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Everyday Nanotechnology

On The Market

If there were a department store devoted exclusively to nanotech products, it would sell an astonishingly eclectic range of goods. From Tommy Hilfiger to 3M, companies are taking advantage of nanotechnology products and processes.

In the clothing department, you would find stain-resistant jeans, footwarmers for boots, and jackets studded with nanoparticles to reduce static cling. The sporting goods department would be quite extensive, featuring golf balls and clubs, baseball bats, tennis rackets, and soccer balls. The cosmetics department would offer a wide range of choices, such as sunscreens, makeup, and skin creams, including Fullerene C-60 face cream, which incorporates buckyballs. (L'Oréal, a cosmetics company, holds the third-highest number of nanotechnology-related patents of any company.) In the building materials department, you could find dirt-resistant glass and extra-durable paint. The automotive section would include tires made of improved rubber and components of car models, like the exterior panel of the Chevy Impala. There would even be a section for foods, containing items such as healthier canola oil. The jewelry department would display man-made diamonds, which also have great potential in industrial applications. This is only a small sampling of products that stem from nanotechnology.

Progress in this field has not yet revolutionized any industries or markets. Most commercial nanotech-based goods are improved versions of existing products. Regardless of whether a nanotech revolution does transform any industries, this trend will continue. In the interest of remaining competitive, companies will take advantage of improvements made possible by nanotechnology. In the coming years, we will see more and more familiar products enhanced by this branch of science.

This prospect for the future suggests excellent career opportunities for those interested in expanding hands-on applications of nanotechnology. Chemists, engineers, materials scientists, and other workers will be in high demand for their scientific expertise. The applications of nanotechnology materials and processes will cross over into many areas, from nutrition to the construction industry.

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