Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT)
Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) is a technology that is used to design complex structures through mechanosynthesis process, in order to obtain the correct atomic specifications. In this technology, complex products are built using nanomachines. This process is not at all similar to nanomaterials as it is based on molecular manufacturing. The mechanosynthesis process used for this technology will be assisted by complex molecular machine systems.
The whole process of molecular nanotechnology would include the combination of physical theories with chemical demonstrations and other nanotechnologies, in addition to the different methods used in macro scale factories.
Unlike any other conventional processes, in MNT a clear and definite process is carried out to get a definite result.
MNT is actually a multi-product reaction process in which the molecular reactions are to be perfectly balanced in order to obtain the considered chemical reaction. The products of these reactions are again used to build a whole new system.
Applications of Molecular Nanotechnology
- Smart Materials
Smart materials are products that are made at nanometer scale for doing the desired task. It has already found great applications in the field of nanotechnology. It is useful in providing the correct response when it comes in contact with different molecules.
Thus artificial drugs could be produced which would easily find the specific viruses and delete them. Another idea of smart materials is self-healing structures which can be used for removing small tears from the surface just like the human skin.
A nanosensor can also be called as a smart material. The only small difference is that a nano sized component will be governed by a larger machine. This machine responds to its surroundings and brings the intended changes. The best example of a nanosensor is the photosensor. The device is used to measure the light that hits on its surface and convert it into its corresponding electricity and is passes onto another bigger device. Such a sensor when converted to nanosize, will cost much lesser than the conventional ones, and will also use lesser power. But, their applications become limited.
- Replicating Nanorobots
The main idea behind molecular nanotechnology is to create hundreds of nanorobots which work together in coordination. These nanorobots should also be able to design and produce more nanorobots with the help of sophisticated building blocks in an artificial environment.
There has always been a doubt in mind about how feasible the concept of nanorobots and its replicating features would be. There is a fear of difference in characteristics with the parent robots through replication.
Nanorobots have also pioneered in the medical field. When a number of nanorobots are designed to work in the medical field, a number of patients can be taken care of simultaneously and that too for hours. These robots can also help in correcting certain genetic defects and will also help in increasing the life span of people. These nanorobots are may be made to mirror human movements, but are not allowed to self-replicate inside the human body.
- Utility fog
This is also one basic application of MNT in which a series of nanorobots are networked so that they can change their characteristics according to the change in the commands of the software. Through this method, the physical objects that are used for multitasks can be replaced by nanorobots.
Advantages of MNT
In future, MNT will help in making highly accurate devices like computers and that too in nanosizes.
The products made by MNT’s will be stronger and more powerful than the current devices that are made out of iron or other alloys. All the necessary objects in our everyday life like chairs, cars and so on can be made in cheap rates with multiple times efficiency, lesser weight and more durability.
As these devices are minute is size, they can be used to make small surgical tools that can be injected into our body in order to search and destroy cancer cells and other virus infections. They can also be used to remove clots and also provide oxygen when circulation problems occur.
It is sure that nanotechnology will bring about a whole new perspective of making products. The devices that we use everyday will become more accurate and every product in this world will have a new look.
Concerns regarding Molecular Nanotechnology
- One of the main risks concerned with MNT is technological singularity. That is, the good things about the technology could be used for bad stuffs like creating deadly weapons. These weapons could easily self-replicate and cause chaos in the world. Thus, protocols must be taken as to the permit of such illegal weapons and their self-replication.
- One another concern is that if the nanorobots can self-replicate to a high level, the chances of them consuming the whole world for raw materials is high. Such a problem is generally termed as grey goo.