The word “nano” refers to the length scale (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) which is a thousand times smaller than the micro scale, the scale traditionally associated with the electronics industry. Viruses and DNA are examples of natural objects at the nanoscale; on the other hand, a human cell can appear enormous.
The term nanotechnology refers to the engineering, measurement, and understanding of materials and devices at the nanoscale. Manipulating matter atom by atom and creating characteristics at the atomic or “nano” scale is now a proven technology and there is an ever-growing catalog that uses nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is a whole scientific and technical field, largely within materials science and engineering, and not just a single product or even a group of products. As a result, there are many different types of nanotechnology and many applications associated with each type. There are also several other types of nanoscale objects that exist in our environment, both natural and unnatural, such as films and coatings, embedded nanotechnologies, biologically natural, biological nanotechnologies, natural particles, manufactured particles. , nano-electrical mechanical systems.
Building on current applications of nanotechnology in fields as diverse as consumer electronics, medicine, energy, water purification, aerospace, automotive, infrastructure, sporting goods , textiles and agriculture, nanotechnology research underway today will enable entirely new capabilities and products. Nanotechnology is also the basis of the key industries of the future. For example, new architectures and paradigms harnessing nanotechnology are laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), next-generation wireless communications, and advanced manufacturing .
While advances in modern electronics have long been at the nanoscale, new nanomaterials and designs will ensure the continued strength of the semiconductor industry, which powers computing, e-commerce and national security. . Nanotechnology also enables the rapid genomic sequencing and detection needed to advance medicine and biotechnology. Nanotechnology R&D has enabled early detection of emerging diseases and will lead to treatments of the future. Past investments in nanotechnology research and development have provided a basis to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nanotechnology-based applications include vaccines, sensors, masks, filters, and antimicrobial coatings.
Examples of nanotechnology innovations are: a highly sensitive portable gas sensor; nanoparticles taken up by plants to provide nutrients; durable, conductive wires made with MXene; electrodes which incorporate nanoparticles and allow the conversion of sunlight into hydrogen fuel; nano-designed pores in a membrane for water filtration; drug-laden nanoparticles carried by red blood cells; and the world’s first programmable memristor computer, enabling low power AI applications. Advances in nanotechnology are impacting a variety of other sectors, including consumer electronics, aerospace, automotive, infrastructure, sporting goods, and agriculture.
Research infrastructure, including physical and cybernetic resources as well as education and workforce development efforts, is critical to supporting the entire funding ecosystem (National Nanotechnology Initiative ), and agencies will continue to invest in these important areas. Agencies use a wide variety of mechanisms to support research infrastructure, including Center grants, instrument development or acquisition programs, training grants, fellowships, and collaborative programs that support research. workforce development.
The scope and application of nanotechnology is enormous. India’s engineering and science graduates are increasingly opting for nanotechnology. From medicine, pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics, optoelectronics, energy, chemicals, advanced materials to textiles, nanotechnology has its applications. Nanotechnology offers employment opportunities in the health industry; pharmaceutical industry; agricultural industry; environmental industry; the food and beverage industry as well as government and private research institutes.
You have to be passionate about research, especially to discover new structures in the field of nanotechnologies. It is important to have strong analytical skills, as well as a scientific mind. Analytical and interpretation skills are a necessity in this field and also accept failures in experiments as a challenge. Other skills needed are: Good math and computer programming skills; adequate laboratory training for the expert handling of advanced equipment; ability to learn and adopt new techniques; have a systematic working method; a natural propensity for research; keep up with the latest scientific news, research books and magazines; good training in physics, chemistry, medicine, electronics and biotechnology
Many job opportunities and a research career exist in the fields of nano-devices, nano-packaging, nano-wires, nano-tools, nano-biotechnology, nanocrystalline materials, nano- photonics and nanoporous materials to name a few. some. It is estimated that around three million skilled nanotechnology workforce will be needed worldwide by 2021. Many Indian government institutes and industries have focused on nanomaterials. It is also estimated that nanotechnology will create an additional five million jobs worldwide in supporting fields and industries. A professional in the field of nanotechnology can easily find lucrative jobs in most fields.
Nanotechnologies being a particular branch which essentially combines physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and technology, it opens up employment prospects to students specializing in these subjects. Career opportunities in the fields of nanoscale science and technology are developing rapidly as these fields have an increasing impact on many aspects of our daily lives.
A professional in the field of nanotechnology can easily find viable career opportunities in various industries. They may work in nanomedicine, bioinformatics, stem cell development, pharmaceutical companies, and nanotoxicology and energy nanogeneration sectors.
The main areas of application development involving nanotechnology are medical and pharmaceutical, information technology, electronics, magnetism and optoelectronics, energetic chemicals, advanced materials and textiles.
Nanotechnology has various applications in the delivery of drugs to treat cancerous tumors (without using radiation therapy or chemotherapy), solar energy, batteries, display technologies, optoelectronic devices, semiconductor devices , biosensors, light paints and many more. A major challenge in this emerging field is the training of a new generation of qualified professionals.
There are many job opportunities awaiting applicants with MTech in Nanotechnology from India and abroad. Indian industry has focused on nanomaterials and many scientific institutions have initiated research and development activities in this field. The CSIR has set up 38 laboratories across the country to conduct research and development in this area. Holders of a PhD in nanotechnology will have exciting opportunities in the R&D sectors.
It’s a perfect career for those with a scientific bent and a passion for studying and experimenting with the tiniest molecules. Students with a background in science and engineering and even math with a background in physics can pursue a career in nanotechnology. Applicants with MTech in Nanotechnology are in high demand in India and abroad.
(The author is Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Nanotechnology, SRM University)