What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is the science, engineering and technology conducted at the nanometre scale, i.e. 1 to 100 nanometres. One nanometre is one billionth of a metre. This is equivalent of the size of a needle compare to that of a football pitch

The ideas and concepts of nanotechnology was established by the physicist Richard Feynman. In his talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at an American Physical Society meeting at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) on 29 December 1959, Feynman described a process in which scientists would be able to manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules.

The term nanotechnology was introduced over a decade later by Professor Norio Taniguchi. However, it was not until 1981, with the development of the scanning tunnelling microscope which could "see" individual atoms, that modern nanotechnology began to attract public attention.

Nanotechnology as seen on BBC