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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Winter 2011
DOI: 10.5062/F43R0QR5

URLs in this document have been updated. Links enclosed in {curly brackets} have been changed. If a replacement link was located, the new URL was added and the link is active; if a new site could not be identified, the broken link was removed.


Science and Technology Resources on the Internet

Guide to Nanotechnology Internet Resources

Jill Dixon
Science Library Coordinator / Engineering Librarian
Binghamton University Libraries
Binghamton, New York

Copyright 2011, Jill Dixon. Used with permission.

Table of Contents

Scope of Guide
Academic Programs
Associations and Societies
Blogs, Magazines, and News Portals
Communities, Forums, and Networks
Criticism and Risks
Dictionaries and Directories
General Information
Institutes and Research Centers
International Organizations and National Governments
Major Conferences
Open Access Publications
Pioneer Researchers
U.S. Government


In 1959, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard P. Feynman delivered the classic lecture "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," in which he described "a technological vision of extreme miniaturization" (Bhushan 2007) and challenged scientists to explore this relatively new scientific field. The first use of the actual term "nanotechnology" was in a 1974 conference paper, "On the Basic Concept of 'Nano-Technology,'" by Tokyo Science University Professor Norio Taniguchi.

A basic definition of nanotechnology is the engineering and fabricating of objects on a nanoscale level (Edwards 2006). Nanoscale is measured from 1 to 100 nanometers. A nanometer equals one billionth of a meter.

Nanotechnology has the potential to have a profound impact on many aspects of our lives. Proponents claim that "nanotechnology will be the next industrial revolution," with technological breakthroughs in areas such as aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, defense, electronics, energy, environment, information technology, health care and medicine, national security, and transportation (Bhushan 2007).

Nanotechnology is not welcomed by all. There are critics of the technology and its potential risks. Are nanomaterials toxic to humans and the environment? Will the technology lead to the development of powerful, destructive nanotech weapons, inciting a new arms race? Does it benefit mainly the rich through technological advancements, e.g., in health care or energy, not available to the poor? These are just some of the societal and ethical concerns surrounding nanotechnology (see Criticism and Risks section).

Scope of Guide

The purpose of this webliography is to direct readers to online resources about this broad, far-reaching and expanding science. The majority of the information is aimed toward college students, librarians, and researchers, with a few general resources for those unfamiliar with, but curious about, nanotechnology.

It should be noted that there are numerous online business resources for nanotechnology. It is not the purpose of this webliography to highlight any individual companies so I've excluded this type of resource other than a general business directory. General career and job information can be found on many of the web sites listed below.

Because of the wide scope and range of nanotechnology, there are hundreds of reliable Internet resources available for those interested in the field. This webliography provides a selection of annotated sources by categories and is not meant to be comprehensive. To keep this webliography as concise as possible while still providing access to relevant and reliable information, I've provided directory-style resources for some specific categories instead of listing each resource separately (e.g., Academic Programs).

All resources are freely available and in English.


The selection of resources was based primarily on the author's knowledge of nanotechnology as a new engineering librarian and following links from known sites. It was supplemented with a general Google search.


Academic Programs

Numerous educational institutions worldwide offer academic courses and programs in nanotechnology, with a few offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. The research focus varies for each program.

Nanotechnology Academic Programs
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology's Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited (see Institutes and Research Centers section) provides a listing of academic programs and institutes organized by country.

Nanotechnology Education
Nanotechnology Now (see News Portals section) maintains an A-to-Z listing of college, university, and general nanoscience programs.

University Education
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (see U.S. Government section) web site displays a list of degree programs and courses offered by U.S. colleges and universities.

Associations and Societies

Many professional science and engineering associations address nanotechnology research through publications, conferences, workshops, and programs. The following societies offer freely available information for site visitors (in addition to resources for members only).

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nanotechnology Institute
Governed by the ASME NanoEngineering Council, the ASME Nanotechnology Institute serves as an information clearinghouse for ASME programs and activities in nanotechnology research and development. Institute members shape educational programming, participate in governmental relations initiatives, and develop training resources. The site provides information on upcoming events, current news, and job postings.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Nanotation
ACS Nanotation, produced by the American Chemical Society Publications Division, is designed to serve as an online community for nanotechnology researchers and students. The site features ACS journal articles on nanotechnology, career resources, events, and Nano Picks, reviews of recent nanoscience findings.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nanotechnology Council
The IEEE Nanotechnology Council's mission is to advance nanotechnology in "scientific, literary, and educational areas." The multidisciplinary group has created a virtual work environment to facilitate collaboration in nanotechnology research.

Institute of Physics (IOP) -
The IOP Publishing community web site is a portal for nanotechnology news, events, product information, and jobs. The site also features a buyer's guide with information about companies and products. Members receive a free weekly news alert highlighting research worldwide.

Blogs, Magazines, and News Portals

There are numerous blogs and news and magazine sites that discuss and feature nanotechnology news -- below is a selection. The news portals listed bring together information from a variety of online sources.

