Nanotechnology is becoming a more promising science with great potential in manufacturing. The existing manufacturing process produces a lot of waste and pollution. Many atoms are wasted in the process of creating a larger object and getting the desired output by taking away excess material. As a result, the products made to fit together are billions of atoms out of alignment. This misalignment causes faster wear, expensive lubrication, and mechanical breakdown. Since molecular nanotechnology involves the manipulation of incredibly small particles, it will allow manufacturing to become more precise and therefore cleaner and cheaper.
Currently, nanotechnology has gotten as far as scanning tunneling microscopy, which uses a sharp tip to move atoms around a surface. There is also research being done on how to make the production of single-walled, carbon nanotubes cheaper. This is important because these tubes can save the millions of dollars being used to mine materials such as steel or aluminum. They are lighter and stronger than steel, and can be produced in a lab. Scientists hope to develop a process where a nanoscale robotic arm with a “sticky” tip would multiply to create millions of itself. These arms would be able to place individual atoms at a much faster collective rate than placing the atoms in the desired arrangement one at a time.
Possible applications for nanotechnology include, as mentioned, the improved efficiency of the manufacturing process. It also has the potential to revolutionize medicine. At this scale, small devices can be created to enter the human bloodstream in order to repair damage at the cellular level. This specification of treatment can treat the problem directly, while something like chemotherapy weakens the entire body.