide nanowire and carbon nanotubes which would be able to detect a range of chemical vapors.
- Sensors for detecting volatile organic compounds could be developed by using a layer of gold nanoparticles on a polymer film.
- For incorporating sensors in Cell Phones, they could be developed by using nanoporous silicon detection elements. With this a widespread network of sensors to detect chemical gas leaks could be developed.
- Researchers at the Technische have demonstrated a method of developing low cost sensors, by spraying the carbon nanotubes onto flexible plastic surfaces to make them act like sensors. With this technique we could convert the surfaces to act as sensors like plastic film wrapping food to make it detect if the food is spoiled.
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4. Space Applications –
Nanotechnology has introduced many advanced nanomaterials which could be used to make lightweight solar sails and a cable for the space elevators. There are many projects under development to improve the space missions –
- Researches are going on Carbon nanotubes to make the cable needed for building the space elevators, which would eventually reduce the cost of sending the materials to orbits.
- Researches are being done to build spaceships using the carbon nanotubes to reduce the weight of spaceships.
- Scientists are working on nanosensors that will monitor the levels of trace chemicals in spaceships and will also help in monitoring the life support systems in spacecraft.
5. Fuel Cells –
The fuel cells which are used across the world have catalysts like, hydrogen, methanol or Platinum to produce hydrogen ions and to make them function. With the advent of nanotechnology companies have started using the nanoparticles of platinum or other materials to reduce the cost. Some other applications of nanotechnology are:
- All fuel cells comprises of a membrane which is permeable only for hydrogen ions and not for any other atoms or ions. By using nanotechnology companies can create more efficient membranes which will be lighter in weight and long lasting.
- Researchers at Brookhaven National Lab are performing experiments to develop a “Nanoplate” catalyst using platinum and lead which will have characteristics like a high level of oxygen reduction and a long lifetime.
- Brown University Researchers are trying to develop the catalyst with no platinum. The catalyst will be made from a sheet of graphene coated with cobalt nanoparticle. They claim that if this will be used in cells instead of platinum the prices would go down drastically.
- Researchers at Stony Brook University have demonstrated a unique method of generating hydrogen from water which makes use of gold nanoparticles and solar energy. They observed that nanoparticles containing less than a dozen gold atoms could work as an effective photocatalyst for generating hydrogen.
Being a comparatively new technology in the tech world, Nanotechnology has proved its infinite potentials to rule the Tech world. It has revolutionised other technologies by combining with them. By combining with other technologies it has given products that are more efficient, less expensive and more environment friendly than their previous versions. But this is not all of it. Researches and experiments are still going on. Innumerable projects are under development all aiming to give a new and a better future which would keep us more healthy and will have abundant of energy.