What is nano?

What is nano?


In short, a nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter. If this is to put in perspective, this is equivalent to a nanometer is about 100,000 times smaller than the thickness of something as thin as a human hair. To clarify the size further, it must be said that the ratio between a nanometer and a soccer ball (size 5 ) corresponds to the ratio, which is currently between a football and around the globe. It gives a good insight into how small a nanometer is.


If you work with nanotechnology, it can actually be considered that when working with something that is less than 100 nanometers (nm) - it is very, very small. When a material is processed in nano form, then this changes the physical, chemical and biological properties in a very fundamental way. If you work at the nanoscale, then you have ample opportunity to tailor the respective materials with special properties, so many people have the perception of nanotechnology, it may result in a new industrial revolution in the style of the steam engine, electricity and computer technology. Since substances - as I said - is changing fundamentally, when working with the nanoscale, then the material / substance effects on both health and the environment, however, never stopped changing radically.

Nanomaterials can and will be used in a wide variety of products and this includes for example:


  • Nanostructures , which can improve performance in both computers and other types of electronics.
  • Active nanoparticles in catalytic converters in cars, which may result in the removal of harmful gases from the car's exhaust.
  • Nanomedicine , which can be traced to a number of quite specific organs.
  • Different kinds of antibacterial treatment of sportswear.
  • Sunscreens of titaniumdiocid in sunscreens.
  • Water repellent surface treatment.
  • Carbon nanotubes, among other things, improve the strength of lightweight materials, including rackets, bicycle frames, and even wind turbines.
  • Also strengthens the glass surfaces.
  • In addition, there are also many more examples...


Source: Ministry of the Environment, European Commission, OECD

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