Studies & Degrees in Nanoscience

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The word nano is derived from the Greek word “nanos” or Latin word “nanus” both words meaning “Dwarf”. Nano is referred to as a unit of measurement, which is one billionth of a meter. So we now have a clear picture that nanoscience is about very tiny things. Nanoscience is the study of atoms, molecules and objects ranging from 1 to 100 nanometers and the manipulation of their biological and chemical structures. Compared to other sciences it is still a new field of study. Nanoscience along with Nanotechnology was recognized as a field of study only in the early 1980's or less than thirty years ago. This was made possible through scientific breakthroughs made at that time and the creation of highly powerful microscopes like scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope. These microscopes allowed scientists to see and “touched” objects at their atomic or molecular level.

Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field. It involves quite a number of fields like computer and earth science, engineering, biology, chemistry and physics. Although nanoscience is still a young field of study, its current applications are already being used in various consumer and industrial products, ranging from computer chips, clothing, disinfectants, household appliances, even sunscreens and cosmetics. Its potential application in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, the environment, building construction and production of goods will greatly affect every aspect of our daily lives.

The current applications however are still quite few. Its many potential applications are still in the research stage and may take years to decades to be ready for use. What are some of these potential applications? In the field of medicine and health care, diseases could be detected earlier through the use of quantum dots. Nanofibers could be use to grow and repair body tissues. Nanopaints on cars are resistant to chipping and scratches. They can also be water and dirt repellant. Nanopaints on buildings could help reduce pollution. Nano particles like titanium dioxide could break down pollutants when exposed to ultra violet lights or the sun. Building materials like steel could be made stronger and lighter with the use of carbon nanotubes. Nano solar cells will be a cheap energy alternative as they could be painted on vehicles, roofs and even clothes!

Graduates of Nanoscience can expect a bright job and career prospect ahead. Companies from around the globe are pushing ahead in creating and developing these nanoscience applications. They need people who could make these potential ideas into a reality. Because Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field, there will be a growing demand and need for scientists and engineers schooled in Nanoscience from various industries like biotechnology, chemical, clothing industry and information technology. Needless to say in the near future virtually all industry sectors will use some form of nanoscience application. Graduates could primarily find work and make a career in research and development, product design or product development. But still one could also choose a different career path like becoming an independent inventor or consultant.