Nanotechnology Blogs (
{} provides a listing of active blogs focusing on nanotechnology. Each listing has a brief annotation about the blog.


New Scientist
The nanotechnology section of this subscription-based magazine features a beginner's guide to nanotechnology and a selection of freely available news articles. The section also provides previews for articles accessible only through a subscription to the magazine.

Scientific American
Scientific American's nanotechnology section includes freely available news articles, podcasts, blogs, and slide shows. The section also provides previews for articles accessible only through a subscription to the magazine.

News Portals

Nanotechnology for Development
The Nanotechnology for Development group web page, part of the Zunia Knowledge Exchange (Zunia) web site, consolidates current nanotechnology news by topic from various sources, including news portals, governmental web sites, and publishers. Zunia is an informational platform created by Development Gateway, whose mission is to reduce poverty, and is supported by international groups (including the United Nations), nonprofit organizations, and national governments.

Nanotechnology Now
Nanotechnology Now is an information gateway site featuring news briefs, white papers, feature columns, company and academic directories, interviews with industry leaders, and a career center. Nanotechnology Now also offers subscription- and fee-based products, including consulting services and a specialized monthly report.

Nanowerk is a specialized news portal focusing on nanotechnology information, including new research, recent publications, company profiles, job listings, and event news. The daily "Nanowerk Spotlight" feature article examines recent research findings. This popular site also has a unique database of nanomaterial suppliers.

Physorg - Nanotechnology News
Physorg is an online news service for the sciences. The site collects news from government, academic, and industry sources. The nanotechnology section is divided into four sections: Nanotechnology (general news), Bio & Medicine, Nanophysics, and Nanomaterials. The site also publishes exclusive feature stories on new developments in science and technology.

Communities, Forums, and Networks

Numerous online networking sites are dedicated to nanotechnology professionals and researchers. These sites offer the opportunity to connect with information and people in nanoscience.

Nanoforum - European Nanotechnology Gateway
Nanoforum, originally funded by the European Commission, operates as a news distribution forum. The news is divided into topics, including Chemistry & Materials, Health & Nanobio, Nanotools & Metrology, and Transport & Space, among others. Individuals can join the Nanoforum community for free to participate in discussion groups and disseminate information. The mission of the forum is to "enhance access" to nanotechnology activities in Europe.

NanoHub was created to support research and educational initiatives in nanotechnology. The site features more than 1,600 educational resources, including online presentations, undergraduate and graduate courses, learning modules, conceptual learning tools, and more. NanoHub was created by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (see below) with National Science Foundation (NSF) funding.

Developed by graduate students, NanoInfoline is an open access portal for nanotechnology research. The site is divided into four sections: Research Papers, Professors, Community, and Forum. Citations are provided for papers from high-impact journals such as Advanced Materials, Nature, Science, ACS Nano, and Journal of American Chemical Society, among others. Individuals join as members (for free) to participate in online discussions.

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN)
Supported by NSF, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network is a partnership of 14 university-based user facilities that support nanotechnology research. The network offers access to high-tech tools and facilities for researchers. NNIN services are open to industry and government users. NNIN members also provide training and advice on how to start a research project. NNIN hosts workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Nature Network
Nature Network is a professional networking site created by Nature Publishing Group. The purpose of the site is to create "an online meeting place" for scientists. Members can join interest groups, participate in forum discussions, and post blog commentaries. There are nearly 20 forums dedicated to nanotechnology, with many other forums in related areas.

Nanopaprika, also known as The Internet NanoScience Community (TINC), is an "online social networking community for nanoscientists" created by a Hungarian doctoral student. Members can form thematic groups and chat with colleagues. The site also features several blogs written by members.

NanoScienceWorks is a nonprofit online research community for nanotechnology supported by the Taylor & Francis Group, a publishing company. The site presents general news stories, nano "newsmakers" features, and brief institutional profiles. It also spotlights information about Taylor & Francis publications related to nanotechnology.

Criticism and Risks

Criticism of nanotechnology includes ethical issues, potential risks, and possible disasters that range from significant disruption of national economies to the complete destruction of our planet. In addition to the three sites below, many of the other sites listed in this webliography include information about societal and ethical issues.

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN)
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology's mission is to examine the benefits and risks of nanotechnology -- specifically molecular manufacturing. CRN is a nonprofit, independent think tank, which claims "no direct affiliation to any government, business, or academic organization."

International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON)
The mission of the International Council on Nanotechnology is to promote the safe development of nanotechnology to minimize risk and maximize benefits. The organization works with stakeholders from government, academia, industry, and private organizations. ICON activities include hosting forums, developing an electronic knowledge base, providing high-quality technical information, and fostering communication between stakeholders. ICON is managed by Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology.

Societal and Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology (SEI)
In association with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (see Communities, Forums & Networks section), SEI members focus on research about societal and ethical issues surrounding nanotechnology. The site includes a resource database searchable by type of material (e.g., article, book, multimedia, etc.) or by category (e.g., environmental, green nano, regulation, etc.). The site also has a brief historical timeline of nanoscience.

