Browse Definitions:


Nanoanalysis refers to techniques for determining the atomic structures of materials, especially crystals. The technology is similar to that used for microanalysis, except it is done on a nanometer scale. (One nanometer is 10 -9 meter, or a millionth of a millimeter.)

With any instrument used for nanoanalysis, there is a limit to the resolution (the diameter of the smallest object that can be resolved). This is true when the instrument works directly with electromagnetic radiation such as infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), visible light, or X rays, and also when the instrument employs high-speed subatomic particles such as electrons or ions. There is a minimum wavelength associated with any medium of observation. Objects whose diameters are less than this wavelength defy observation. In general, as the wavelength becomes shorter, the required particle or wave energy increases. This motivates scientists involved with nanoanalysis to seek ever-more-powerful machines with which to observe samples.

The electron microscope is commonly used for nanoanalysis. There are two basic types that lend themselves to this application: the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the high-voltage transmission analytical electron microscope. Also useful in nanoanalysis are X-ray and UV diffraction, IR microscopy, mass spectrometry, ion-beam machines, and precision optical microprobes.

This was last updated in September 2005

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.