Career in Nanotechnology

Do you want to embark on a career in Nanotechnology? It is an up and coming industry that is poised to take the world up to another level of technological breakthrough. What exactly is Nanotechnology? A nanometer is 1 billionth of a meter. As a comparison, the human hair is approximately 75,000 nm in thickness.

The United States' National Nanotechnology Initiative website defines it as follows: "Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications."We will not be able to see all the processes with our naked eye. The use of machines to aid one to see what's happening is a basic in this field. This technology combines the knowledge of chemistry, biology and engineering as its primary core research.

Nanotechnology deals with the research and applications of objects that are measured in nm. Any object that we see consists of atoms and molecules joined together by atomic or molecular forces. When one is able to manipulate these atoms individually and putting them together using machines that are in the size of nm, then a product will begin to take shape.

It is just like making a puzzle piece or LEGO of which you can make different shapes of objects by varying the way you place them together. A real life example is that if we take the atoms of coal and rearrange them, we can make a diamond out of it. That is how powerful this technology is.

The challenges of this technology is that one need to develop nano level machines to grab a single atom and move them to another position. Similarly, hugh nano level assembly machines need to be developed to enable the assembly of these atoms and molecules together. It has to be fast because a product can consist of trillions of atoms. This calls for the invention of replicators that will replicate these assembly machines at a fast rate.

Impact Of Nanotechnology To Society

Imagine having this technology replacing all our current goods producing factories. We may even have a few of these nano factories in our home to produce goods for us. It will enable us to build better and longer shelf life product, smarter and safer products for our home at a lower cost compared to the existing manufacturing process. Other areas of impact will be in the areas of medicine, agriculture, transportation, information technology and defense to name a few.

Qualifications and Prospects

Here are some of the basic qualifications needed to go into a career in Nanotechnology. 

  • Bachelor Of Science in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, Molecular Science or related fields.

  • Some Knowledge in Chemistry, Physics, Molecular Science and Technology.

  • Mathematics in particular calculus, differential equations and linear algebra.

  • Quantum mechanics.

  • Thermodynamics.

As the technology continues to mature, more universities and colleges curriculum will begin to cater the syllabus to the needs of the industry.

It is forecasted that the job prospects in Nanotechnology will be like the revolution of the IT industry. Many jobs will be created as this technology mature in the next 20 to 30 years. 

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