Nanomanufacturing and sustainability: opportunities and challenges
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New nanomanufacturing technologies, although still in research labs, present a great opportunity to drastically reduce the cost of making nanostructures on a large scale and at high-rates. Such new bottom-up directed assembly-based approaches involve adding materials selectively thereby both reducing waste and the number of required processes. Directed assembly-based processes are conducted at room pressure and temperatures which significantly reduces the cost of nanomanufacturing equipment and tools, ensuring long-term sustainability by reducing energy, consumables, and waste costs. This paradigm shift in nanomanufacturing will unleash not only a wave of creativity in sustainable nanomanufacturing but lessons learnt along the way can be used in various other sectors. Along with the exquisite technological promise that nanotechnology holds, nano-enabled products are heralded as a means for energy and resource reduction, resulting in potential manufacturing cost reductions and further, for potential improvements to environmental remediation. Sustainable nanomanufacturing will, by dramatically lowering current nanomanufacturing barriers, spur innovation, and the creation of entirely new industries by leveling the playing and ultimately leading to the democratization of nanomanufacturing.
KeywordsNanomanufacturing Sustainability Directed assembly Nanomaterials
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