What is nanoanalysis? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Electronics glossary:

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
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • charge (electric charge)

    - In physics, charge, also known as electric charge, electrical charge, or electrostatic charge and symbolized q, is a characteristic of a unit of matter that expresses the extent to which it has mor... (WhatIs.com)

  • semiconductor

    - A semiconductor is a substance, usually a solid chemical element or compound, that can conduct electricity under some conditions but not others, making it a good medium for the control of electrica... (WhatIs.com)

  • diode

    - A diode is a specialized electronic component with two electrodes called the anode and the cathode. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About nanoanalysisPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.