What is Nanotechnology?

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Some Basics

Nanotechnology is controlling matter at a nanoscale (dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers). It can relate to several different fields including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and material science. The ideas for nanotechnology were being formed long before the term “nanotechnology” was used. It started in December 29, 1959 with physicist Richard Feynman during an American Physical Society meeting. Feynman described the process of scientist’s ability to manipulate atoms. A decade later, Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term nanotechnology, during exploration of ultraprecision. Modern technology started to become what it is today during 1981 with the creation of the scanning tunneling microscope that could see atoms individually.

Imaging how small nanotechnology is might be difficult. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. Here are some examples of just how small that is…

-25,400,000 nanometers in an inch

-Sheet of newspaper is 100,000 nanometers thick

-if a marble was a nanometer, the Earth would be one meter.

What are nanomaterials?

Nanomaterial refers to materials have nanoscale structures on theirs surface or internally. These include both man-made nanoscale objects such as nanoparticles, nanofilms, and nanotubes, as well as natural objects such as volcanic ash, smoke, or sea spray.