The Future of Nanotechnology – This Varied and Diverse Field Has Many Applications and Uses to Improve Life

Visions of nanomachines that
can replicate themselves and devour the earth are things for science fiction
movies. In reality the idea and theory of radical nanotechnology could possibly pose great benefits to the future of our society. Nanotechnology has slowly
been gaining popularity in popular culture and the scientific community. Although
nanotechnology has numerous potential for positive impacts on society,
scientists are discouraged by the misrepresentation of nanotechnology and its
possibilities in science fiction works.

The view that is held by some followers of
the more science fiction notion attached to nanotechnology is that of tiny
robotic machines that somehow infiltrate our bodies and attack us, or other
such crazy notions. Scientists argue that the good that could come
out of the implementation of nanotechnology is abundant and hopefully the rest
of the skeptics will begin to see the positive benefits of using nanotechnology
to help develop things to improve our lives. Even things like stain-resistant clothing and
better acting sunscreens can all be credited to nanotechnology.

The definitions of nanotechnology are very
broad in scope, which could be part of the reason for some skepticism about the
field. It is assumed that any kind of technology that results from the ability
to manipulate and change any kind of matter on these kinds of scales must be
nanotechnology. However, many success stories that are attributed to nanotechnology
are really just results of lengthy research and study in fields such as colloid
science.

Because of the confusion surrounding the
definition of nanotechnology, scientists have began to define different parts
of nanotechnology to create more specific definitions. Incremental
nanotechnology involves the ability to improve certain properties of materials
by being able to control their structure on a nano-scale. One example would be
plastics. Plastics can be reinforced using particles of clay on a nano-scale which
makes them stronger and more resistant to chemicals. Also, cosmetics can be
made using different ways to formulate the oily phase and make it more easily
dispersed on the skin, therefore leading to the improved feel and look of the
skin after the cosmetic is applied. Although these are good examples of
incremental nanotechnology, they are not fully representative of nanotechnology
in its broadest sense.

Both examples are ways incremental
nanotechnology works but in terms of a decisive new science, they are more of a
product of sophistication and improvements in the methods of the science
already being used then a new one altogether.