- What is nanotechnology?
- Nanotechnology in vaccines
- Nanotechnology in the fight against climate change
- Your career in nanotechnology
GoStudent plays host to a wonderful network of tutors who are experts in their field. In our GoStudent Expert series, you’ll find tips, guides and information from some of our very own GoStudent tutors. Find out what our learning experts have to say right here...
GoStudent Expert Evelyn's Guide to Nanotechnology
Although nanotechnology is extremely small, it has an extremely big effect on our daily lives. Nanotechnology has various applications. Right now, it’s a key ingredient of the current Covid-19 vaccines.
Nanotechnology is also being used to produce solutions to alleviate the effects of climate change. 🌏
Nanotechnology is a fast-expanding field that you will definitely study at school in your GCSE Science lessons, and maybe even spend your career in.
Keep on reading to learn more about the cutting-edge developments and opportunities in this new industry.
What is nanotechnology? 🤔
Nanotechnology is the materials science involving the manipulation and manufacture of materials and devices on the scale of nanometers (billionths of a metre). These materials are called ‘nanoparticles’.
Nanotechnology in vaccines
Nanoparticles are a vital component of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. They play a key role in protecting and transporting the mRNA effectively to the right place in cells.
Nanoparticles are also extensively used in other medical fields. They have been used to develop drugs that are:
- Used in gene therapies
Nanotechnology in the fight against climate change
Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the world today, with nearly 60% of young people claiming that they are extremely worried about climate change. “The destruction of the planet is personal,” states one 16-year old.
Climate change means that the world's temperature can increase by 1.5–2 °C within 40–50 years.
If this trend continues, the Earth will be unfit to live on in the next century. 🤯
Scientists across the globe are developing nanomaterials that can efficiently combat pollution, which is a major driver of climate change:
- To help slow the climate-changing rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, researchers have developed nanoCO2 harvesters that can suck atmospheric carbon dioxide out of the air
- Most toxic dyes used in textile and leather industries can be captured with nanoparticles
- Nanomaterials can also be used to clean up oil spills
- Nanoparticles are used in organic waste management, which can pollute land and water if not handled properly
- Nanotechnology can be interwoven into clothes, making the clothes perpetually clean and antibacterial.This reduces the need to wash clothes, thereby reducing the resources used when washing clothes as well as the pollution emitted by a washing machine
- Nanocomposites can be used in manufacturing lightweight materials for transportation, reducing the usage of conventional fossil fuels ⛽
- Nano-based lubricants and nanocoatings significantly reduce the friction and wear in engines and cut down the consumption of fuel, thereby lowering the emission of carbon dioxide
Your career in Nanotechnology
As you can see, nanotechnology is a growing field, with new and important applications being discovered every day, such as the Covid-19 vaccine. 💹
As a result, the global nanotechnology market size was valued at $1.76 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $33.63 billion by 2030. 🤑
If you go on to work in the nanotechnology industry, you’ll manipulate matter on the nanoscale to develop new materials, equipment, drugs or diagnostic tools.
You’ll need a PhD in nanotechnology to get this job. Therefore, if you want to enter this exciting field, studying nanotechnology at school during science lessons is important. 🧪
The starting salary for these positions is usually around £35,000. Larger companies typically offer higher salaries of up to £60,000 and beyond. There is also potential for you to invent your own nanotechnology, which could make you a billionaire!
Nanotechnologists are typically employed in:
- Universities and research institutions
- Government and private laboratories
- Hospitals and clinics
Your can work in a range of exciting and rewarding sectors such as:
- Aviation and aerospace engineering companies
- Defence companies
- Electronics manufacturers
- Health and cosmetics companies
- Food and drink manufacturers
🙌 Case study: Nanotechnology company turns Professor Shi Xu into a billionaire
Dr Shi, 56, founded Nanofilm in 1999 with US $300,000. Nanofilm provides nanotechnology solutions for smartphones and other electronics.
It started as a tech start-up spun off from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, where he worked as an associate professor. As NTU decided to create a company to commercialise the technology, the school asked him to lead it. 🎓
Dr Shi's fortune, mainly made up of the 53 per cent Nanofilm stake he holds with his wife, has surged to almost US$880 million (S$1.2 billion), according to Forbes.
Since nanotechnology is a relatively new field, there is a higher chance that you’ll be able to set up your own very successful company in the nanotechnology industry. ⭐
As you can see, nanotechnology is a profitable field that can combat the problems facing young people today, such as Covid-19, as well as problems you’ll face in the future, such as climate change.🌳
As a nanotechnologist, you may even save the world during your career! If you’re struggling with science at school, you can book extra lessons with Gostudent. Our expert tutors can help you understand nanotechnology or any other areas of science that you might need support with. Book a free trial lesson today!