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What is nano?

Learn about the world on a small scale
Nanoscience is the study of the structure and function of materials on the scale of nanometres, which is one billionth of a metre or roughly the size of about ten atoms in a row.

Under those conditions, light and matter behave in ways that differ significantly from those we are familiar with on everyday scales. These behaviours often defy the classical laws of physics and chemistry and can only be understood using the laws of quantum mechanics.

Nanoscience and nanotechnologies present a range of exciting opportunities for the world – exciting not just because of the remarkable material properties and device capabilities we have already seen, but because of the enormous potential for future discoveries and technologies of which we have only just begun to scratch the surface.

Our nanoscience and nanotechnology research is impacting a huge variety of areas including energy and the environment; health and medicine; and communications, computing and security.

Associate Professor Alice Motion

Westpac Research Fellow, Sydney Nano and School of Chemistry
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