Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating and controlling matter at the atomic, molecular, and supramolecular level. The microscopic matter has a dimension between 1 to 100 nanometres. One nanometre is a billionth of a metre. While nanotechnology is still in its infancy, hundreds of products that were designed and manufactured with nanotechnology are publicly available. They range from golf balls with nanomaterials that enable them to fly straighter to cars built with nanomaterials that enable them to run on less fuel.
The area of biggest potential for nanotechnology is in medical science. Gene therapy, the transplanation of normal genes into cells to replace missing or defective ones to correct genetic disorders, involves nanotechnology. Approximately 4,000 diseases have a genetic component and are potential targets for gene therapy. While there are many potential benefits of nanotechnology, an area of concern is the impact of using nanomaterials on human health and the environment.
The global nanotechnology market has been forecast to reach $90.5 billion by 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 18.2%.
Advanced materials are superior to traditional materials in a number of possible ways. For example, advanced materials can be stronger, more durable, more water-resistant, more elastic, or lighter than traditional materials. Advanced materials therefore outperform traditional ones. Like nanotechnology, creation of advanced materials involves manipulating and controlling atoms and molecules.
Academia is heavily involved in research of nanotechnology, advanced materials, and related materials such as polymers.