Potential Applications of Nano Technology

Nanoparticles are used in products that are currently available.

  • sports equipment: nanoparticles are added to materials to make them stronger whilst often being lighter. They have been used in tennis rackets, golf clubs and shoes
  • clothing: silver nanoparticles have been added to socks. This stops them from absorbing the smell of sweaty feet as the nanoparticles have antibacterial properties
  • healthcare: nanoparticles are used in sunscreens. They offer protection and can be rubbed in so there are no white marks.
  • solar panel: Imagine a solar panel more efficient than today's best solar panels, but using 10 000 times less material. This is what EPFL researchers expect given recent findings on these tiny filaments called nanowires. Solar technology integrating nanowires could capture large quantities of light and produce energy with incredible efficiency at a much lower cost. This technology is possibly the future for powering microchips and the basis for a new generation of solar panels. Despite their size, nanowires have tremendous potential for energy production. "These nanowires capture much more light than expected," says Anna Fontcuberta i Morral about her research, published on 24 March 2013 in Nature Photonics ("Single-nanowire solar cells beyond the Shockley–Queisser limit"). 

  • flexible LED: Researchers from CNRS have developed a new method to produce flexible electroluminescent diodes (LEDs). This innovation opens the way for a new generation of flexible screens and white bulbs based on nanowire/polymer technology.

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