Nanotechnology is the re-engineering of materials and devices by controlling the
matter at the atomic level. Nanotechnology is not a new science or technology; rather it
was first introduced by Richard P. Feynman in his famous lecture at the California
Institute of Technology in 1959.
However, the research on this topic has been very active only in recent two
decades. Nevertheless, nanotechnology is still is one of the most active research areas
with both novel science and innovative applications. The evolution of challenging
technologies and sophisticated instrumentations as well as broadening of basic scientific
knowledge are making the research on nanotechnology fast moving andevolutionary. The
key in nanotechnology is the size of particles because the properties of materials
aredramatically affected under a scale of nanometer [10-9 meter]. To better understand
the difference among various scales, researchers have divided the area of science with the
size of material, as presented in Table 1. In nano level, gravity becomes unimportant,
electrostatic forces take over and quantum effects come in. Further, as particles become
nano-sized, the proportion of atoms on the surface increases relative to those inside and
this leads to novel properties.Current researchers dealing with nano-science and
nanotechnologyare exploring these novel properties since at thenanoscale we can alter the
macro-properties and producesignificantly new materials and processes. Discussion on
the application of nanotechnology in civil engineering; specifically in construction, is
extremely important.
According to a study by the Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health
(CPGGH), nanotechnology in civil engineering ranked 8 of 10 applications that most
likely have impact in the developing world. Nanotechnology can be applied for design
and construction processes in many areas. Owing to many unique characteristics of
nanotechnology derived products, newly developed nano based products can significantly
reduce current civil engineering problems. Basically, constructiondeals with high-tech
materials and processes that have been use in construction. Hence, there is huge scope to
apply nanotechnology in construction materials, which can exhibit, probably one of the
most prominent, societal impacts.
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