- Nanotechnology 101
- Nanotechnology and You
- About the NNI
- What is the NNI?
- Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives
- The NSET Subcommittee
- NSET's Participating Federal Partners
- Working Groups & Coordinators
- NNI Accomplishments Archive
- Contact Information
- National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO)
- Collaborations and Funding
- Publications and Resources
What It Is and How It Works
Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at the nanoscale, at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at this length scale.
Matter such as gases, liquids, and solids can exhibit unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties at the nanoscale, differing in important ways from the properties of bulk materials and single atoms or molecules. Some nanostructured materials are stronger or have different magnetic properties compared to other forms or sizes or the same material. Others are better at conducting heat or electricity. They may become more chemically reactive or reflect light better or change color as their size or structure is altered.
Quantum dots: the color of fluorescence is determined by the size of particles and the type of materials
Learn about the beginning of the science of studying the extremely small and its fundamental concepts.
A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Find out just how tiny that actually is.
Special high-powered microscopes have been developed to allow scientists to see and manipulate nanoscale materials. Learn about those microscopes here.
Learn how scientists can carefully create, control, move, and change materials at the nanoscale.
Find out what products use nanotechnology, how this improves them, and how they are made.
For more detailed information, see Frequently Asked Questions.