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330px, Different lengths as in respect to the
molecular A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In ...
scale. The nanometre (international spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; SI symbol: nm) or nanometer (American and British English spelling differences#-re, -er, American spelling) is a units of measurement, unit of
length Length is a measure of distance Distance is a numerical measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be us ...

length
in the
metric system The metric system is a that succeeded the decimalised system based on the introduced in France in the 1790s. The historical development of these systems culminated in the definition of the (SI), under the oversight of an international stan ...

metric system
, equal to one
billionth One billionth is the reciprocal Reciprocal may refer to: In mathematics * Multiplicative inverse, in mathematics, the number 1/''x'', which multiplied by ''x'' gives the product 1, also known as a ''reciprocal'' * Reciprocal polynomial, a polyn ...
(
short scale The long and short scales are two of several naming systems for integer powers of ten 480px, Visualisation of powers of 10 from one to 1 billion. A power of 10 is any of the integer An integer (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a cla ...
) of a
metre The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English o ...
(). One nanometre can be expressed in
scientific notation Scientific notation is a way of expressing numbers A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or coul ...
as , and as  metres.


History

The nanometre was formerly known as the millimicrometre – or, more commonly, the millimicron for short – since it is of a
micron The micrometre ( international spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (french: Bureau international des poids et mesures, BIPM) is an intergovernmental organ ...
(micrometre), and was often denoted by the symbol mμ or (more rarely and confusingly, since it logically should refer to a ''millionth'' of a micron) as μμ.


Etymology

The name combines the
SI prefix The International System of Units, known by the international abbreviation SI in all languages and sometimes Pleonasm#Acronyms_and_initialisms, pleonastically as the SI system, is the modern form of the metric system and the world's most wi ...
''nano-'' (from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, ', "dwarf") with the parent unit name ''metre'' (from Greek , ', "unit of measurement"). When used as a
prefix A prefix is an affix In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
for something other than a unit of measure (as in "nanoscience"), nano refers to
nanotechnology Nanotechnology, also shortened to nanotech, is the use of matter on an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by havi ...

nanotechnology
, or phenomena typically occurring on a scale of nanometres (see
nanoscopic scale 300px, A ribosome is a biological machine that utilizes nanoscale protein dynamics">biological_machine.html" ;"title="ribosome is a biological machine">ribosome is a biological machine that utilizes nanoscale protein dynamics The nanoscopic ...
).


Usage

The nanometre is often used to express dimensions on an atomic scale: the diameter of a
helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios Helios; Homeric Greek: ), Latinized as Helius; Hyperion and Phaethon are also the names of his father and son respectively. often given the epithets Hyperion ("the one above") and Phaethon ("the shining" ...

helium
atom, for example, is about 0.06 nm, and that of a
ribosome Ribosomes ( ), also called Palade granules, are macromolecular machines, found within all cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small ...

ribosome
is about 20 nm. The nanometre is also commonly used to specify the
wavelength In physics, the wavelength is the spatial period of a periodic wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats. It is the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase (waves), phase on the wave, such as two adja ...

wavelength
of
electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. ...

electromagnetic radiation
near the visible part of the
spectrum A spectrum (plural ''spectra'' or ''spectrums'') is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary, without gaps, across a Continuum (theory), continuum. The word was first used scientifically in optics to describe the ...

spectrum
: visible light ranges from around 400 to 700 nm.Hewakuruppu, Y., et al.,
Plasmonic " pump – probe " method to study semi-transparent nanofluids
', Applied Optics, 52(24):6041-6050
The
ångström The angstromEntry "angstrom" in the Oxford online dictionary. Retrieved on 2019-03-02 from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/angstrom.Entry "angstrom" in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Retrieved on 2019-03-02 from https://www.me ...

ångström
, which is equal to 0.1 nm, was formerly used for these purposes. Since the late 1980s, in usages such as the 32 nm and the
22 nm The 22  nm node In general, a node is a localized swelling (a "knot A knot is an intentional complication in Rope, cordage which may be practical or decorative, or both. Practical knots are classified by function, including hitches, bends, ...
semiconductor node Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to manufacture semiconductor devices, typically the metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) devices used in the integrated circuit (IC) chips such as modern computer processors, microcontrollers ...
, it has also been used to describe typical feature sizes in successive generations of the ITRS Roadmap for
miniaturization Miniaturization ( Br.Eng.: ''Miniaturisation'') is the trend to manufacture ever smaller mechanical, optical and electronic products and devices. Examples include miniaturization of mobile phones A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, ...
in the
semiconductor industry The semiconductor industry is the aggregate of companies engaged in the design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or ...
.


Unicode

The
CJK Compatibility CJK Compatibility is a Unicode block containing square symbols (both CJK and Latin alphanumeric) encoded for compatibility with east Asian character sets. In Unicode 1.0, it was divided into two blocks, named CJK Squared Words (U+3300–U+337F) an ...
block in
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most of the world's wri ...

Unicode
has the symbol .


See also

* Nanoscale Informal Science Network


References


External links


Near-field Mie scattering in optical trap nanometry
{{SI units of length Metre