Nanotechnology and You


Nanotechnology is changing the world and the way we live, creating scientific advances and new products that are smaller, faster, stronger, safer, and more reliable. After about 20 years of steady progress in nanotechnology research and development, scientists in the United States and around the world have a much clearer picture of how to create nanoscale materials with properties never before envisioned. Scientists and engineers are exploring exciting new discoveries at the nanoscale every day.

Benefits and Applications

Nanotechnology research will have a significant, positive impact on our world.

Environmental, Health, and Safety Issues

The NNI and its member agencies are committed to the responsible development of nanotechnology.

Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues

The potential societal, ethical, and legal implications of nanotechnology are an important NNI issue.

Federal Legislation & Congressional Info

Congress and the Executive Branch fund nanotechnology R&D and establish policies and regulations that affect nano-enabled products and materials.

International Engagement

Examples of multi- and bi-lateral cooperation between the U.S. and foreign governments.

Standards for Nanotechnology

Globally accepted nanotechnology standards are vital to continuing progress in research and development and eventual commercialization.


Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology encompasses science, engineering, and technology at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. Just how small is that? A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For reference, a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. Nanoscale matter can behave differently than the same bulk material. For example, a material’s melting point, color, strength, chemical reactivity, and more may change at the nanoscale.

Researchers seeking to understand the fundamentals of properties at the nanoscale may call their work nanoscience; those focused on effective use of the properties may call their work nanoengineering. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.

Learn more in the Nano 101 section.