Researchers say the real promise of nanotechnology will still take years of hard work in the lab.
They fear that if it is over-hyped, their work could fall victim to the sort of boom and bust cycle that has hit telecoms and dot.com businesses.
It sounds like science fiction, but researchers are predicting:
- Powerful computers the size of a grain of sand, able to operate for decades on the power of a single wristwatch battery
- ‘Smart’ fabrics that could sense heat or the presence of toxic chemicals and protect the wearer.
- Nanoscale filters able to deactivate chemical weapons and clean the environment.