What is Nanotechnology – Should We Be Worried?

Story Highlights
  • What is Nanotechnology?
  • Who Coined the Term Nanotechnology?
  • What are the Experts Saying About Nanotechnology?
  • Types of Nanotechnology

What is Nanotechnology- Nanotechnology is indeed the near-atomic modification of material to create new structures, materials, and technologies. Many fields, especially medical, consumer goods, energy, minerals, and manufacturing, will benefit from the technology.

Manufactured structures, gadgets, and systems are referred to as nanotechnology. The length of nanoparticles ranges from 1 to 100 nanometers.

Materials begin to exhibit unique features at this size, which affect physical, chemical, and biological behavior. The heart of technological advances is the study, development, and use of these features.

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is an area of study and development that focuses on creating ‘things’ just on atomic and molecular scale, such as substances and gadgets.

One quadrillionth of a meter is a nanometer, which is ten times the size of a hydrogen atom. The size distribution of a human hair is 80,000 nanometers.

The standard rules of physics and chemistry no longer applicable at such scales. The color, strength, conductivity, and reactivity of materials, for example, can alter dramatically between the nanoscale and the macroscale. Carbon “nanotubes” are 100 stronger than steel, but just six times as heavy.

Who Coined the Term Nanotechnology?

Norio Taniguichi of Tokyo Science University invented the phrase in 1974 to characterize semiconductor technologies like thin-film deposition that deal with nanometer-level control.

“Nanotechnology placeholder of the processes of dissociation, condensation, and modification of substances by one atom or one molecule,” he said.

How It Started?

The ideas and concepts behind nanoscience and nanotechnology began with physicist Richard Feynman’s talk “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at an American Physical Association conference at the California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959, long first before term “nanotechnology” was coined.

Feynman presented a method by which scientists may alter and future and make atoms and molecules in his address. Professor Norio Taniguchi created the nanocomposite over a decade later while researching ultraprecision machining.

Modern nanotechnology did not begin until 1981, when the scanning tunneling microscope, which could “see” individual atoms, was developed.

What Can Nanotechnology Do?

Nanotechnology has indeed been touted as possessing the ability to improve fuel efficiency, assist clean up the atmosphere, and solve severe health issues.

It is claimed that it will be able to greatly boost manufacturing capacity at significantly lower costs. Nanotechnology-based products will indeed be smaller, cheaper, lighter, and more useful, and will take less energy and materials and equipment to manufacture, according to proponents of the technology.

What are the Experts Saying About Nanotechnology?

Richard Smalley, a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, spoke to the US House Committee on Science in June 1999 about the advantages of nanotechnology.

“The influence of nanotechnology on mental livelihoods, prosperity, and lives would have been at least overall comparable to the composite members of microelectronics, medical imaging, computer-aided engineering, and man-made polymers produced this century,” he said.

Worker Risks

Workers in companies belonging to nanotechnology may be exposed to specially tailored materials. New sizes, forms, and physical and chemical qualities are all part of this.

The risks to workers’ health linked with making and using nanoparticles are still unknown. There is currently very little knowledge on the most common exposure pathways, possible exposure levels, and materials toxicity of nanomaterials.

Current Research

On a mass-for-mass basis, studies have shown that low solubilization nanoparticles are much more toxic than larger particles. Surface chemistry and particle surface area are good predictors of observed values in cell cultures and animals.

Some nanoparticles have been found to migrate from the circulatory tract to other organs, according to research. The investigation about how these unique features may contribute to specific health consequences is still ongoing.

The Nanoscale – How Small Is Nano?

The nanoscale is defined as a range of dimensions between 1 and 100 nanometers. Check out our metric prefix table with examples and an interactive tutorial to see where ‘Nano’ sits on the scale of things: At a distance of 10 million light years from Earth, you can see the Milky Way.

Then, in ascending levels of magnitude, proceed through space towards the Earth until you reach a tall oak tree.

After that, progress from a leaf’s actual size to a tiny world that displays leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, and DNA, and finally to the subatomic cosmos of electrons and protons.

Why Does Nanotechnology Matter?

At the nanoscale, materials can exhibit unusual physical, chemical, and biological features. The characteristics of single atoms or molecules may differ significantly from those of bulk materials.

Nano components frequently modify the bulk characteristics of materials considerably. Composites built from Nano-sized ceramics or metals with a diameter of less than 100 nanometers can suddenly become substantially stronger than present materials-science models anticipate.

Materials can have differing characteristics at the nanoscale for two reasons:

What is Nanotechnology

Surface Area

First, when compared to the same mass of material generated in a bigger form, nanoparticles have a higher surface area.

This can change the chemical reactivity of materials (in some circumstances, materials that are inert in their larger form become reactive when generated at the nanoscale), as well as their strength and electrical properties.

Quantum Size Effects

Second, in the nanoscale – particularly at the lower end – quantum effects can begin to dominate matter’s behavior, affecting materials’ optical, electrical, and magnetic properties.

The physics of electron characteristics in solids with large particle size reductions is described by this phenomenon.

Going from macro to micro dimensions has no influence on this effect. When the nanoscale size range is reached, however, it becomes dominating.

Fundamental Concepts in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

It’s difficult to comprehend the scale of nanotechnology. A hundred thousandth of a meter, or 10-9 of a meter, is one nanometer. So here are some samples to get you started:

  • In such an inch, there are 25,400,000 nanometers.
  • The thickness of a sheet of newspaper is around 100,000 nanometers.
  • On a scale of one to one, if a marble were a nanometer, the Earth would be one meter in size.

The user can view and future and make subatomic particles is at the heart of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The foods we consume, the garments we wear, the structures and residences we live in, and even our own bodies are all made up of atoms.

