What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is science, engineering and technology conducted at the nanoscale, about 1 to 100 nanometers. How small is that? Pretty small: a single sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick!

At the nano level, scientists and engineers look to control individual atoms and molecules to do some pretty amazing things. Right now, researchers are using nanotechnology to push boundaries and solve major challenges in energy, health, materials science and more. Use these resources to learn more about nanotechnology and what it means for our future.


Too Small to Stay Put - Pushing Boundaries with Nanoscience
Tuesday October 9, 2018 10:00 AM ET
In this year's Nanoday webinar, our experts will describe some of the latest developments in topics such as self-assembled nanostructures, design of nanomaterials for biological applications, and polymeric biomaterials. They will also be discussing the current state of the ever-expanding field of nanoscience and nanotechnology and give insight into the challenges that lie ahead.


Youtube ID: znP_5v_ms-o

Youtube ID: Ww-x-VIFh-Q

Youtube ID: nBh3Z6YEa40

Youtube ID: vELfuiUpKM0

Youtube ID: 1N39Z0ODeME

Youtube ID: -zo_tqi3rHk

National Meetings

ACS National Meetings bring together thousands of chemists from around the world to present their work. Check out some of the lectures on nanotechnology.


World’s Tiniest ‘Monster Truck’ Reveals Surprising Discovery

A New Way to Diagnose Prenatal Conditions

Fighting Back Against Cancer

Electronics from Paper

Using nano to improve mammograms

Nano applications fight allergies

Classroom Resources 


High School

National Historic Chemical Landmarks



ACS works with Editors to create online collections of previously published research on areas of current scientific interest. The collections are designed not only for experienced investigators but also as a tool to teach students about the diverse areas of the chemical sciences. Check out some of our articles and collections on nanotechnology!



It is estimated that by 2020, 2 million workers in the U.S. will have nanotechnology-related jobs, and the U.S. market value of products using nanotechnology will be $1 trillion, or 5% of the GDP.

College to Career: Find out how to get a job in nanochemistry.

Youtube ID: BacN2MUbX4Y

National Nanotechnology Day

October 9 is National Nanotechnology Day in honor of the nanometer scale, 10-9 meters. The goal of Nano Day is to raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it is currently used in products that enrich our daily lives, and the challenges and opportunities it holds for the future.

Learn more and see how ACS celebrated Nano Day 2017.

Federal Support

Federal support is vital to nanotechnology research. The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is responsible for coordinating a $23 billion initiative that spans 20 Federal agencies. Learn more about the NNCO.

Image Gallery

Tiny Barnacles - C&EN Chemistry in Pictures

Tiny barnacles
This scanning electron microscopy image shows a polypyrrole film that formed in tubes roughly 100 µm in diameter when a scientist electrochemically synthesized it on a platinum electrode.

Nano Bible
Measuring in at 20 nm thick and 0.04 mm² in area, the world’s smallest Bible can only be read with a microscope.

Silver nanoflowers
This image was the winner of C&EN’s National Nano Day Photo Contest in 2017. Scientists at Wilfrid Laurier University made these flower-shaped silver nanoparticles. Each flower is roughly 300 nm in diameter.

Tiny Turtle
This happy, 9-μm-wide turtle is made from a titanium carbide (Ti3C2) MXene particle.

Forming good habits
Scientists at Merck & Co. in Rahway, N.J., are researching these crystals, which were made by crystallizing the same small-molecule drug candidate yet have noticeably different shapes, or crystal habits.

Acoustic Protein Nanostructures
Gas vesicles are gas-filled nanostructures.  They scatter sound waves and have customizable shells, making them potential ultrasound contrast agents.

(Really) tiny house
Jean-Yves Rauch and colleagues at FEMTO-ST Institute constructed this 15-μm-tall house out of thin silica membranes. The team used a dual-beam scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam to erect the teeny domicile.

Infographic: Everyday Uses of Nanotechnology
A look at various consumer products that utilize nanotechnology and the chemistry behind them.