Nanotech by Sagar Mehta 1C

The ability of the scientists who work in the field of nanotechnology to develop atomic sized that can be used in virtually every modern field is incredible. When I first came to the class my knowledge of the current state of nanotech was limited to what was considered science fiction. The usual robot that is small enough to travel through the body and the like, I had no idea that there were so many obstacles that needed to be ironed out. The lecture by professor Gimzewski really opened by mind to how we are currently approaching the problems in a completely different fashion and in a bottom up view. The whole concept of the nanotubes, as well, is a very mind boggling concept that has so many different applications in tomorrow’s world, something that we have been steadily approaching faster and faster.

The expansive work being done in this field should have the biggest impact on the computer industry. Since everything we use from our ipods to computers to phones to basically anything that has a chip inside is becoming smaller and smaller, engineers are have a difficult time trying to create silicon chips that can cope with and survive our withering need for smaller diveices with more power and storage. http://nanotechnologytoday.blogspot.com/2007/10/computer-memory-in-nanoscale-retrieves.html This is where UPenn engineers come in. They have developed preliminary computer memory that is much smaller than current tech allows for. By using bottom up methods that allow them to form components atomically instead of through chemical reactions they can achieve efficiency only dreamed of and speeds never thought of.

Another major quickly advancing application of nanotechnology is the biotech and medicine field. Aside from the traditional nanobot that can heal anything we are increasingly seeing more use of the buckyball, a carbon-60 molecule with a wide variety of applications. I first came to know about this unique molecule while in my organic chemistry class in high school and the things i learned were its basic chemical composition, shape, you know the boring stuff. It was only here that I discovered that such a complicated molecule was not just a molecule it could be so much more and has had such a profound impact on current biotechnology. Another intriguing possibility of nanotech and biotech together is the use of the DNA molecule to create miniature robots. The idea is to use the ability of either DNA or RNA which can self replicate to also contain the information to dictate where certain atoms go to produce bots just like organic DNA produces cells.

While my understanding of the technical specifications of nanotechnology is close to none, I hopelfully will be able to use it in the future. As a biochemistry major the applications of such a technology is quite captivating and is where the future will be.

Sagar Mehta

1C

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