Nanotechnology is the creation of materials, fabrication of devices and the assembly of systems by controlling matter at the nanometer size scale.

One nanometer (nm) is 10 meters or one millionth of a millimeter. Nanotechnology is the science of materials in the 1 to 100 nanometer range or about 1/10th the wavelength of visible light (for reference, the spectrum of visible light ranges from 380 to 740 nm).

Nanoparticles are smaller by an order of magnitude than conventional fine powders used in standard commercial applications such as solder powder in solder paste, metal powders in thick film paste and powder metallurgy, catalysts, inks and coatings. The physical properties of particles in this size range change radically from their macromolecular state, with key improvements in physical strength, wear resistance and ductility. Optical and magnetic properties and chemical reactivity also undergo significant changes.

Nanoparticles are of great interest in numerous applications, including:

  • advanced ceramic and metal structures
  • conductive paths and conductive layers in electronic applications
  • coatings
  • magnetic storage media
  • super-efficient catalysts.