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Current and Future Applications of Nanotechnology
Fifty percent of companies on the current Dow Jones stock index are researching or producing products in nanotechnology, according to Jones Day, a legal institution with more than 2,500 lawyers on four continents.
Nanotechnology is likely to become one of the dominant technologies for the 21st century, with its potential applications for medicine, electronics, environmental applications, energy, space, food, consumer products and more. See Nanotechnology Made Clear.
Learn more about applications in nanotechnology for:
See a variety of medical applications in Nanomedicine.
Health, Environment and Energy
National Defense and Homeland Security
Industry and Manufacturing
Wet, Dry, Bottom-Up and Top-Down Nanotechnology
Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology. In the “bottom-up” approach, materials and devices are built from molecular components that assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular recognition.
In the “top-down” approach, objects are constructed on a nanoscale from larger entities without atomic-level control.
“Wet” nanotechnology — the study of biological systems that exist mostly in a water environment — refers to the field in which the nanoscale affects the form, function and evolution of living organisms in areas such as genetic material, membranes, enzymes and other cellular components.
“Dry” nanotechnology — derived from surface science and physical chemistry — focuses on fabrication of structures of inorganic materials such as carbon (nanotubes) and silicon, allowing for the use of metals and semiconductors.