The science of the miniature- nanotechnology, though a relatively new field is fast emerging as the 'favourite of all' kind of technological arena due to its application in almost every field, from medicine to fabrics. 'Nano' in Greek means dwarf and material, when reduced to nanodimension (10-9metre =1namometre) shows drastic changes in Physical, Chemical, magnetic, optical, mechanical and electrical properties. This promises exiting applications in bioscience, medical science, environment, electronics, cosmetics, security and variety of other fields.
Everything on this earth is made up of atoms, which are the smallest particles. The properties of everything are determined by the arrangement of the atoms. Thus, if atoms in coal are rearranged, we can get diamond. At present, though scientists are able to move molecules and atoms in a mass yet they are still not able to precisely manipulate them. But in future, nanotechnology will allow as redesign easily and create what we want exactly. Further, nanomaterials would be very light, strong, transparent, and totally different from bulk material because they are a thousand times smaller than the diameter of human hair, which is around 60 microns.
The scope and application of nanotechnology is tremendous and mind-boggling. According to the scientists, 21st century would be the nanotechnology century. It is estimated that nanotechnology would revolutionize every area, be it medicine, aerospace, engineering, various industrial and technological areas, health or any other field. Nanobiotechnology can make tiny medical devices and sensors with fantastic military and civilian use. Converting sunlight into power, targeting a drug to a single malignant cell, cleaning ponds and creating sensors in the form of biochip, to be interested in the human body are some of the important landmark breakthroughs of nanotechnology. The technology has the potential to produce garments which can block chemical and biological weapons from touching the skin of a person.
Nanotechnology has many more applications. It can help detect narcotics and fingerprints of suspects in crimes. The technology can make canonized robots and repair damaged and diseased tissues. Nanobots may be made from carbon nanotubes to carry out functions like human beings. Nano- coatings are transparent, scratch- resistant and dirt repellent. Thus, it is estimated that there will be no sector of industry which will not use nanotechnology in future.
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary subject which essentially combines Physics, Chemistry, Bio- informatics
Bio- technology, etc. Though the field is at present in infancy stage (started some 16 years ago in India), the country is making dedicated efforts not to lag behind after starting work in this field. As a result, there is a great demand for students who do their M. Tech in nanotechnology because a large number of industries and laboratories in India and overseas would lab them up. There are many exciting new fields which will open up for the nanotechnology experts including-
- Health Industry research and consulting- pharmaceutical, medical, agriculture, food and beverage, environment industries.
- Research and development in government, universities and private research institutes
- Education and academic
- Entrepreneurial, management and investment advisors in biotechnology and research and development industry.
- Product development and advising.
- Communication and media, interfacing of new technologies.
- Many new industries emerging as a result of advances in nanotechnology
To become a successful professional in the specified field of nanotechnology, it is important that you should have an M. Tech degree in the subject. To get into an M. Tech course, you should have a degree in Physics, Chemistry or Biotechnology. The M. Tech course is of great benefit because students who come from different streams enrich each other to intensify their knowledge.
There are many institutions which have started courses in nanotechnology;
- Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore;
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore;
- National Physical Laboratory, Delhi;
- Solid State Physics Laboratory, Delhi;
- National Chemical Laboratory, Pune;
- Central Scientific Instruments Organization, Chandigarh;
- Defence Materials Store Research & Development Organizations, kanpur
- Indian Institutes of Technology at Kanpur, Chennai, Guwahati, Delhi and Mumbai.
In addition, the Delhi and Benaras Hindu Universities (Varanasi) are also conducting research in nanotechnology.
It is important to note here that although these institutions are focusing on research, there is no institute exclusively providing courses in nanotechnology.
In private sector also, there is one institute, Amity Institute of nanotechnology, Noida, which offers a two- year M. Tech degree programme. The education provided is comprehensive. Students are provided the opportunity to
Get trained at reputed institutes like Solid State Physics Laboratory, National Physical Laboratory, Delhi University, Indian Institute of Technology and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, etc.
Anticipating huge gains in future, countries like USA, UK, Japan, China, Germany and France have invested a lot of funds and have also focused programme at the national level. The USA, under its National Initiatives in Nanotechnology, is planning to invest $1 trillion by 2015. The Indian Government has started a scheme "S&T
Initiatives in Nanotechnology" with a starting capital fund of Rs. 100 crore for five years.
There is a growing demand for nanotechnology, you will start with a monthly salary of Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000. The further rise is manifold and perks could be much more.