Photo: Foto 220 (Flickr)
Nanotechnology describes the science of using very small-scale materials, like individual atoms and molecules, to build machines and technologies on incredibly small scales.
Nanotechnology is a new science, and many of its most promising applications in medicine, chemistry, engineering, and electronics are still being developed in labs around the world. In many ways, nano-scale technologies are already among us.
Stain Resistant Clothing
There are companies that use nanotechnology to make clothing that resist dirt, stains, and water. Spill a glass of water on a pair of pants coated with water-resistant nanoparticles, and instead of soaking into the fabric, the water beads and slides right off.
A Germ Killing Dress?
Silver is a natural antibacterial, and on the nanoscale silver’s bacteria killing properties are even more pronounced. A dress containing embedded silver particles can, at least theoretically, kill germs and help prevent colds and other illnesses.
A jacket coated with nanoscale palladium particles can oxidize smog, which could protect the wearer from harmful pollutants in contaminated air. This is just a small sample of the practical ways that nanotechnology can be used. Over the next several decades, it’s a safe bet that this science of the very small will have a big impact on our world.