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

Recent Examples on the Web Dengue's surface pattern is complex, Wang adds, so DNA nanostructures must be molded into complicated geometric shapes to match. Harini Barath, Scientific American, "New Test Uses DNA Trap to Detect Dengue," 14 Apr. 2020 Lieber’s strategy opened the door to making pristine nanostructures with simple and inexpensive chemical techniques. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Why did a Chinese university hire Charles Lieber to do battery research?," 4 Feb. 2020 Instead, Dahn’s team achieved its huge performance boosts through lots and lots of optimizing of those familiar ingredients, and tweaking the nanostructure of the battery’s cathode. Wired, "Tesla May Soon Have a Battery That Can Last a Million Miles," 23 Sep. 2019 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

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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The first known use of nanostructure was in 1978

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Cite this Entry

“Nanostructure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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