Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at the molecular level. The manipulation of matter at this scale presents a number of engineering challenges that must be addressed in order to ensure a safe and effective product.
Nanotechnology is manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology. A more generalized description of nanotechnology was subsequently established by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, which defines nanotechnology as the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers. This definition reflects the fact that quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum size range, and so the definition shifted from a particular technological goal to a research category inclusive of all types of research and technologies that deal with the special properties of matter that occur below the given size threshold. It is therefore common to see the plural form 'nanotechnologies' as well as 'nanoscale technologies' to refer to the broad range of research and applications whose common trait is size.
Nanotechnology is the ability to work at the molecular level, atom by atom, to create large structures with fundamentally new molecular organization. Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. This covers both current work and concepts that are more advanced. The term nanotechnology has sometimes been used to describe a range of techniques for making or manipulating materials at the atomic and molecular scale. This includes fields as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry and materials science. Nanotechnology is the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.
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