Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 107 July 2020 - Page 138

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Nanotechnologies are the formalization of concepts and processes from nanoscience (sciences that aim to understand the properties of matter at the nanometric scale) for multiple applications.

Nanotechnology is based on the knowledge and mastery of the infinitely small. They constitute a field of multidisciplinary research and development involving the manufacture of new materials and new devices from tools, or techniques allowing to structure matter at the atomic, molecular or supramolecular level. The characteristic scales of nanotechnologies range from 1 to 100 nanometers.

The benchmark unit in the world of nanotechnology is therefore the nanometer (nm). The prefix nano comes from the Greek nannos which means dwarf. A nanometer is a unit of measurement that is equivalent to one billionth of a meter (1 nm = 10-9 m = 0,000,000,001 m). A nanometer corresponds approximately to the size of 4 silicon atoms placed side by side, to 1/100 the width of a DNA molecule, to 1/50 000 of the thickness of a human hair or to 1 / 500,000 of the thickness of a ballpoint pen.

At such dimensions, matter acquires unexpected properties that are often completely different from those of the same materials on a micro or macroscopic scale, in particular in terms of mechanical resistance, chemical reactivity, electrical conductivity or fluorescence.

Nanotechnologies therefore lead to the development of materials whose fundamental properties (chemical, physical, thermal, optical, biological, mechanical, magnetic, etc.) can be modified: they should be considered as new chemical substances.

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