Nanotechnology – The Science Of It All

Update 6/18/13 NeverWet spray is now available for retail purchase.  

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Nanotechnology refers broadly to a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme is the control of matter on the molecular level in scales smaller than 1 micrometre, normally 1 to 100 nanometers, and the fabrication of devices within that size range. It is a highly multidisciplinary field, drawing from fields such as applied physics, materials science, colloidal science, device physics, supramolecular chemistry, and even mechanical and electrical engineering.

Nanotechnology that “we” (this group) are interested is the application of nanotechnology compounds to fabrics and solid material surfaces to repel liquids. Some of the products are NeverWet, Ultra-Dry, Repel Well, Ceracoat, etc.  We have been watching the NeverWet product by Ross Technologies longer than any other because we all thought that it was coming out near the end of 2012 as a retail spray can that we could all buy from Amazon.com and other online stores. Of course as we all know that did not, and will not happen.

Despite the great promise of numerous nanotechnologies such as quantum dots and nanotubes, real commercial applications have mainly used the advantages of colloidal nanoparticles in bulk form, such as suntan lotion, cosmetics, protective coatings like Repel Well, and stain resistant clothing. Modern synthetic chemistry has reached the point where it is possible to prepare small molecules to almost any structure.  These methods are used today to produce a wide variety of useful chemicals such as pharmaceuticals or commercial polymers.

Some of the applications being used today are providing us all with wonderful benefits.  In the clothing and fabric world, water proofing is being taken to a new level with breathable coatings that allow for air penetration but not liquid.  Our outdoor furniture, with those cushions that keep getting wet, and stay soggy for days, after the rain stops days are gone forever.  Just spray them with Repel Well and voila! No moisture gets inside.

In the solid surface coatings world, the use of treated surfaces with a nanotechnology compound has grown exponentially as it is only limited to our imagination.  Today, countertops, vehicle windshields, foot-wear, house siding, bridges, buildings, and the list goes on!

We thought it interesting to learn a bit more about Nanotechnology and the associated sciences. Some of these are flourishing due to the fairly new Scanning tunneling microscope. The scanning tunneling microscope or STM, was invented in 1981 by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer of IBM’s Zurich Lab in Zurich, Switzerland. It is used to obtain images of conductive surfaces at an atomic scale 2 x 10-10 m or 0.2 nanometre. It can also be used to alter the observed material by manipulating individual atoms, triggering chemical reactions, and creating ions by removing individual electrons from atoms and then reverting them to atoms by replacing the electrons. For more information about the topic Scanning tunneling microscope, read the full article at Wikipedia.org.

Nanorobotics — Nanorobotics is the technology of creating machines or robots at or close to the scale of a nanometre (10-9 metres). More specifically, nanorobotics …  More specifically, nanorobotics refers to the still largely theoretical nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanorobots. Nanorobots (nanobots or nanoids) are typically devices ranging in size from 0.1-10 micrometres and constructed of nanoscale or molecular components. As no artificial non-biological nanorobots have so far been created, they remain a hypothetical concept at this time.

Nanomedicine — Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology and related research. It covers areas such as nanoparticle drug delivery and possible … It covers areas such as nanoparticle drug delivery and possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) and nanovaccinology. For more information about the topicNanomedicine, read the full article at Wikipedia.org,

Nanoparticle — A nanoparticle (or nanopowder or nanocluster or nanocrystal) is a microscopic particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm. Nanoparticle …  

Mechanical engineering — Mechanical engineering is a very broad field of engineering that involves the application of physical principles for analysis, design, manufacturing, …  

Nanowire — A nanowire is a wire of dimensions of the order of a nanometer (10−9 meters). Alternatively, nanowires can be defined as structures that have a …  

Materials science — Materials science is an interdisciplinary field involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering. …  

Quantum dot — A quantum dot is a semiconductor nanostructure that confines the motion of conduction band electrons, valence band holes, or excitons (bound pairs of …  

Metallurgy — Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and of materials engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements and their mixtures, which are called alloys..

Fullerene — The fullerenes, discovered in 1985 by researchers at Rice University, are a family of carbon allotropes named after Buckminster Fuller. They are molecules composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Spherical fullerenes are sometimes called buckyballs, the C60 variant is often compared to a typical white and black soccer football.

Lastly, I have to say that if you fully understand this stuff, you are more advanced than me.  I just wanted to share a bit of what I have been learning.  I will continue to learn and share.

If this was interesting to you, please comment and let me know.

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-Dr BackYard.

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