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Nanotechnological Applications

Ekeer, E., & Kayar, S. E.,

      Technology has been commonly used in the world since the 1990s and people are still using it. Nanotechnology is a subbranch of technology which allows atom manipulation at the nanometer scale. Richard Zsigmondy, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry in 1925, first suggested the idea of a “nanometer” (Hulla, Sahu & Hayes, 2015, p. 1318). If a nanoparticle was the size of the ball, a virus would be a person, a red blood cell would be the size of a soccer field, a sandwich would be as big as Turkey, a parrot would be as big as the world and the nanotechnology works with the nanoparticles which is too small as it is compared. Nanotechnology created nanotechnology applications. Different kinds of sectors such as medicine, energy, and textile, improved themselves with the applications so nowadays the most sectors are using nanotechnology for their innovations. The applications of nanotechnology have different techniques in many sectors. In the energy sector, the applications deliver improved energy storage systems and using renewable energy more efficiently; in the textile sector, the applications provide waterproof, antiseptic, antistatic clothes so nanotechnology helps and will help the sectors. Nanotechnology is the future of many fields including medicine, energy, and textiles applications. 

       First of all, nanotechnology has been developing in the last few years, and it positively affects every part of human life. Nanotechnology research and usage in textile has increased with people requests. Day by day, textile materials that are durable and antibacterial are improving with the increase  of nanomaterials usage in the textile sector. To achieve all-duty products, lots of nanoparticles are used in textile materials. Durability is one of the most important features. Especially, in the last couple of years, people started to demand always clean and durable clothes. For example, workers need resistant uniforms for some occupations such as spraying workers. Scientists have been studying at highly durable superhydrophobic fabrics  these demands. Riaz, Ashraf, T. Hussain and M. T. Hussain (2019) stated that after the novel approach to enhance durable, functional textiles, some molecules are being replaced on cotton fabrics, and these fabrics can stay durable even after twenty industrial washing period. The best consequences in water with an angle of contact 147.6*  is the fabric that involved QASC 100% and GPTS 75% which showed in excellent durability after laundering. After all, fabrics have been improved like the durability of stiffness and tension resistance. Thus, fabric comfort properties increased (p.5174). These products have better strength than textile products, which were not manufactured with the help of nanotechnology. Another feature that has improved with nanomaterials is the antimicrobial specialty. People need these antimicrobial products and these demands enhance each day. For instance, in recent years, there have been huge virus problems all around the world, such as COVID-19, SARS, H1N1 virus, which caused death of millions of people or animals. For reducing risks, especially in the medical sector, antimicrobial clothes and equipment usage are increasing day by day. Altınisik, et al. had some studies about enhancing the antibacterial activity of cotton fabrics using bionanocomposites. Altınışık et al. (2013) stated that treated some molecules in cotton fabrics provide lower thermal determination and crystallinity of cotton. This fabric procured a decrease of some dermatologic diseases such as K Pneumonia, which is seen because of bacteria. That antibacterial feature of cotton fabrics still exists even after ten cycles of washing (pp.3120-3121). Riaz et al. mentioned that antimicrobial cotton fabrics, which include NPs do not damage the body (p.5162). Treated fabrics, which include SiO2 NPs have better washing endurance than untreated fabrics. Therefore, there is a huge difference as transmittance between treated and untreated fabrics (pp.5169-5170). Consequently, scientists have shown a marked improvement in nanotechnology in the textile sector. Especially the number of antimicrobial and durable products are increasing with developing nanotechnology.

