What is nano?

One nanometer is equivalent to a billionth of a meter. This is about the length of five to ten atoms in a row. A nanometer is to a meter what a football is to the entire earth. The term nanotechnology is used to describe the specific and controlled measurement, development, manufacture and use of nanomaterials. These are materials that possess structures, particles, fibers or platelets smaller than 100 nanometers in size.

Because of their small size, nanomaterials often have new optical, magnetic, mechanical, chemical and biological properties. Consequently, they can be used to develop innovative products with new functionalities and special properties.


Nanomaterials are defined differently around the world depending on the region and their intended use. Here is an example: