Nanotechnology: Promises and challenges for tomorrow
Nanotechnology: Promises and challenges for tomorrow Nanotechnology is based on the ability to create and utilize materials, devices and systems through control of the matter at the nanometer scale. If successful, nanotechnology is expected to lead to broad new technological developments. The efficiency of energy conversion can be increased through the use of nanostructured materials with enhanced magnetic, light emission or wear resistant properties. Energy generation using nanostructured photovoltaics or nanocluster driven photocatalysis could fundamentally change the economic viability of renewable energy sources. In addition, the ability to imitate molecular processes found in living organisms may be key to developing highly sensitive and discriminating chemical and biological sensors. Such sensors could greatly expand the range of medical home testing as well as provide new technologies to counter the spread of chemical and biological weapons. Even the production of chemicals and materials could be revolutionized through the development of molecular reactors that can promote low energy chemical pathways for materials synthesis. Although nanotechnologies hold great promise, significant scientific challenges must be addressed before they can convert that promise into a reality. A key challenge in nanoscience is to understand how nano-scale tailoring of materials can lead to novel and enhanced functions. The authors' laboratory, for example, is more »
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