            Textile is a main needs for human beings. Now, people’s requests from textile sector is not only clothing whereas it was before. According to that wishes, fabrics has to be more functional such as no delaceration. Due to these demands and needs, a couple of companies and countries around the world invested.They have been gained substantially money with developing of nanotechnology in the textile sector but the large part of companies still far away nanotecnology. Golra, Luqman and Butt (2011) emphasised that Nanotechnology in textile sector is a big chance for countries for economic development but still most countries producing cotton with traditional method. For instance, Pakistan which is the 4th about producing cotton in the world has a big industry. Pakistan gain 9.57 billions $ every year from exportation of cotton yarn and that money is %54 of export incomes. It is a really huge part of Pakistan economy (p.276). In spite of that, Pakistan is a poor country. Golra et al. (2011) stated that USA invested 12 billion dollars for nanotechnology and they got 147 billion $ totally in  2007 (p.279). In 2007, USA gained 13.6 billion $ with using nanotechnology in textile sector and the expectation is 115 billion $ for year 2015(p.280).  Accordingly, Pakistan can progress the economy with invest to textile industry and increase nanotechnology usage in manufacturing. Pakistan is a just one example. There are a lot of poor countries and that countries  probably get billions of dollars in just textile sector. Thus, people get what they want from textile sector and countries start to develop economically. The number of demands of people is increasing with nanotechnological developments in the textile sector, as stated earlier. According to the scientists, clothes those produced with nanotechnological applications are going to be so normal in daily life everyone can buy modern clothes with lots of functions whenever he/she wants. Nevertheless, today, people cannot easily reach those modern textile products, because a big part of researches and studies are still going on. On the other hand, many scientists said that modern clothes are going to be accessible soon and there are lots of news about modern clothes on the internet or in the newspapers. Actually, as a result of that news, more people want the future trend clothes day by day. Asif and Hasan (2018), stated that there are many types of functions for fabrics. For instance, water repellence by nano-whiskers. By dint of that function, a drop of water does not pass the other side of the fabric. Nano-Tex is a company that improved water repellent fabric, and they produced the fabric that included cotton rope, which is a thousand times smaller than standard cotton fiber. Another example is the UV Protection function that prevents detrimental ultraviolet beams. Today, there are a lot of devices that use UV beams, almost in several locations such as malls, and people cannot escape that harmful beam. Scientists processed nanoparticles in the fabric due to block UV radiation and reached better protection than traditional techniques. Another function is wrinkle resistance. Especially these days, people put on ironed clothes because it is an essential part of business life. Therefore, some scientists processed nano-silica and nano-titanium dioxide in order to increase the wrinkle resistance function of cotton and silk. There are many examples more, such as self-cleaning nano finishes or nano-electronics in textiles (pp. 228-229). As a result, people will start to put on those functional modern clothes, and those clothes will be a trend in the future. According to scientists and companies, it will be soon.

Secondly, nanotechnology provides some innovations for energy applications that is one of the sectors of engineering that nanotechnology affects and in energy sector, nanotechnology delivers better efficiency in renewable energies. Above all, by decreasing costs and increasing production in energy applications, nanotechnology benefits to gain much more energy from the sun. It provides us to use solar energy more efficiently. Serrano, Rus and Garcia-Martinez stated that photovoltaic technology, which is one of the applications of solar energy, is used by people to obtain electrical energy. This technology is used by solar collectors, artificial photosynthesis and photosynthesis is useful for dividing water to produce carbohydrates or hydrogen, passive solar energy being used for electricity, warming and biomass energy is increased by structure form, where solar radiation is used to enable chemical transformations to create complex plant carbohydrates generating biofuels, electricity or steam (2009, p. 2374). According to Hussein, various practical applications use solar energy efficiently. It is an ultimate energy source because solar produces more energy than the humans produce. The issue is about conventional fluids being inadequate to absorb solar energy efficiently but nowadays this problem can easily be solved by use of nanotechnology. Solar energy assortment should be upgraded by the expanded surface zone to volume proportion of nanoparticles. Solar cell efficiency will be increased by nanotechnology because of utilizing lead-selenide and photons of a light can get much more released electrons from the material because of the material type so more electricity will be produced. Additionally, the expense is one of the important factors that affect solar energy innovations, so fossil fuels can be comparable with solar energy about costs. To change over solar radiation into electricity with a photovoltaic process, people use semiconductor material which shows a photovoltaic impact. Photovoltaic solar cell is a gadget that changes over photons from the daylight into power utilizing electrons. A conducting oxide layer and a catalytic platinum layer that legitimately convert daylight to an electrical energy commonly constitute surfaces which are called photovoltaic. Solar energy is not harmful for the environment. For instance, prevention of 40 million tons of carbon dioxide becomes possible if only %1 of the world us solar energy (2015, p. 463). In view of this information, it can be claimed that nanotechnology applications in solar energy systems bring some new inventions such as increased amount of energy that we get from sun and cost-effectiveness so using nanotechnology for solar energy applications is more efficient. In addition, nanotechnology provides efficiency in hydrogen energy applications. Serrano et al. point out that there is an element for moving and putting away energy from the source to the end user which is hydrogen. The way of getting energy is about hydrogen production but in other renewable energies it is about transformation. Fuel cell technology helps hydrogen to be transformed into electricity which can be produced from sustainable energies. A lately approach builds a situation asking for an energy system, resulting in a reduction in carbon discharges and reliance on fossil fuels by integrating hydrogen production from renewable sources with its use of fuel cells (2009, p. 2377). Hussein stated that because of the reaction that creates water in the fuel cells, they generate electricity and heat so that the fuel cells are environmentally friendly and there are two forms of hydrogen and methanol fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells can be used in public transportation and cars because they reduce fossil fuel usage rate so they are useful to protect the environment because fossil fuels are dangerous for the environment. Methanol fuel cells are generally used in small electronical devices, computers and they decrease temperature of devices, reduce pollutants and increase efficiency. Briefly fuel cells are environmentally friendly, silent and they have high efficiency (2015, pp. 467-468). In the light of all these facts, it is undeniable that hydrogen energy is more different than the other energy sources and it is much more useful in many sectors with nanotechnology’s affects.