An atom, but at the other hand, is too small to be seen with the human eye. In fact, using the microscopes commonly used in high school science classes, it’s hard to observe.

In the early 1980s, the microscopes required to observe things at the nanoscale were developed.

Nanoscale materials have been utilized for centuries, despite the fact that current nanoscience and nanotechnology are relatively new.

Hundreds of years ago, different-sized gold and silver particles generated colors in the stained glass windows of medieval churches.

The artists didn’t realize it at the time, but the procedure they used to make these wonderful works of art caused changes in the composition of the materials they were using.

Types of Nanotechnology

Types of nanotechnology

Descending (top-down)

At the nanometric scale, which ranges from one to 100 nanometers in size, mechanisms and structures are miniaturized. It is the most common to date, particularly in the electronics industry.

Ascending (bottom-up)

You start with a nanometric structure, like as a molecule, and use a mounting or self-assembly process to build a larger mechanism than the one you started with.

Dry nanotechnology

It’s utilized to make structures that don’t work with humidity out of coal, silicon, inorganic materials, metals, and semiconductors.

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Wet nanotechnology

It is based on biological systems found in water, including as genetic material, membranes, enzymes, and other cellular components.

Applications Of Nanotechnology

Applications of Nanotechnology


Carbon nanotubes are now on the verge of displacing silicon as a materials for microchips and gadgets that are smaller, quicker, and more economical, as well as superconducting nanowires that are cheaper, more electrical, and stronger. The features of graphite make it an excellent contender for developing flexible touchscreens.


Solar panels about double the quantity of sunlight transformed to energy are now achievable thanks to a new semiconductor created by Kyoto University. Nanotechnology also reduces costs, generates better strength wind turbines, increases fuel economy, and can save energy due to the temperature insulating of particular nanocomponents.


Some nanomaterials have properties that make them suitable for increasing early diagnostics and therapeutics of neurodegenerative and cancer illnesses. They have always had the ability to target cancer cells exclusively, posing no threat to healthy cells. Some nanoparticles have even been employed to improve pharmaceuticals like sunscreen.


Most of its ecologically responsible applications includes ion evaporates into the atmosphere, nanobubble sewage purification, and death metal nanofiltration systems. Chemical reactions can also benefit from Nano catalysts, which are more efficient and environmentally friendly.


Nano biosensors could have been used to detect infections in food, and nanocomposites could be utilized to improve food production by boosting mechanical and thermal resistance while reducing oxygen transfer in packed items.


Nanotechnology allows for the development of stain- and wrinkle-resistant technical textiles, as well as stronger, lighter, and much more resilient materials for motorcycle helmets and sports equipment.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nanotechnology

The Advantage And Disadvantage Of Nanotechnology


Promoting renewable energies

It opens up new avenues for obtaining and storing energy. It also lowers the cost and improves the efficiency of solar panels.

It extends the limit of Electronics

Unlike silicon microchips, this technology will allow for the construction of extremely precise circuits at the atomic level.

It allows a more effective medicine

Arteries can be unblocked, cells can be targeted, faulty genes can be fixed, and procedures can be conducted faster and more precisely.


It threatens the environment

This technology has the potential to harm the environment by releasing new chemicals and pollutants.

It has an impact on the job market

Obsolete materials and changes in manufacturing techniques may result in the loss of jobs, but this technology may also result in the creation of new ones.

It compromises the safety

The features of this technology may make it easier to espionage Nano weapons and smart bullets.

Nanotechnology in the Future

In the future of nanotechnology, there are indeed bright and gloomy regions. On the one hand, technological advancements, increasing government assistance, greater private investment, and increasing demands for tablets and phones, to name a few factors, are projected to propel the industry forward internationally.

However, the dangers of nanotechnology to the environment, health, and safety, as well as questions about its commercialization, may limit market growth.

In 2024, the nanotechnology industry will be led by the United States, Brazil, and Germany, with major presence in the Top 15 Asian countries, including Japan, China, South Korea, India, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

In a rating that will be led by electronics and energy, the cosmetics sector will climb ranks, stealing third place from the biomedical sector.


Nanotech goods, materials, and applications that are pretty innovative, such as nanorobotics, are years away .

Today, “nanotechnology” refers to basic research and innovation taking place in laboratories all around the world.

Today’s “nanotech” products are mostly incrementally improved (evolutionary nanomaterials) products that use a few really form of based composites material (such as nanotubes, graphene, nanopores structures, or nanoparticles of a specific substance) or nanotech procedure (e.g. nanopatterning or particle physics dots for computed tomography) in the manufacturing process.

Nanotechnology and nanomaterials also raise a slew of environmental, health, and safety concerns.

People May Ask

Q- What is the size of a nanometer?

A- One billionth of a meter is a nanometer. In the international system of weights and measures, the word Nano indicates ‘one billionth,’ or 10-9. Nanometers are abbreviated as nm. Nanos is derived from the Greek word for dwarf.

Q- What makes nanotechnology so unique?

A- In a nutshell, the mechanical principles that govern the nanoworld are vastly different from those that regulate our daily lives in the macroworld. This enables the creation of innovative materials and applications that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

Q- What foods have nanotechnology in them?

A- Candies (M&M’s, Skittles), infant bottles, and plastic storage containers are all examples of food-related goods that use nanotechnology.

Q- What is the best way to get nanoparticles out of your body?

A- Diluting plasma, adding a high-concentration sugar solution to the plasma and spinning it in a centrifuge, or attaching a targeting agent to the surface of the nanoparticles are all traditional ways for removing nanoparticles from plasma samples.

Q- Can nanobots take over your mind?

A- Mind control can now be established using intrusive neurotechnology in the form of brain nanobots that can influence the activity of victim neurons directly, activating or inhibiting them and therefore controlling various bodily processes such as motor functions.

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