Nanotechnology May Be Worth the Wait

dna_2University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers have developed a formula for creating a nearly perfect compound semiconductor that could lead to more efficient photovoltaics, safe and high-resolution biological imaging and the ability to transmit massive amounts of data at higher speeds. According to Discovery News, there is even a chance that nanostructures will allow for internal imaging without the need of X-rays, which carry a risk.

Zintro expert Anco Blazev is a chemical engineer with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the solar industry. He has written about and consulted on the issues posed by the UCSB researchers in this study. Blazev says, “Nanotechnology is an exciting new way to do things, with many possible applications. While it shows promise in the R&D labs, mass scale production and deployment of functional devices and systems is a complex and expensive proposition that still needs a lot of work.”

Blazev shares an example. “Graphene- and other nanotechnology-based materials are presently used for making solar cells, but their efficiency and reliability are well below acceptable, while the initial and maintenance costs per unit power generated are far above those of the conventional solar technologies. But most importantly, nano-based solar cells cannot survive the high voltages and sun intensity of large scale power fields, which limits their application to some narrowly specialized markets.”

In terms of the medical field, Blazev says, “Nanotechnology is widely used as a delivery system, including some diagnostics procedures. Using nanotechnology instead of X-ray is a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but theoretically possible IF and WHEN the technology is fully developed, officially approved, and cost effective. This entire process might take decades.”

Blazev has come to his own conclusions. “Investing in nanotechnology is NOT for people who are looking for short term gains. Instead, it is for people who can wait a long time for repayment. Once the nanotechnology overcomes the problems in the different fields, however, the investors could see ROI never seen before.”

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