nano·​struc·​ture | \ ˈna-nə-ˌstrək-chər How to pronounce nanostructure (audio) \

Definition of nanostructure

: a nanoscale structure especially : an arrangement, structure, or part of something of molecular dimensions

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Other Words from nanostructure

nanostructured \ ˈna-​nə-​ˌstrək-​chərd How to pronounce nanostructured (audio) \ adjective

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Two important types of nanostructure are nanocrystals (tiny crystals, often of semiconducting material) and nanotubes (tiny tubes, usually of pure carbon). Nanocrystals made from semiconductors change color depending on their size, and are being used for such tasks as detecting viruses in living cells. Nanotubes can conduct enormous amounts of electrical current, far more than metal wires. They are the basic material of tiny "paper" batteries, which can be rolled, folded, or cut while still producing power. Nanotubes are also now being used in materials for lightweight tennis rackets and golf clubs, and may soon enable the manufacture of TV screens no thicker than a film.

Examples of nanostructure in a Sentence

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The nanostructures discovered could be used to develop new transparent materials, as materials scientist Chih-Hao Chang of North Carolina State University, who was not involved in the study, tells Yan. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Nanoscale Structures Give Dragonfish Their Terrible, Invisible Teeth," 6 June 2019 But inner egg layers have a different nanostructure, which has less osteopontin and lower density of mineral packing. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "How Do Tiny Chicks Crack Out of Their Eggs?," 5 Apr. 2018 The researchers also prepared their bone samples in an unconventional way aimed at keeping intricate nanostructures intact. Angus Chen, Scientific American, "Core Strength: Extreme “Close Ups” May Help Explain Why Our Bones Are So Strong," 3 May 2018 In new research, Johnsen and colleague Karen Osborn discovered how complex nanostructures in the fishes' skin trap incoming photons, absorbing almost all the light that touches them. Sonke Johnsen, National Geographic, "How Deep-Sea Fish Are So Exceptionally Black," 18 Apr. 2018 By looking at frozen samples under an electron microscope, scientists were able to zero in on nanostructures in the alga’s cells that are about 1000 times smaller than a human hair is thick. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists uncover the secret behind shimmering seaweed," 13 Apr. 2018 Today, atoms, ions and laser beams are among the key components that create crisp images of the miniature world of cells, molecules and nanostructures. Discover Magazine, "Imaging the Imperceptible," 23 Feb. 2018 Based on their internal nanostructures, flavobacterium colonies naturally reflect a metallic green color. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This Vibrant Bacteria Could Be Used to “Grow” Iridescent Paint in Any Color," 22 Feb. 2018 All the butterfly has to do to create its nanostructures is to combine some proteins together. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Solar Panels Might Get More Efficient Thanks to a Butterfly," 18 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nanostructure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nanostructure

1978, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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The first known use of nanostructure was in 1978

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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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