Nanotech – Adam Molinaro

I liked the guest lecture that James Gimzewski was pretty good. I liked the way he approached the presentation. After hearing his accent it was nice to learn a little about the guy before he talked about nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is very new and cutting edge (so new it isn’t in Mozilla’s spell check). I’m a south campus major so I’ve been familiar with the construction and opening of the new building that was opened up this year. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to check out the inside yet but will be looking forward to in the future.

I was particularly interested in the application of nanotechnology. Currently most applications are limited to the use of “first generation” nano materials. These include titanium dioxide nanoparticles in sunscreen, cosmetics and some food products; silver nanoparticles in food packaging, clothing, disinfectants and household appliances; zinc oxide nanoparticles in sunscreens and cosmetics, surface coatings, paints and outdoor furniture varnishes; and cerium oxide nanoparticles as a fuel catalyst. However further applications which require actual manipulation or arrangement of nanoscale components await further research. much of what is sold as “nanotechnology” is in fact a recasting of straightforward materials science, which is leading to a “nanotech industry built solely on selling nanotubes, nanowires, and the like” which will “end up with a few suppliers selling low margin products in huge volumes.”

For the future Short-term issues include the effects that widespread use of nanomaterials would have on human health and the environment. Longer-term concerns center on the implications that new technologies will have for society at large, and whether these could possibly lead to either a post scarcity economy, or alternatively exacerbate the wealth gap between developed and developing nations.

I think that the continuing developments via nanotechnolgy are limitless. Look at what we are able to create with the materials that we have today: computers that can fit on one’s lap, a device like the ipod, i phone, or the microprocessor in your computer. With materials being able to be manipulated on the molecular scale electronics will get even smaller, more advanced, the possibilities are endless. Nanotechnology to me means the ultimate material, a material that we are able to control every aspect, function, and application of.

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