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Nanotechnology

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  • April 2013
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1. Nanotechnology can be defined as any process that works at a level of precision of between 1 and 100 nanometres. 2. There are two main approaches to tinker with atoms in nanotechnology. In the "bottom-up" approach, materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular recognition. It is important to note that "bottom-up" nanotechnology is closely associated with developments in genetic engineering and the creation of biocomputers. * In the "top-down" approach, nano-objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level control. Top-down nanotechnology currently far more importantly involves atomic-precision manufacturing using more conventional "large scale" production processes such as those used in making microchips. 3. Potential benefits and drawbacks

* There will be an increasing public concern about nanotech. As reported by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, there are already over 1,000 "manufacturer-identified nanotechnology-based consumer products currently on the market". These include plasma screens with their glass strengthened with carbon nanotubes, tougher car paints, improved golf clubs, more effective sun creams, and OLED displays and longer-lasting batteries for mobile phones. * Compared to 3D printing, nanotechnologies will offer even more control and have the potential to completely transform manufacturing and medicine. * Current manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level and it is like makings things out of lego whilst wearing boxing gloves. In contrast nanotechnology involves ungloved hands individually and precisely assembling each brick (or atom). * Nanotechnology may one day allow us to recycle any supply of atoms into anything else. Yet nanotechnology developments could also present one of our few hopes for emerging from the dawning age of scarcity and “Peak Everything” e.g.: [Re-arranged coal atoms make...