Nano Defined

The Basics:

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. In scientific notation this is written as 1x10E-9, meaning 1/1,000,000,000 meter. For those of us who are more familiar with inches, there are about 2,540,000,000 nanometers in one inch. The application of nanotechnology is the the creation and manufacture of mechanical devices and materials on an atomic and molecular level. This ability will allow major breakthoughs in engineering, medicine and science which will fundamentally change our lives and world.

The Technologist's view.

Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary domain which incorporates areas of chemistry, molecular biology, materials science, physics and engineering, Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range, to provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nanoscale and to create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size. The novel and differentiating properties and functions are developed at a critical length scale of matter typically under 100 nm. Nanotechnology research and development includes manipulation under control of the nanoscale structures and their integration into larger material components, systems and architectures. Within these larger scale assemblies, the control and construction of their structures and components remains at the nanometer scale. In some particular cases, the critical length scale for novel properties and phenomena may be under 1 nm (e.g., manipulation of atoms at ~0.1 nm) or be larger than 100 nm.


The Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative: Facilitating Economic Development in Northern California by leveraging the world leading R&D institutions of the San Francisco Bay Area - nanotechnology initiatives that will help develop the 21st century economies of the region and the world.

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