I wish to congratulate and appreciate the Nigerian Engineers especially the members of the technical committee for inviting me to talk on Nanotechnology… the-in-thing in modern science, engineering and technology and most importantly on its impact on Transportation Systems.
My Presentation Format is as follows:
•Introduction— Nano Story.
•Challenges of Transportation Systems.
•Nanoscience and nanotechnology on Transportation.
•Health, Safety and Environment(HSE) implications of this new field.
•Conclusion—Any take-home for the Nigerian Engineer?
The new field of nanoscience and nanotechnology was attributed to Richard Feynman, a Physics Professor at California Institute of Technology, a Nobel Prize Laurette who in his work on quantum electrodynamics postulated that there is plenty of room at the bottom of materials and asked a question, “Can we handle materials the way nature has done?”
Nano is a size scale and a nanometer is one billionth of a meter, 10-9 meter. Nano materials have size features on the scale of around 1nm to 100nm.
Building units of matter are in nanoscale… hydrogen atom is 0.1nm in size, molecules about 1nm in diameter, human cells ranging from 5000 to 200,000nm.
An average human hair is about 80,000 nanometer wide.
The gold particles sprinkled unto glass windows by early glass workers to create beautiful colors especially on church windows are gold nanoparticles.
Even the Gunier and preston zones popularly know as G-p zones observed in the Al-Acu alloy systems since 1939 were disks of diameter 80 x 10 raised to minus 10 meter and thickness 3 to 6 x 10 raised to minus 10 meter on the aluminum lattice fell into the nano size range and were the source of strength behind those materials.
Nano particles have high surface to volume ratio creating new quantum mechanical effects and a new field of nanomechanics.
Nanomaterials with novel mechanical properties resulted from nanomechanics approach to materials development.
The reduction in the size scale shows different and unique properties compared to what they exhibit on a micro-scale,(10-6 meters) or macro-scale (10-4 meters) for example
• Materials like copper which is opaque become transparent when it is nano.
• Inert platinum becomes catalystic in nanoform.
• Aluminum in nano form becomes combustible,
• Gold in nano form turns liquid at room temperature,
• Insulators like silicon become conductors in nanoform. etc.
TEXT of nanotechnology paper delivered at the Annual Engineering conference of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) CANAAN by Engr. Prof. Daniel Obikwelu FNSE, FNMS,
To be continued