Nanotechnology, with its vast potential is revolutionizing our world. As the name suggests, it involves working with structures of the size as small as 1 to 100 nanometers. It includes imaging, modeling and maneuvering of matter at this length scale. Being an emerging diversity of technologies, it is opening up various avenues for scientists to come up with various energy efficient discoveries. As the world is experiencing a surge in nanotechnology, it is assisting in combating climate change, producing renewable energy and developing effective medical treatments.
Let me run you through range of various innovative ideas backed by nanotechnology.
Super thin battery
Company: Front-Edge Technology
Concept: Backed by Thin-film nanotechnology, super thin battery is capable of generating power up to 10-20 times more than regular batteries. Boasting of merely 200 microns thickness, it is thinner than a sheet of paper. It consists of lithium phosphorus oxynitride (LiPON) that imparts it with its flexible quality and increased storage capacity. In addition, it gets charged up to 80% in just 15 minutes.
Power Shirt Generates Electricity from Physical Motion
University: Georgia institute of technology
Researcher: Zhong Lin Wang
Concept: Power shirt generates electricity enough to power small electric devices. Its interwoven textile fibers and nanowires make use of piezoelectric effect. Nanowires generate electric potential in response to mechanical stress generated by the wearer’s body movements. Researchers are of the belief that these fibers can be interwoven in curtains, tents etc to capture energy from wind and sound vibrations. An output voltage of about four mill volts has been calculated, which is expected to increase with improved design. Whether the shirt is washable or not is the only concern, though the idea seems to be very progressive.
Nanotech solar panels
University: Oregon State University and Portland State University
Concept: Researches have used single celled marine life forms called diatoms to create nanotech-backed solar cells. Rigid shells of diatoms are attached to conductive glass creating a grid into which a soluble titanium dioxide is fed. Through dye-sensitized technology photons in the film bounce around striking dyes and producing electricity.
IIT uses nanotech for cheap textile wastewater cleanup
University: Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Invention: IIT have invented a nanocomposite adsorbent that can treat waste water from industries. Cost effective adsorbents are made up of 90 percent graphite and 10 percent carbon nanotubes. Only water molecules pass through carbon nanotubes leaving viruses, bacteria, toxic metal ions out. It is an effective discovery for removing dye molecules and odors from factory wastes.
Virus used to make nanoparticles
Institute: John Innes Centre
Location: UK, Norwich
Concept: By making use of mosaic virus that infects black-eyed pea, scientists have succeeded in creating electronically active nanoparticles. Researchers attached approximately 240 iron-containing compounds to amino acids present on the surface of the isolated virus. With the addition of compounds, nanoparticles became like molecular capacitor, capable of storing electronic charge. According to researchers, nanoparticles have great future prospects in the creation of tiny electrical devices.