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    Career Option - Nanotechnology
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    Introduction

    Nanotechnology - the science of the miniature, and the technology of the future - is one of the most exciting and wide area of research which may lead to the greatest technological advances of the 21st century. It is a global phenomenon and an emerging field, that finds its way into a myriad of industrial applications spanning across all areas of science and technology. A form of molecular engineering, it is the technology associated with the creation and scrutiny of minute objects, measuring between 1 to 100 nanometers. Nanotechnology can be defined as the application of science, engineering and technology to develop novel materials and devices in different fields in the nano-range. 

    'Nano' in Greek means dwarf. Nanometer (nm) is a unit of measurement used to measure very small particles like atoms and molecules. One nanometer is equal to one-billionth (10-9) of a meter. Entirely different from bulk material, nano-materials are 5,000 to 50,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. These light but strong, transparent materials are very active and aggressive in any chemical reaction. Nano-materials can be mixed with strong or weak materials to make them thousand times stronger and more efficient. Carbon and diamond are super examples of nano-materials. The concept of Nanotechnology originated in 1959 and was founded by the American physicist Richard P Feynmam. But the term 'Nanotechnology' was first used in 1974 by Japanese scientist Prof. Norio Taniguchi at the Tokyo Science University. However it was introduced to the world in 1986 by K. Eric Drexler, an American Engineer and the founder of Foresight Nanotech Institute.

    Nanotechnology is a unique and special branch of science that essentially combines physics, chemistry, biology, engineering etc. Sometimes known as molecular manufacturing, it deals with the design and manufacture of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter. The application of Nanotechnology will open new avenues of research in the world of science and engineering in almost every field, from medicine to fabrics. Due to this, the relatively new field is fast emerging as the favorite of all kinds of technological arena and will be one of the most significant enabling technologies in the future.

    Even though the field is popular abroad, it is quite recently that Indian industries have started realizing the commercial viability of Nanotechnology. In India, Nanotechnology is at its infancy stage and is targeted towards the main streams like electronics, healthcare markets, and other industrial products. Many scientific institutions have been doing Research and Development (R&D) in this field. The scope and application of Nanotechnology is tremendous and mind-boggling and it is one of the hottest career option available to Indian Engineering graduates. It is an apt career for those who have a scientific bent of mind and a passion for solving mysteries of the minutest molecules. Students with a science and engineering background and even mathematics with physics background can pursue Nanotechnology as a career. Candidates with M.Tech in Nanotechnology are in great demand both in India and abroad.

    It is a powerful technology which aids the development of products with futuristic performance. All major sectors of life will be effected by this new area. The two major categories of Nanotechnolgy are Nanoscale technology and Molecular manufacturing. Nanoscale technology covers small structures and can be used for introducing stronger materials, better medicines, faster computers and so on. Molecular manufacturing is an attempt at building mechanical and chemical manufacturing systems that join molecules together.

    Eligibility : For pursuing a career in the filed of Nanotechnolgy, the aspirant must have a post graduate qualification in the subject. i.e they must have an M.Tech or M.Sc. degree in Nanotechnology.

    At present, no reputed institute in India is offering courses in Nanotechnology at the graduation level. Eligibility criteria for doing Post Graduation in Nanotechnology is Bachelor's degree with a minimum of 50% marks in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Life Sciences and with PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) as subsidiary subjects. The M. Tech course in Nanotechnology is of great benefit because students who come from different streams enrich each other to intensify their knowledge. The candidates who wish to pursue higher studies in Nanotechnology, can apply for M.Tech in Nanotechnology after completing their B.Tech degree in any one of the following. i.e in Material science, Mechanical, Biomedical, Chemical, Biotechnology , Electronics and Computer Science. Those who have completed M.Sc. in Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Biotechnology and Computer Science can also join for the M.Tech Course. Admission to the 5 year integrated M.tech Course in Nanotechnology is through entrance test. 

    Personal skills : Nanotechnology is not a managerial profession but a research field, engaged in finding out new structure and studying the properties of nano particles. In order to study Nanotechnology, one should have a good background of physics and chemistry. Moreover, they should have an open, enquiring and scientific bent of mind with sound analytical skills and a natural propensity for research work. This is a field which requires a lot of hard work and what is most essential is a burning desire to work. Skills in mathematics and computer programming would be an asset. Any knowledge that can be gained through formal, informal and self education would add your potential and value. Nanotechnology is a technology intensive field which requires adequate lab training for expert handling of advanced equipment like electron microscopy and micro-engineering. An analysis in the field of Nanotechnology requires applications of varied fields including bioscience, medical science, environment, electronics, cosmetics, security and range of other subject areas. 

    Course Areas : The curriculum of Nanotechnology is designed to give an in-depth understanding on the underlying concepts of nano-structuring, fabrication techniques for nano-devices and characterization techniques. The courses are mainly focused in areas like : 

    i)                    Designing of durable, resistant and cheaper materials.

    ii)                  Designing of electronic components with special emphasis on dimension and power

    iii)                Techniques for tapping solar energy and increase in its power

    iv)                Convergence of genetic medicine, nano- technology and development of unique drug delivery system.

    v)                  Relation between environmental science and nano-technology.

    These courses helps the students to understand the various methods to synthesize and pattern on a nanoscale on various substrates. These are supported by project work, undertaken on both group and individual basis, and conducted in close collaboration with the related industries

    Job Prospectus and Career Options : The scope and application of Nanotechnology is tremendous and mind-boggling. The career opportunities in the fields of nanoscale science and technology are expanding rapidly, as these fields have increasing impact on many aspects of our daily lives. The major areas for the development of applications involving Nanotechnology are medical and pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics, magnetics and optoelectronics, energy chemicals, advanced materials and textiles. 

    A professional in the field of Nanotechnology can easily find lucrative career opportunities in various sectors. They can work in the field of nano-medicine, bio-informatics, stem cell development, pharmaceutical companies, nano toxicology and nano power generating sectors.

    Other work fields includes : 

    A surfeit of job opportunities are awaiting for candidates with M.Tech in Nanotechnology in India and abroad. Considering the importance of research and development (R& D) in this new area, Indian industry has focused on nanomaterials and many scientific institution have started research and development activities in the field. The CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) has set up 38 laboratories, across the country, to carry out research and development work in this field. Those with Ph.D in Nanotechnology will have vibrant opportunities in the Research & Development sectors. Some of the companies in India that provides job prospects are Cranes Software International Limited, Bangalore; Monad Nanotech Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai; Velbionanotech, Bangalore; Qtech Nanosystems (P) Ltd, Bangalore; Innovations Unified Technology, Mumbai etc.

    Remuneration : Sky is the limit for a qualified Nanotechnologist. This field is expected to boom in the future and throw up a large number of job opportunities with handsome pay packages. The initial pay scale depends upon the industry.

    In government sector, a person with an M.Tech degree can expect a salary of around 20,000 to 30,000 per month. This is a field that has a manifold scope for perks and other benefits. Depending on the qualification, experience and nature of work, the pay packet may vary from Rs. 600000, to Rs. 12,00,000 per annum.


      
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