Fifth UNESCO Medals for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies

8 eminent scientists received the UNESCO Medals for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies during a ceremony held at UNESCO headquarters, Paris. The medal is awarded each year by the Director-General of UNESCO to prominent scientists, public figures and organizations that contributed to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies in the spirit of UNESCO’s priorities. Professor Isamu Akasaki, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, was among the new laureates.the winners are:
Professor Isamu Akasaki – Japan
Professor Lei Jiang – China
Professor Philippe Pernod – France
Professor Nicholas Kotov – United States of America
Academician Gennady Krasnikov – Russian Federation
Professor Igor Ashurbeyli – Russian Federation
Doctor Mikhail Dubina – Russian Federation
Doctor Natalya Mikhaylova – Russian Federation

Nanotechnology: Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering. Nanotechnology (NT) is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. One nanometer is a billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology understands and control the matter at the nanoscale. NT involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at this length scale.
Everything on Earth is made up of atoms—the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the buildings and houses we live in, and our own bodies. NT involves the ability to see and to control individual atoms and molecules. Advantage of their (nanoparticles) enhanced properties is such as higher strength, lighter weight, increased control of light spectrum, and greater chemical reactivity than their larger-scale counterparts. Matter such as gases, liquids, and solids can exhibit unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties at the nanoscale, differing in important ways from the properties of bulk materials and single atoms or molecules. Some nanostructured materials are stronger or have different magnetic properties compared to other forms or sizes or the same material. Others are better at conducting heat or electricity. They may become more chemically reactive or reflect light better or change color as their size or structure is altered. Using nanotechnology, materials can effectively be made to be stronger, lighter, more durable, more reactive, more sieve-like, or better electrical conductors, among many other traits.

