Companies unveil game-changing innovations that improve your way of life yearly. How do they invent these technologies? Many researchers use nanotechnology to increase precision and efficiency with existing devices.
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Nanotechnology is integral for medicine, agriculture, space exploration and numerous other fields. How are researchers using it in these sectors? Here are six fascinating uses of nanotechnology in 2023.
The past three years have seen a semiconductor shortage, harming the automotive industry and other critical sectors. Experts predict the shortfall will last through 2023 and remain into 2024, causing car prices to soar above their typical value. Researchers are using nanotechnology to alleviate the pain.
Nanotechnology has made semiconductors smaller and more powerful. Modern practices can produce nanometer-sized transistors inside the semiconductor, allowing for higher transistor density within the chip. Manufacturers have also used nanotechnology to improve semiconductors’ memory and energy efficiency. Nanotechnology will be critical in speeding up production and mitigating supply chain issues.
2. Drug Delivery
Medical professionals rely on drugs to target the correct cells and tissues within the body when treating illness. Most of the time, the human body correctly breaks down the medicine. However, medications often come with unwanted side effects for the patient. How can doctors increase the effectiveness of these drugs?
The answer could come with nanotechnology. Researchers are using nanotechnology to improve drug delivery and increase efficiency. For example, you can coat nanoparticles with molecules that bind to cancer cells. When you administer medicine, the drug can target tumors directly.
A 2021 Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology (JDDST) study examines nanotechnology’s therapeutic potential in medical science. The researchers conclude nanoparticles are simple and successful in delivering and discovering drugs. However, more research is necessary to ensure their toxicity is not harmful. Nanotechnology will be critical in treating diseases and helping people live longer and healthier lives.
Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and Mother’s Day all have one thing in common — they’re popular holidays to give flowers. Your mom or significant other may like roses or lilies. Regardless, flowers have a shelf life. For example, roses last about seven days in a vase. Carnations can last two or three weeks. Can nanotechnology extend their lives?
Researchers have experimented with silver nanotechnology to help flowers. It has antibacterial properties, helping cut flowers last longer by reducing their risk of bacterial growth.
An Iranian study examines silver nanotechnology’s effectiveness on cut lilies. The researchers found the flowers at 35 parts per million (ppm) lasted twice as long as the plants in the control group. Nanotechnology will help the future of agriculture by remedying diseases and assisting growth.
4. Electric Vehicle Batteries
Modern car buyers shop for electric vehicles (EVs) because they have a low environmental impact. EV owners boast minimal tailpipe emissions and noise pollution. However, the range is an issue with the batteries. The average EV has a 234-mile range, making road trips more complicated if there are limited charging opportunities.
Researchers are using nanotechnology to improve EV batteries and make them more efficient. Your EV has a lithium-ion battery. Adding nanoparticles to the electrodes enhances the battery’s conductivity and capacity.
Nanoparticles are also lightweight. Automakers can use carbon nanotubes and graphene to construct EVs, making them lighter and more efficient. Nanotechnology will make EVs more reliable for the public and reduce human environmental impact.
5. Solar Panels
Renewable energy has become a greater focus for scientists and consumers. Climate change effects loom, causing people to look for more environmentally friendly options, such as solar panels. These systems use photovoltaic cells to harness the sun’s energy and produce power for your home. How can you make solar panels stronger?
Researchers use nanomaterials like quantum dots and nanowires to help solar panels absorb light. Adding nanomaterials to the panel’s surface reduces the light reflected into the air. Internal nanomaterials help the device convert sunlight into electricity by separating positive and negative charges.
Scientists will use nanotechnology to increase solar panels’ effectiveness and make homes more energy-efficient. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says buildings account for one-third of the world’s CO2 emissions. Nanotechnology will be necessary for lowering humans’ carbon footprint.
6. Food Packaging
Fresh meat, fruits and vegetables are integral to healthy diets. However, they can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Manufacturers can also malfunction with the packaging, wasting money for the consumer and reducing the company’s credibility. Nanotechnology could improve food packaging and boost its shelf life.
Manufacturers have explored using nanoparticles with packaging materials to protect food from oxygen, moisture and other contaminants that can accelerate spoiling. For example, fruits and vegetables ripen faster due to ethylene. Nanoparticles in packaging materials can absorb ethylene and keep food fresh for longer when it arrives at the store.
Nanotechnology will be vital in reducing waste and improving the agricultural supply chain. Americans throw away nearly 40% of their food — equivalent to about 119 billion pounds annually. Improving freshness will increase accessibility to healthier food, promote better lifestyles and reduce waste.
Using Nanotechnology for Enormous Progress
Many underestimate a nanometer’s size, which is one billionth of a meter. Nanoparticles are tiny, but they have a significant role in modern technology. Researchers are using nanotechnology to advance numerous industries and improve human life. The automotive, medical, agriculture and other sectors employ nanoparticles to make the technology safer and more accessible for all.
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