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NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS: A VARIETY OF USES

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Nanotechnology is helping to considerably improve, even revolutionize, many technology and industry sectors: information technology, homeland security, medicine, transportation, energy, food safety, and environmental science, among many others. Described below is a sampling of the rapidly growing list of benefits and applications of nanotechnology.

 

Medicine
Researchers are developing customized nanoparticles the size of molecules that can deliver drugs directly to diseased cells in your body.  When it's perfected, this method should greatly reduce the damage treatment such as chemotherapy does to a patient's healthy cells. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Medicine page to see how nanotechnology is being used in medicine.
Electronics
Nanotechnology holds some answers for how we might increase the capabilities of electronics devices while we reduce their weight and power consumption. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Electronics page to see how nanotechnology is being used in electronics.


Food
Nanotechnology is having an impact on several aspects of food science, from how food is grown to how it is packaged. Companies are developing nanomaterials that will make a difference not only in the taste of food, but also in food safety, and the health benefits that food delivers. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Food page for the details.


Fuel Cells
Nanotechnology is being used to reduce the cost of catalysts used in fuel cells to produce hydrogen ions from fuel such as methanol and to improve the efficiency of membranes used in fuel cells to separate hydrogen ions from other gases such as oxygen. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Fuel Cells page for the details.


Solar Cells
Companies have developed nanotech solar cells that can be manufactured at significantly lower cost than conventional solar cells. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Solar Cells page for the details. 


Batteries
Companies are currently developing batteries using nanomaterials. One such battery will be a good as new after sitting on the shelf for decades. Another battery  can be recharged significantly faster than conventional batteries.  Check our our Nanotechnology Applications in Batteries page for details.


Space
Nanotechnology may hold the key to making space-flight more practical. Advancements in nanomaterials make lightweight spacecraft and a cable for the space elevator possible. By significantly reducing the amount of rocket fuel required, these advances could lower the cost of reaching orbit and traveling in space. Check our Nanotechnology Applications in Space page for details.


Fuels
Nanotechnology can address the shortage of fossil fuels such as diesel and gasoline by making the production of fuels from low grade raw materials economical, increasing the mileage of engines, and making the production of fuels from normal raw materials more efficient. Check our Nanotechnology Applications in Fuels  page for details.


Better Air Quality
Nanotechnology can improve the performance of catalysts used to transform vapors escaping from cars or industrial plants into harmless gasses. That's because catalysts made from nanoparticles have a greater surface area to interact with the reacting chemicals than catalysts made from larger particles. The larger surface area allows more chemicals to interact with the catalyst simultaneously, which makes the catalyst more effective. Check our Nanotechnology and Air Quality page for details.


Cleaner Water
Nanotechnology is being used to develop solutions to three very different problems in water quality. One challenge is the removal of industrial wastes, such as a cleaning solvent called TCE, from groundwater. Nanoparticles can be used to convert the contaminating chemical through a chemical reaction to make it harmless. Studies have shown that this method can be used successfully to reach contaminates dispersed in underground ponds and at much lower cost than methods which require pumping the water out of the ground for treatment. Check out our Nanotechnology and Water Quality page for details.


Chemical Sensors
Nanotechnology can enable sensors to detect very small amounts of chemical vapors. Various types of detecting elements, such as carbon nanotubes, zinc oxide nanowires or palladium nanoparticles can be used in nanotechnology-based sensors. Because of the small size of nanotubes, nanowires, or nanoparticles, a few gas molecules are sufficient to change the electrical properties of the sensing elements. This allows the detection of a very low concentration of chemical vapors. Check out our Nanotechnology Applications in Chemical Sensors page for details.


Sporting Goods
If you're a tennis or golf fan, you'll be glad to hear that even sporting goods has wandered into the nano realm. Current nanotechnology applications in the sports arena include increasing the strength of tennis racquets, filling any imperfections in club shaft materials and reducing the rate at which air leaks from tennis balls. Check out ourNanotechnology Applications in Sporting Goods page for details.


Fabric
Making composite fabric with nano-sized particles or fibers allows improvement of fabric properties without a significant increase in weight, thickness, or stiffness as might have been the case with previously-used  techniques. 

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