Physicist Richard Feynman,is considered as the father of nanotechnology. Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology considerably improves, even revolutionize, many technology and industry sectors: information technology, energy, environmental science, medicine, homeland security, food safety, and transportation, among many others.
Most benefits of nanotechnology depend on the fact that it is possible to tailor the essential structures of materials at the nanoscale to achieve specific properties, thus greatly extending the well-used toolkits of materials science.
Nanoscale additives in polymer composite materials for baseball bats, tennis rackets, motorcycle helmets, automobile bumpers, luggage, and power tool housings can make them simultaneously lightweight, stiff, durable, and resilient.
1. Nanoscale additives to or surface treatments of fabrics help them resist wrinkling, staining, and bacterial growth, and provide lightweight ballistic energy deflection in personal body armor.
2. Nanoscale thin films on eyeglasses, computer and camera displays, windows, and other surfaces can make them water-repellent, antireflective, self-cleaning, resistant to ultraviolet or infrared light, antifog, antimicrobial, scratch-resistant, or electrically conductive.
3. Nanoscale materials in cosmetic products provide greater clarity or coverage; cleansing; absorption; personalization; and antioxidant, anti-microbial, and other health properties in sunscreens, cleansers, complexion treatments, creams and lotions, shampoos, and specialized makeup.
4. Nano-engineered materials in the food industry include nanocomposites in food containers to minimize carbon dioxide leakage out of carbonated beverages, or reduce oxygen inflow, moisture outflow, or the growth of bacteria in order to keep food fresher and safer, longer. Nanosensors built into plastic packaging can warn against spoiled food. Nanosensors are being developed to detect salmonella, pesticides, and other contaminates on food before packaging and distribution.
5. Nano-engineered materials in automotive products include high-power rechargeable battery systems; thermoelectric materials for temperature control; lower-rolling-resistance tires; high-efficiency/low-cost sensors and electronics; thin-film smart solar panels; and fuel additives and improved catalytic converters for cleaner exhaust and extended range.
6. Nano-engineered materials make superior household products such as degreasers and stain removers; environmental sensors, alert systems, air purifiers and filters; antibacterial cleansers; and specialized paints and sealing products.
7. Nanostructured ceramic coatings exhibit much greater toughness than conventional wear-resistant coatings for machine parts. Such coatings can extend the lifetimes of moving parts in everything from power tools to industrial machinery.
8. Nanoparticles are used increasingly in catalysis to boost chemical reactions. This reduces the quantity of catalytic materials necessary to produce desired results, saving money and reducing pollutants. Two big applications are in petroleum refining and in automotive catalytic converters.
9. Nanoscale transistors that are faster, more powerful, and increasingly energy-efficient; soon your computer’s entire memory may be stored on a single tiny chip.
10. Magnetic random access memory (MRAM) enabled by nanometer‐scale magnetic tunnel junctions that can quickly and effectively save even encrypted data during a system shutdown or crash, enable resume‐play features, and gather vehicle accident data.
11. Displays for many new TVs, laptop computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and other devices incorporate nanostructured polymer films known as organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. OLED screens offer brighter images in a flat format, as well as wider viewing angles, lighter weight, better picture density, lower power consumption, and longer lifetimes.
12. Other computing and electronic products include Flash memory chips for iPod nanos; ultra responsive hearing aids; antimicrobial/antibacterial coatings on mouse/keyboard/cell phone casings; conductive inks for printed electronics for RFID/smart cards/smart packaging; more life-like video games; and flexible displays for e-book readers.
13. Prototype solar panels incorporating nanotechnology are more efficient than standard designs in converting sunlight to electricity, promising inexpensive solar power in the future. Nanostructured solar cells already are cheaper to manufacture and easier to install, since they can use print-like manufacturing processes and can be made in flexible rolls rather than discrete panels. Newer research suggests that future solar converters might even be “paintable.
14. Nanotechnology is improving the efficiency of fuel production from normal and low-grade raw petroleum materials through better catalysis, as well as fuel consumption efficiency in vehicles and power plants through higher-efficiency combustion and decreased friction.
15. Nano-bioengineering of enzymes is aiming to enable conversion of cellulose into ethanol for fuel, from wood chips, corn stalks (not just the kernels, as today), unfertilized perennial grasses.
16. Nanotechnology is already being used in numerous new kinds of batteries that are less flammable, quicker-charging, more efficient, lighter weight, and that have a higher power density and hold electrical charge longer. One new lithium-ion battery type uses a common, nontoxic virus in an environmentally benign production process.
17. Nanostructured materials are being pursued to greatly improve hydrogen membrane and storage materials and the catalysts needed to realize fuel cells for alternative transportation technologies at reduced cost. Researchers are also working to develop a safe, lightweight hydrogen fuel tank.
18. An epoxy containing carbon nanotubes is being used to make windmill blades that are longer, stronger, and lighter-weight than other blades to increase the amount of electricity that windmills can generate.
19. Researchers are developing wires containing carbon nanotubes to have much lower resistance than the high-tension wires currently used in the electric grid and thus reduce transmission power loss.
20. To power mobile electronic devices, researchers are developing thin-film solar electric panels that can be fitted onto computer cases and flexible piezoelectric nanowires woven into clothing to generate usable energy on-the-go from light, friction, and/or body heat.
21. more efficient lighting systems for vastly reduced energy consumption for illumination; lighter and stronger vehicle chassis materials for the transportation sector; lower energy consumption in advanced electronics; low-friction nano-engineered lubricants for all kinds of higher-efficiency machine gears, pumps, and fans; light-responsive smart coatings for glass to complement alternative heating/cooling schemes; and high-light-intensity, fast-recharging lanterns for emergency crews.
22. Nano materials that provide clean water from polluted water sources in both large-scale and portable applications, and ones that detect and clean up environmental contaminants. through rapid, low-cost detection of impurities in and filtration and purification of water. For example, researchers have discovered unexpected magnetic interactions between ultrasmall specks of rust, which can help remove arsenic or carbon tetrachloride from water); they are developing nanostructured filters that can remove virus cells from water; and they are investigating a deionization method using nano-sized fiber electrodes to reduce the cost and energy requirements of removing salts from water

23. Researchers have developed a nanofabric “paper towel,” woven from tiny wires of potassium manganese oxide, that can absorb 20 times its weight in oil for cleanup applications.
24. Many airplane cabin and other types of air filters are nanotechnology-based filters that allow “mechanical filtration,” in which the fiber material creates nanoscale pores that trap particles larger than the size of the pores. They also may contain charcoal layers that remove odors. Almost 80% of the cars sold in the U.S. include built-in nanotechnology-based filters.
25. Quantum dots are semiconducting nanocrystals that can enhance biological imaging for medical diagnostics. These crystals offer optical detection up to 1,000 times better than conventional dyes used in many biological tests, such as MRIs, and render significantly more information.
26. Nanotechnology has been used in the early diagnosis of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in arteries. Researchers have developed an imaging technology to measure the amount of an antibody-nanoparticle complex that accumulates specifically in plaque. Gold nanoparticles can be used to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
27. Multifunctional therapeutics where a nanoparticle serves as a platform to facilitate its specific targeting to cancer cells and delivery of a potent treatment, minimizing the risk to normal tissues.
28. Nano-engineering of steel, concrete, asphalt, and other cementitious materials, and their recycled forms, offers great promise in terms of improving the performance, resiliency, and longevity of highway and transportation infrastructure components while reducing their cost.
29. Nanoscale sensors and devices may also support an enhanced transportation infrastructure that can communicate with vehicle-based systems to help drivers maintain lane position, avoid collisions, adjust travel routes to circumnavigate congestion, and other such activities.


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