Nanotechnology in chemistry: its function and the effect it will have on the environment Essay

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Nanotechnology is a young, growing, and very exciting branch of science which is becoming revolutionary in chemistry. It is the science of manipulating matter on the nanoscale (which ranges from 1 to 100 nanometres, a nanometre is equivalent to a billionth of a metre). This manipulation can result in new and unique materials and products which have the potential to greatly change society. Still in its infancy scientists are not exactly sure of the power of nanotechnology, though it has already and is expected to bring great innovation to the fields of medicine, energy production, storage, pollution reduction and the fabrication of stronger, lighter and more functional materials. These innovations are most easily seen in modern consumer products, where nanotechnology and chemistry combine to bring never before seen goods such as wrinkle and stain proof clothing, nano tennis rackets and balls, and most noticeable of all modern electronics (gaming consoles, cell phones, mp3s, computer chips). To understand how nanotechnology is used in chemistry you must first know what it is, how it works, and how it has evolved over its history. Scientists are currently experimenting with two different techniques for nanotechnology, the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach. In the top- down approach, also known as microfabrication or nanofabrication, technologists begin with a large material and carve out a smaller structure from it. A key advantage of this technique is that there is no assembly because all parts are built and developed in place. An example of this technique is modern computer chips, which are becoming smaller and faster each year. This process is conducted using a combination of optical lithography (functional down to 100 nm) and electron beam lithography (functional down to 20 nm, but more expensive). Scientists continue to experiment to find a more

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