Nanofacts: Characterizing Nanomaterials - A Technological Leap to Understand the Tiny World of Nanotechnology


"Nanotechnology, once it becomes operational, will depend on the tools and our ability to use them, not on the steps that got us there" - Dr. Eric Drexler, US American engineer, known as a pioneer and visionary in this field of molecular nanotechnology (MNT).

Nanotechnology deals with the modification of matter at the molecular and atomic level. This sounds extremely innovative and cutting-edge. However, would you guess that the Damascans used nanoparticles between 300 and 1700 AD and added them to their steel to strengthen and sharpen their swords? Or, that the Romans and Mesopotamians were making a remarkable dispersion of metal nanoparticles and adding it to their glassware as early as the 4th century AD? This gave the glass a wonderful color and a glittering appearance (e.g. Lycurgus-Becher, exhibited in the British Museum)?

So why is there so much interest in nanotechnology only now? This is due to the now expanded ability to use #characterization tools. They allow us to see and understand these tiny particles - at a scale of a few nanometers (10-9 m). Unlike the Romans, Mesopotamians, and Damascans, we can now see these materials thanks to various #Characterization techniques as, for example, under the use of #Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), #Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), #Energy dispersive atomic X-ray spectroscopy and many, many more, see and understand. These technological advances have opened new vistas in all scientific fields, from the environment to healthcare to aerospace engineering!

We at nEcoTox are specialists for the characterization of nanomaterials. We are a young and dynamic team that helps our customers to investigate their products according to international standards.

Contact me by phone: 06346/9661490 or by e-mail:

Author: Dr. Gayathri Menon

Image from Tomislav Jakupec at Pixabay