Career in Nanotechnology

Dr. Pawan Whig, Dean, RIET, Jaipur

NANOTECHNOLOGY is the upcoming field which interests many people. It is the science of the future which includes innovations that can change the world.  It is the engineering of working systems at the molecular level. From the clothes and sunglasses we wear to computer hard drives and even cleaning products, nanotechnology  often inspired by the natural world  plays a big part in the manufacture of many familiar products. Nanotechnology is an inescapable part of modern everyday life.

Nanotechnology as defined by size is naturally very broad, including fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, micro fabrication, etc. The associated research and applications are equally diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the Nanoscale to direct control of matter on the atomic scale.

Indian industries have started realizing the commercial viability of Nanotechnology quite recently. Thus it is one of the hottest career options available to Indian Engineering graduates. Nanotechnology in India 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.  It is a powerful technology which aids the development of products with futuristic performance.

The two major categories of Nanotechnology are Nanoscale technology and Molecular manufacturing. Nanoscale technology covers small structures and can be used for introducing stronger materials, better medicines, and faster computers and so on. Molecular manufacturing is an attempt at building mechanical and chemical manufacturing systems that join molecules together.nanotechnology

The scope and application of nanotechnology is tremendous and stupendous. Right from medicine, pharmaceuticals, information technology, electronics, optoelectronics, energy, chemicals, advanced materials to textiles, nanotechnology has its applications.

A lot of job opportunities and research career exists in the areas of Nano-device, Nano-packaging, Nano-wires, Nano-tools, Nano- biotechnology, Nano crystalline materials, Nano photonics and Nano porous materials to name a few. It is estimated that around two million nanotechnology skilled workforce will be required world wide by 2015. Many government institutes and Indian industries have focused on nanomaterials. It is also estimated nanotechnology will create another five million jobs worldwide in support fields and industries. A professional in the field of nanotechnology can easily find lucrative jobs in most of fields.

Skills:  One needs to have a diehard passion for research, especially to find out new structures in the field of nanotechnology.  It is important to have sound analytical skills, along with a scientific bent of mind. Analyzing and interpreting skills are a necessity in this field and also to accept failures in experiments as a challenge. Other necessary skills which are required are as follows:

Good mathematical and computer programming skills

Adequate laboratory training for expert handling of advanced equipments

Ability to learn and adopt new techniques

Have a systematic way of working

A natural propensity for research work

Keep a track of the latest scientific news, books and research magazines

A good background of physics, chemistry, medicine, electronics and biotechnology.

Job Prospects: Since nanotechnology is a special branch that essentially combines physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and technology, it is opening up job prospects for students specializing in all the mentioned subjects. 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.

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 opportunities in nanotechnology are enormous but it requires lots of dedication and hard work to achieve the level of expertise in this field.  People in this field can develop themselves in health industry, agriculture, environment industry, food and beverages, space research, and other industries as it has a very wide scope.  They can work in the field of Nano-medicine, bio-informatics, stem cell development, pharmaceutical companies, and Nano toxicology and Nano power generating sectors. Candidates with M.Tech in Nanotechnology are in great demand both in India and abroad.

Nanotechnology has varied applications viz. drug delivery to treat cancer tumor (without using radiotherapy & chemotherapy), solar energy, batteries, display technologies, opto-electronic devices, semiconductor devices, biosensors, luminous paints, and many others. A major challenge in this emerging field is the training for a new generation of skilled professionals.

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 PhD in Nanotechnology will have vibrant opportunities in the Research & Development sectors.

Eligibility: For post graduation in nanotechnology candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks aggregate in Math, Physics, Chemistry and Life Sciences with PCS as subsidiary subjects.  A Post Grad degree is starting ladder for nanotechnology career.