“Coal and diamonds, sand and computer chips, cancer and healthy tissue: throughout history, variations in the arrangement of atoms have distinguished the cheap from the cherished, the diseased from the healthy“.
This is how “The Engines of Creation”, the book by K. Eric Drexler begins. It speaks of how nanotechnology can perfection any process of manufacture in a superlative degree, or any surgical operation going far beyond what is expected as well beyond, any task to develop as it could be the domestic cleaning.
If it is certain that nanotechnology already is moving ahead and that important advances take place every day, but it still seems very far away of the day where it would be fully incorporated in our daily life. Until it is not possible to take it to the field commercial applications and production in large series and critical mass scale, it will not be able to really help the human being in taking its next evolutionary step. Even though, at the laboratories, incredible experiments have been performed, and amazing devices from materials of unheard-of characteristics have been constructed, it is not sufficient and the definitive step is still missing: to take all that knowledge and apply it to the industrial field.
In the universities and research centers one works for the development of new materials from nano-metrics structures and their applications in diverse areas: super-condensers and batteries to store energy from clean origins, surgical special instruments, and material sources of high resistance for civil and aeronautical structures, as well as devices for gas storage or treatment of fluid…
The study of nano-technological processes will bring the pocket supercomputers of great calculation capacity and enormous possibilities unsought-of today, based on the quantum mechanics. With which, the electronics and the study of the quantum processes in these structures simultaneously must be developed for the industry of the nano-structures, to be able to arrive at defined and concrete hardware. This will make it even more complex. And it is not necessary to go all the way to excessively complex technological things, because the nanotechnology can be useful in very simple things like for instance clothes articles with self-cleaning new materials when exposed to sun light. Or we can fin nanotech applications in sports, like golf or the cycling.
The basic and technological Research phases are advancing at great speed, but now the challenge is in the development of profitable processes of manufacture and access to public and private financing. There are countries in which the policies in favor of advancing the state of the art technology are contributing significantly and this is already noticeable, for there is blossoming of new companies that offer products whose process of manufacture include nanotech elements or treatments.