Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular scale.

One early description of nanotechnology referred to the particular goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products (now referred to as molecular nanotechnology).

A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the US National Nanotechnology Initiative which defines nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.

Nanotechnology as defined by size is very broad, including fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, and microfabrication.

Nanotechnology (image)

3D print of carbon nanotube

This is a 3D print of a carbon nanotube (CNT).

CNTs are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure. Nanotubes have been constructed with length-to-diameter ratios of up to 132,000,000:1, significantly larger than for any other material.

These cylindrical carbon molecules have unusual properties, which are valuable for nanotechnology, electronics, optics and other fields of materials science and technology.

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