Nanotechnology is a relatively new science and is the building of molecular structures, atom by atom. It involves altering and manipulating structures of atoms at the 'nano scale'. The prefix 'Nano' comes from the Greek word which means"dwarf". The term is fitting as the nanometer (nm) is one billionth of a conventional metre (m). Although this field of science is fairly new, it has been unknowingly used throughout history in ceramics and glass making [Refer to 'History' page]. However what has changed recently is an explosion in our ability to image, engineer and manipulate systems in the nanometer scale.
It is important to understand just how small the molecular level is, the diagram below shows this in relation to other known objects.