The Internet of Things (IoT) seems to becoming more and more popular... but what about IoNT... The Internet of Nano Things! Now that is something worth writing about.
Nanotechnology is allowing for the next big innovation in technology in almost all industries. Combining nanotechnology with communication capabilities gives you IoNT. This crossover will allow for a whole new paradigm shift and is where new brilliant discoveries will come about.
Although still an undiscovered and niche market, this industry is growing exponentially, expected to reach $9.9 billion by 2020. IoNT will also hold a big weight in smart factories. For instance, a smart factory will employ IoNT devices to monitor temperature, humidity, gaseous fumes, water quality and carbon emissions. This will ensure optimisation of the factory in all areas and extreme efficiency in the factories operations.
One area I am particularly interested in is nano manufacturing. Manufacturing materials at this scale can allow for stronger, lighter, more durable, ultraviolet and infrared resistant products to be made. Graphene is currently the strongest material in the world, over 200 times stronger than steel. It is an allotrope of Carbon, with the atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Nano manufacturing of graphene is allowing for really exciting advancements of its properties. Pristine, high-quality graphene with its inherent impermeability poses challenges in fabricating dense films and thick parts with high electrical conductivity due to the difficulty in removing trapped air and/or solvents used in various fabrication methods. To negate this, nano-holes are created with a diameter of 15nm and serve as pathways for the rapid removal of gases and liquids.
Graphene is also allowing for great progress in the space field - especially in regards to moonshot ideas. One example is the idea of a space elevator. A space elevator would allow for a more efficient Earth-to-space operating system and also allow for lower energy consumption - there won't be a need for rockets. The elevator would consist of an anchor connected to Earth and attached to a tether extending into space. The elevator would rotate with the Earth to ensure that it remains vertical.
Graphene combined with nanotechnology is the material that would allow for this idea to become a reality.