“Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular and macromolecular scales, where properties differ significantly from those at a larger scale” “Nanotechnology is the design, characterisation, production and application of structures, devices and systems by controlling shape and size at nanometre scale”.
(Royal Society & The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2004)
The term nanotechnology was coined in 1976 by the American engineer Eric Drexler, who defined his science “technology at the molecular level that will allow us to put every atom where we want it to be.” The world of nanotechnology is between 1 and 100 nanometers.
Nanotechnology was launched from the study of matter at the nanometer scale: one nanometer, a billionth of a meter, is the size of a molecule.
In this microscopic field matter exhibits different properties compared to the macroscopic state, as a result of quantum confinement of electrons inside of the nanoparticles. The variety and multiplicity of nanotechnology applications make these real “horizontal technologies” or “enabling” since it can permeate every area of technology.