Invisible plastics in water

A Washington State University research team has found that nanoscale particles of the most commonly used plastics tend to move through the water supply, especially in fresh water, or settle out in wastewater treatment plants, ...

Novel method for easier scaling of quantum devices

In an advance that may help researchers scale up quantum devices, an MIT team has developed a method to "recruit" neighboring quantum bits made of nanoscale defects in diamond, so that instead of causing disruptions they ...

Nano 2020: Scaling up nanotechnology in virtual reality

Sometimes the smallest of things lead to the biggest ideas. Case in point: Nano 2020, a University of Arizona-led initiative to develop curriculum and technology focused on educating students in the rapidly expanding field ...

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Nanoscopic scale

The nanoscopic scale usually refers to structures with a length scale applicable to nanotechnology, usually cited as 1-100 nanometers. The nanoscopic scale is roughly speaking a lower bound to the mesoscopic scale for most solids.

For technical purposes, the nanoscopic scale is the size at which the expected fluctuations of the averaged properties due to the motion and behavior of individual particles can no longer be reduced to below some desirable threshold (often a few percent), and must be rigorously established within the context of any particular problem.

The 'nanoscopic scale' is sometimes marked as the point where the properties of a material change; above this point, the properties of a material are caused by 'bulk' or 'volume' effects, namely which atoms are present, how they are bonded, and in what ratios. Below this point, the properties of a material change, and while the type of atoms present and their relative orientations are still important, 'surface area effects', also referred to as quantum effects, become more apparent-these effects are due to the geometry of the material (how thick it is, how wide it is, etc), which, at these low dimensions, can have a drastic effect on quantized states, and thus the properties of a material.

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