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# Nanometer

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 Title: Nanometer Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia Language: English Subject: Collection: Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia Publication Date:

### Nanometer

1 nanometre =
SI units
1×10−9 m 1×10−3 μm
US customary / Imperial units
3.2808×10−9 ft 39.370×10−9 in

The nanometre (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; SI symbol: nm) or nanometer (American spelling) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre. The name combines the SI prefix nano- (from the Ancient Greek νάνος, nanos, "dwarf") with the parent unit name metre (from Greek μέτρον, metrοn, "unit of measurement"). It can be written in scientific notation as 1×10−9 m, in engineering notation as 1 E−9 m, and is simply 1 m / 1,000,000,000. One nanometre equals ten Angstroms.

## Use

The nanometre is often used to express dimensions on an atomic scale: the diameter of a helium atom, for example, is about 0.1 nm, and that of a ribosome is about 20 nm. The nanometre is also commonly used to specify the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation near the visible part of the spectrum: visible light ranges from around 400 to 800 nm.[1] The angstrom, which is equal to 0.1 nanometre, was formerly used for these purposes.

## History

The nanometre was formerly known as the millimicrometre – or, more commonly, the millimicron for short – since it is 1/1000 of a micron (micrometre), and was often denoted by the symbol or (more rarely) µµ.[2][3][4] In 1960, the U.S. National Bureau of Standards adopted the prefix "nano-" for "a billionth".[5] The nanometre is often associated with the field of nanotechnology. Since the late 1980s, it has also been used to describe generations of the manufacturing technology in the semiconductor industry.