What is Nanotechnology?
The technical definition of Nanotechnology is the manipulation of atoms and molecules to produce a more significant product. The manipulation of atoms is done at a scale of 1 to 100 nanometers. But is it Physics, Chemistry, or Biology? It is actually an amalgamation of all three.
In layman’s term, nanotechnology is the study of atoms and how they interact. Pick any object around you, your smartphone or even your T-shirt. Now think about what it does well and what it doesn’t do well. Your shirt, for instance, makes you look great but if you wear your T-shirt on a hot summer day or while working out, the sweat will be visible on the shirt, but if its atoms are manipulated, you can produce a material which is sweatproof. Everything good or bad depends on the individual atoms. Nanotechnology helps understanding what is happening on the nanoscale.
Applications of Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is used in almost every industry but the main application of nanotechnology is in:
- Aerospace and defence
- Food and drinks
- Consumer goods
- Life sciences
Graduate Programmes in Nanotechnology
The UK currently invests over £650m into Nanotechnology research, with the following universities receiving much of the funding which funnels through to their programmes.
- University of Cambridge (£27m funding) – Master in Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise
- Imperial College London (£19m) – MRes in Nanomaterials
- University of Oxford (£37m) – MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Health Care
- University of Manchester (£8m) – Nanostructured Materials MSc by Research
- University of Sheffield (£21m) – MSc Nanomaterials and Material Science and MSc Nanoscale Science and Technology
- University of Southampton (£7.5m) – M.Sc. Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology
- University of Glasgow (£8m) – MSc Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
- University of Surrey (£11m) – MSc in Nanotechnology and Nanoelectronic Devices
Funding information is based on data available from 2008.