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View Poll Results: Do you think nanomaterials are just a hype?

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  • Yes, they will never meet expectations.

    0 0%
  • No, the breakthrough application is near.

    2 100.00%
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Thread: Nano-materials: are they just a hype?

  1. #1 Nano-materials: are they just a hype? 
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    In early 80's research started on carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials. Nanotechnology was born! Especially the last 10 years or so, you could not read a scientific journal or a newspaper, without being presented another amazing potental application of these materials that would really change the world.

    However, until now, almost 30 years after research started, I do not now of any such application in a commercial product, apart from some bulk applications to (slightly) improve material properties.

    Somehow, it seems that to me that they got stuck in the "very promising" stadium. It might be that the breakthrough application is just around the corner, and I sure hope it is, after all the millions or billions of dollars spent on their research. Am I just too impatient or pessimistic? What do you think?


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  3. #2  
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    Try reading Nanotechnology by William Illsey Atkinson.

    There have been a stunning number of breakthroughs in nanotechnology, not least a hydrophilic device that allows water vapour to condense around it; the patent for this invention, however, is owned by the Department of Defense, despite being developed by Sciperio, a private firm, in whom the Department has heavily invested in. The invention has the capability to solve the water crisis; DARPA, however, the unit of the Department which invested in it, has other plans for it, which explains why you haven't heard of it yet.

    I haven't read the book in quite some time, however, so if you really want a few more examples, you may have to wait a while; the example above is one of the more outstanding applications of nanotechnology.

    Carbon nanotubes are one of the more prominent examples of nanotechnology, being lighter and stronger than steel.


    In control lies inordinate freedom; in freedom lies inordinate control.
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  4. #3  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    I agree with liongold: nanotechnology has already delivered.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks Liongold. Well, what I want are not more examples of possible revolutionary applications, I know enough of those. What I would like are examples of commercially available products that actually use these materials. As I said before, the only real application I know of, at this moment, are bulk additives to (slightly) improve material characteristics. So nothing fancy.
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