MIT nanotech breakthrough shrinks stuff: makes affordable climate change solutions possible!

MIT nanotech breakthrough

Linda J. Kaidan

Nanotechnology is important in greenhouse gas reduction. This game changing technology can seriously impact our ability to fight climate change.

Up until recently nanotech has been costly. MIT technologists have greatly reduced the cost of producing nanoscale products by using a new approach called Implosion Fabrication (ImpFab). It weakens electron repulsion and produces structures that are one thousand times smaller than the original through a kind of 3-d printing.

What does 1000 times smaller mean?

MIT breakthrough makes nanotech cheap! Nanotechnology has been costly to work with because conventional manufacturing processes could not be used. They could not be applied to work on such a tiny scale. With this invention, conventional techniques can be used to develop structures which can then be miniaturized.

How does the shrinking process work?

Large-scale objects are embedded in hydrogels and then shrunk to nanoscale using implosion fabrication. A 3-d molecular structure is created within a hydrogel. “The acid blocks the negative charges in the polyacrylate gel so that they no longer repel each other, causing the gel to contract.” Objects shrink to 1/1000 of their original size.

How can nano technology solutions help us fight climate change?

In 2014 UCSD’s Nanowerks team reported on their new nanotech solar solution capable of converting 90% of the sun’s light into heat. Such technology, once affordable, would clearly enable solar heat to become inexpensive and widely available.

Nanomaterials can also be used to reduce global pollution and environmental degradation. They are used to filter heavy metals from water and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

While this MIT nanotech breakthrough can help us heal our planet faster, it’s important that each of us do our fair share in creating our own sustainable solutions at the community level.

Author:

This blog is my perspective on dwelling in our small village nestled among beautiful forests, farms and open landscapes. Educated in Israel and the US, I have an MS in Computer Science. My viewpoint has been shaped by world travel, friends and benefactors both strangers and people I know. Linda Kaidan