Apart from usage in solar energy and hydrogen energy, nanotechnology also can be used for developing energy storage systems. One way of doing this is rechargable batteries. Kim, Seo, Hee Park and Cho explain that the graphite that is in use is tried to be changed with Si that is used in the forming of Li4.4Si because of Si’s acknowledged capacity. Nonetheless, while Li alloy and dealloy, Si shows significant volume changes. Breaking and crumbling of the electrode material and a subsequent loss of electrical contact is caused by these progressions between singular particles and consequently, there is a serious limit drop. Nonetheless, using smaller particles may reduce some mechanical pressure that is caused by volume increase so usage of industrial technologies such as spark ablation, aerogel techniques and sputtering is increased. Because of the more covalent nature of these particles relative to Ge particles, the production of crystalline Si nanoparticles involves higher temperatures, and amorphous phases are more common at low temperature (2010, p. 2146). Serrano et al. mentioned that at present, the majority of active works in this area is based on rechargeable lithium batteries. In fact this sector accounts approximately $10 billion a year. The Li-ion chemistry leads to an improvement of 100–150 percent in energy storage capacity per unit weight and volume as opposed to the aqueous batteries. Nonetheless, there are some inconveniences related to low energy and power density, large volume changes in reaction, protection and expense. The drawbacks which are mentioned about batteries can be fixed by using nanotechnology (2009, p. 2380). This clearly demonstrates that use of rechargable batteries are increasing the storage capacity and this will positively affect the efficiency of energy storage systems. In addition to these, another nanotechnology innovation for developing energy storage systems is supercapacitors. According to Serrano et al., the supercapacitors store energy not in a chemical way as in batteries, but in a physical way, through the  separation at negative and positive charges. At the beginning these supercapacitors were not popular but benefaction of nanotechnology gave opportunity to understand these systems better so the supercapacitors have became more popular. Redox supercapacitors, hybrid capacitors and EDLCs (electrochemical double layer capacitors) are the three capacitor types. Among these the most popular one is EDLC which has carbon nanotubes, so it has much more power, conductivity and capacitance but is too expensive (2009, pp. 2380-2381). As Naoi, Ishimoto, Isobe and Aoyagi indicate, EDLC which is a type of supercapacitor, has limited energy storage so it can give power only for several seconds but it is safe, it has a long cycle life and a great power density. There are many studies about hybrid capacitors to get higher energy storage and nowadays a study about that is getting interest of people which is lithium capacitor. According the studies, can provide much more energy storage ability but it has some disadvantages in terms of cost efficiency, great voltage that causes safety and steadiness problems (2010, p. 6250). To sum it up these capacitor systems can be used in various energy storage systems much more efficiently than the classic capacitors.

     In conclusion, nanotechnological applications in textile and energy sectors have provided lots of special features and qualified life for people. In addition, the number of applications and the popularity of nanotechnology is increasing day by day. First of all, textile is a main section of nanotechnological applications. People life started to be easier and healthier with the functions of fabric. On the other hand, that sector can develop countries economically. Another section of nanotechnological applications is energy. Nowadays people found how to use renewable energies efficiently, and people improved new energy storage systems which can be very useful for technology. According to all sections, nanotechnology is an important technology that will be one of the essential technologies for humanity soon. Hence, nanotechnological products and applications should be more popular and countries should invest with big money.

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References

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Naoi, K., Ishimoto, S., Isobe, Y., & Aoyagi S. (2010). High-rate nano-crystalline Li4Ti5O12 attached on carbon nano-fibers for hybrid supercapacitors. Journal of Power Sources, 195(18), 6250-6254. Doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2009.12.104

Riaz, S., Ashraf, M., Hussain, T., & Hussain, M. T. (2019). Modification of silica 

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