Mains Daily Question
Feb. 29, 2024

Q.1 Nanotechnology is based on changing physical and chemical properties of matter at nanoscale. Discuss the multifaceted applications of nanotechnology. Also mention some potential issues in the use of nanotechnology. (10M/150W)

Model Answer

Approach to the answer:

Understanding and structuring the answer:

The question has two main components – 1) Applications and 2) Potential Issues and challenges


Type 1: Give the description of nanotechnology and explain its working and Type 2: Give some recent initiative taken by the government to promote nanotechnology


Heading 1: Applications of Nanotechnology: Give points with suitable examples

Heading 2: Potential Issues: Give points with suitable examples


Type 1: Give some suggestions to resolve the above issues and challenges

Type 2: Highlight the importance of nanotechnology in providing solutions to different sectors


Answer: Nanotechnology involves manipulating and controlling matter at the nanoscale, which is typically between 1 and 100 nanometers. At this scale, the physical and chemical properties of materials can exhibit unique and often enhanced characteristics that differ from their bulk counterparts.

Applications of Nanotechnology

  • Medicine and Healthcare: Nanoparticles are utilized for targeted drug delivery, where drugs are encapsulated within nanoparticles to improve their stability and release at specific sites.
  • Agriculture: Nanoscale delivery systems improve the efficiency of nutrient delivery, pest control, and crop protection.
    • For example, Nano liquid urea will result in increased fertilizer efficiency (more than 80%) which leads to reduction in input cost.
  • Electronics and Computing: Nanoscale transistors and nanowires enable the miniaturization of electronic components, leading to faster and more efficient devices.
    • For example, Quantum dots, which are nanoscale semiconductor particles, are used in high-resolution displays and lighting applications.
  • Material Science: Nanocomposites combine nanoparticles with traditional materials to enhance mechanical strength, electrical conductivity, and thermal stability.
    • For example, Nanocoating offers improved surface properties such as scratch resistance, anti-reflectivity, self-cleaning, and corrosion resistance.
  • Environmental Monitoring and Sensing: Nano sensors are utilized for real-time monitoring of pollutants and environmental parameters.
    • For example, detection of water pollution by nano sensors in wetlands.

Potential issues in the use of nanotechnology

  • Health and Safety Concerns: Some nanomaterials can display toxic properties towards humans and the environment.
    • For example, nanomaterials of gold (almost inert elements) can become highly active at nanometer dimensions.
  • Nano-Pollution: Most nanoparticles are of very small dimensions and they can easily enter the food chain and bioaccumulate. They can also cause air pollution as they can float in air just like PM2.5.
  • Lack of Standards: Presently, there are no rules, standards and guidelines for development and use of nanotechnology.
  • Weaponization of nanotechnology: The use of nanotechnology in offensive fields can result in development of new age weapons.
    • For example, nano bullets can potentially cause internal bleeding without any visible wounds on the outside.

To address these challenges, it is crucial to invest in research and development, establish robust safety regulations, promote interdisciplinary collaborations, and engage stakeholders in discussions on the ethical, social, and environmental implications of nanotechnology.

Subjects : Current Affairs
Only Students can submit Answer.