Nanotechnology is a term referring to a wide range of technologies that measure, manipulate, or incorporate materials and/or features with at least one dimension between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers (nm). Such applications exploit the properties, distinct from bulk/macroscopic systems, of nanoscale components.

ASTM International E 2456-06 Terminology for Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter 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.

A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick; a single gold atom is about a third of a nanometer in diameter. Dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers are known as the nanoscale. Unusual physical, chemical, and biological properties can emerge in materials at the nanoscale. These properties may differ in important ways from the properties of bulk materials and single atoms or molecules.

The National Nanotechnology Initiative-Supplement to the President's 2009 Budget

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