Silver particles so small that, when woven into fabrics to stop bacteria feeding on sweat, they have no detrimental effect on the softness, and the amounts of silver involved are too tiny to affect the prices much.
What mother of teenage boys would not love to buy them socks and T-shirts that would never reek of unwashed feet and bodies? It seems now that those molecular research boffins have come up with something that could do just that because of the magic ingredient which is silver.
Silver particles so small that, when woven into fabrics to stop bacteria feeding on sweat, they have no detrimental effect on the softness, and the amounts of silver involved are too tiny to affect the prices much. The powerful anti-microbial properties of silver are well known
Now being used to coat a vast range of good, from condoms through fridges to baby changing tables, European Union consortium BacterioSafe is now developing to develop anti-bacterial nano-capsule impregnated wound dressings capable of warning when infections start to develop in burns victim wounds.
Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology, Professor Gabriel Aeppli, maintains that the engineering of nano-materials will be central to human survival on earth, and many uses are being found for coating objects with nano-particles.
European project Nanocaps has developed controlled release methods for chemicals enclosed by such particles, technology that could improve car corrosion protection by 30% or more, while Mazda cars have introduced the first single nano-catalyst catalytic converter equipped model, using far less rare metal.
Thai researchers last year announced the creation of pyrethroid nano-particle infused mosquito nets that can last five times longer and more effectively deter Malaria carrying mosquitoes. Electronics giant Sharps have engineers are investigating the use of nano-particles to produce thinner and more energy efficient TV sets.
So-called quantum dots will make the next generation of LCD TVs much more colour sensitive, and therefore that much more true to life, colours emitted by semiconducting nano-crystals fine-tuned by simple size altering.
Carbon nano-tubes are also thought to be key in further shrinking electronic gadget parts, conducting heat and electricity far better than many metals, whilst being astoundingly light yet extremely strong. Where current desktop processors contain some 500m silicon transistors, carbon nano-tube transistor chips radically increase data storage capacity.
Intel unveiled a microprocessor with a 3bn transistor - 3D configuration, chip able to be more energy efficient by operating at a much lower voltage. Add to this the prospect of significantly boosting the power of MRAM devices through the use of carbon nano-tubes as the active memory element, and much faster and more capable computing becomes a real possibility
Considering that these minute materials are far more efficient at drawing heat away from processors, and are even capable of storing electric charge, so that a new mobile phone battery coating, with a nano-film called LZO could improve mobile phone memory threefold, the possibilities seem endless, with potential thermal benefits for everything from spacesuits to interplanetary robots, meaning the space exploration could be made much safer. Nano-technology is the future, without a doubt, and what incredible promise it holds.