Learn about nanotechnology with these tutorial posts!

If you are here to learn, we have some great recommendations from our blog itself as there are some posts right here that are written specifically to teach you about some key techniques and concepts we use in the world of nanotechnology and the environment!

1. The Basics

To learn some key concepts about nanotechnology, first try these posts:

What is nanotechnology?

What is sustainable nanotechnology?

Colloidal suspensions of metal particles (aka nanoparticles) were used centuries ago to make beautiful glass as seen on the Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris. Image source: http://www.therosewindow.com/
Colloidal suspensions of metal particles (aka nanoparticles) were used centuries ago to make beautiful glass as seen on the Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris.
Image source: http://www.therosewindow.com/

 

2. Key Techniques

Check out these posts to learn about some key instruments we use in our labs to understand the world of nanotechnology:

Transmission Electron Microscopy: Application in environmental nanoscience.

Atomic Force Microscopy: application in nanoscience.

Raman Spectroscopy in Nanotechnology.

Figure 6. A) TEM image of a Cerium dioxide nanoparticle from a catalytic converter. B) EDS spectrum of the particle in 6A.
Figure 6. A) TEM image of a Cerium dioxide nanoparticle from a catalytic converter. B) EDS spectrum of the particle in 6A.

 

3. Some Special Materials

The posts below describe some special nanomaterials that we study everyday to understand how they might behave in our bodies or in the environment, or to find ways to use them to benefit our health or the environment.

What is graphene?

Nanocellulose – A Novel Support for Nanoparticles.

DNA: The code of life.

Engineered versus incidental nanoparticles in the atmosphere.

 

Figure 1. Electron microscope images of (left to right) volcanic ash, pollen, sea salt, and soot from largest (several thousand nanometers across) to smallest (tens of nanometers per individual “grape” in the bunch of soot). Image from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols
Figure 1. Electron microscope images of (left to right) volcanic ash, pollen, sea salt, and soot from largest (several thousand nanometers across) to smallest (tens of nanometers per individual “grape” in the bunch of soot). Image from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols

 

4. Additional reading: some cool concepts

Here are some posts we think you will enjoy after tackling the ones above. These cover some important issues related to nanomaterials and the environment or health:

Nanotechnology in our everyday lives.

Can we make Nanomedicine Sustainable?

What happens to nanomaterials that get into our wastewater?

Life Cycle Thinking at the Nano Level.

And if you are interested in learning more about life cycle assessment (LCA), these additional posts were made for you!
About the Author:  Dr. Marina Vance is the associate director for VTSuN: Virginia Tech’s Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and a research scientist of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech. She is also the deputy director of NCE2NI: The Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure.
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