Nanomaterials – the element of tomorrow
Summarised from an article in ISO Focus, February 2009, by Dr Peter Hatto, Chair, ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies (www.iso.org/isofocus)
Nanotechnology generates significant interest for its potentially groundbreaking applications in all fields. It will enable, among other things, inexpensive water purification systems, sustainable energy production, enhanced diagnostics, improved drug delivery, and next-generation bio-medical services.
Defined as 'the application of scientific knowledge to control and utilise matter at the nanoscale, where size-related properties and phenomena can emerge', nanotechnology deals with materials ranging from approximately 1 nm (one billionth of a metre) to 100 nm.
Nanomaterials make up an important part of the work of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 229, including:
- naming and describing their forms, properties, and behaviour
- developing test methods for measuring nanoscale phenomena and characterising the properties of nanomaterials
- developing standard methods for evaluating and mitigating environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials
- providing specifications for different nanomaterials.