Nanotechnology Careers - Industry Overview
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field of discovery.
Scientists and technicians working in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, information technology, and other fields are contributing to today's nanotechnology research - research that is leading to the development of tomorrow's breakthrough applications and products.
Basic Research & Development (R&D) in nanotechnology involves understanding and controlling matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers - microscopic levels where unique phenomena enable novel applications.
This work uses highly specialized, precision equipment such as electron, atomic, and scanning tunneling microscopes to machinery that is capable of making these extraordinarily small new products.
Basic R&D in nanotechnology is being conducted by the private sector, research universities, and the federal government - with the government playing an important role in this effort.
Commercial applications of nanotechnology research and Development (R&D) are still in their infancy, but this is likely to change dramatically in the next few years.
At present, nanoscale materials are already being integrated in biotechnology, defense, energy, environmental science, information technology, telecommunications, transportation, and various consumer goods.
For example, many computer hard-drives use nano-thin layers of magnetic materials while stain-resistant clothing is also now available. Other products already in the marketplace include burn and wound dressings, water filtration systems, sunscreens, and different parts of automobiles.
In the near future, molecular nanotechnology manufacturing is expected to result in new products in a wide-range of areas, including improved solar cells, better skid resistant tires, wide ranging health care improvements, and enhancements to homeland security and national defense.
These nanotechnology commercial applications are going to mean the availability of a wide-range of better products that are impossible to make today.
To develop and produce these goods, U.S. nanotechnology manufacturers are going to need many thousands of new scientists, engineering technicians, and other production and support workers.