From micro to mega, the world is unimaginably unexplored on both sides of the scale. The minuscule wonders untraceable with the help of normal eye and the unreachable giants located light years away are something we have only started to appreciate. We are truly collecting the pebbles scattered around shore of something which looks like an unending ocean. But in the light of recent technological advances humans have reached a major stepping stone that will help computer structures to be developed on an enormously integrated scale and potent materials with impossible characters and capability to be built. It is called nanotechnology.
Being able to create machineries functioning at the atomic level is a godly quality. Surely it has started to and will be raining equally brilliant results. For example, an essential component of computer circuit such as transistor could be minimized to such an extent that millions of them could be accommodated in a short space. As such the processor could be almost indefinitely speedened. Future versions of nano-materials would also help in preventing obnoxious automobile emissions as well as in the field of cancer treatment and diagnosis. Even the fantastic super light yet super tough materials would be possible to manufacture. The advance would be so shockingly magnificent that it would enable us to insert and direct microscopic robots into the blood vessels ( and maybe even cells) to detect indistinct ailments.
The incredulous microscopic existence of the fundamental particles makes it impossible to visualize it through normal microscope under visible light as it crosses the diffraction limit. Hence alternative techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy to trace the elementary matters. These utilizes much advanced substitute procedures. Next comes the manipulation part. In the context of assembling the molecules into supra molecular structures there is the bottom-up approach which is utilized in the production of the pharmaceuticals and the commercial polymers. It builds the higher level arrangement from the individual atoms and molecules through supramolecular chemistry, configurations favorable to the intermolecular forces. This is the principle used in molecular assembler. Another technique is the top-down method which enables matters in bulk to be brought down smaller in size such that it becomes few nanometers in size through physical methods. The substance will no longer show their ordinary characters but will be deviated from it.
Why does nonmaterial show atypical behavior? To understand it, consider a caged animal. If the boundary of the cage is shortened, the animal would exhibit unprecedented irregular behavior. This also happens in case of matter when its size is reduced. The electrons which previously executed free unobstructed motion find their movement hindered. Therefore the matter shows changed properties. It is a characteristic property of a typical nano material which allows it to show deviated characters. Any such material below the size of 100 nm can be called a nano material due to its abnormal behavior.
The technology has grasped unthought-of and unheard prospects into providing solutions to the most unconquerable problems. Materials which change color and absorb ultraviolet rays are only the start of a bright future. Other possibilities include the capability to direct micro sized probes into human bodies, the ability to contain titanic information in a needle’s tip and hugely advanced technology for climate control. However these possibilities have already started to be realised: ‘super tough and super light’ graphene, micro surgeon probes to diagnose and treat the untraceable cancers, enhanced capacity for storage of information, substances to control harmful gas emission.
These are just foundations and prospect, a fundamental concept to change tomorrow for good. However this is just the beginning for a far away dream to come true. And let’s say for once that it is very plausible to dream.