Dictionaries and Directories -- The A to Z of Nanotechnology
AZoNano lists freely accessible information and resources on nanotechnology. The site's primary audience is consumers of nanotechnology. Resources include articles, books, events, jobs, news, podcasts, products, and videos. features its own iPhone app. - Dictionary of Nanotechnology is a searchable online dictionary of nanotechnology terms. It also provides a list of abbreviations and extensive listings of nano-related web sites.

DMOZ Open Directory Project -- Science: Technology: Nanotechnology
This open web directory lists nearly 300 nanotechnology sites with brief annotations for each listing. It is organized by the following categories: Academic Departments, Conferences, Funding, Materials, People, Personal Pages, Publications, and Research Groups and Centers.

General Information

The following web sites provide a basic overview of nanotechnology for general audiences.

HowStuffWorks "How Nanotechnology Works"
HowStuffWorks, owned by Discovery Communications, presents complex topics in an easy-to-understand manner. The award-winning and popular web site features a general article with images and videos about nanotechnology. The article examines nanomaterial, nano products, ethical issues, and the future of nanotechnology. The two-minute videos discuss various nanotechnology-related subjects, including futuristic cars, space, computers, and weapons.

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
The mission of the Project on Emerging Nanotechnology is to advance nanotechnology in a responsible manner. The project maintains several nanotechnology-based online inventories on agricultural and consumer products, safety research, maps, and medicine. The site also features news on various nanotechnology topics, including agriculture, business, consumer products, medicine, public perception, policy, and risk. The project is a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts. is an online resource for students, parents, and teachers. Created by IEEE, IBM, and the New York Hall of Science, the site presents a general exploration of nanotechnology, including its history and possible future developments. It also features information about nanomaterials, nano applications, organizations, university programs, and more. Educational resources include lesson plans, games, images, and a glossary.

Institutes and Research Centers

There are numerous regional, national, and international institutes and research centers dedicated to nanotechnology. Below is a representative list of academic, governmental, and private research organizations. The listing includes the primary affiliation and the research or educational focus of the center.

Center for Functional Nanostructures (CFN)
Established in 2001, the Center for Functional Nanostructures is an interdisciplinary research center located at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruhe, Germany). Research areas include nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, molecular nanostructures, nanobiology, and nano energies.

Foresight Institute
Founded in 1986, the Foresight Institute is a nonprofit educational organization and think tank in Menlo Park, Calif. The society's mission is to educate the public on the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. The work of the organization focuses on clean energy and water, health and longevity, environmental health, information technology, and space development. The resource section provides links to web resources for researchers and investors.

Institute of Nano Technology (IoN)
The Institute of Nano Technology is a nonprofit educational organization focused on the development and promotion of nanotechnology for the benefit of society. IoN activities include examining the implications of nanotechnology for industry, society, and the environment. The institute, located in Scotland, was founded in 1997. The site has freely available information and resources in addition to market reports for a fee.

Micro and Nanotechnologies Innovation Campus (MINATEC)
The Micro and Nanotechnologies Innovation Campus is a technology center in Grenoble, France. MINATEC research areas include materials and integration processing, photonics, microelectromechanical systems and sensors, molecular electronics, nanocharacterization, nanoelectronics, and spintronics. The government-funded research center was founded in 2002.

Nano and Advanced Materials Institute (NAMI)
The Nano and Advanced Materials Institute was established to promote nanotechnology research and development for the Hong Kong region. Research areas include nanomaterials, nano optoelectronics, and nanostructured material. The institute is hosted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in Kowloon.

NanoMaterials Design & Commercialization Center (NDCC)
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, the NanoMaterials Design & Commercialization Center is a research consortium with members from local industry, state government, and academia. The primary research area for the consortium is nanomaterials for the aerospace, defense, and advanced manufacturing industries.

Nano Science and Technology Institute (NSTI)
Founded in 1997, the Nano Science and Technology Institute is an education and business center in Cambridge, Mass. The work of the institute focuses on the integration of nanotechnology through educational programs, publications, and research services. NSTI produces the annual conference Nanotech.

Nanotechnology Institute (NTI)
The Nanotechnology Institute is an academic/Pennsylvania state government partnership located in Philadelphia. The institute's primary focus is on technology transfer from academia to industry, with the ultimate goal of commercial application of new nanotechnology discoveries. NTI was created by the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

Nanotechnology Research and Education Centers
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (see U.S. Government section) posts a list of U.S. government and academic research centers involved in nanotechnology research and education.

International Organizations and National Governments

The significant potential of nanotechnology for economic and social benefit has prompted national governments and international organizations to create initiatives and programs to promote and advance nanotechnology research in their regions. These programs primarily serve as central organizations for coordinating research and development activities. Below is a selection of international organizations and national government initiatives.

Australian Research Council Nanotechnology Network

European Commission: CORDIS: Nanotechnology

European Commission: Introduction to Nanotechnology

Nano Quebec (Canada)
[Note: You will need to click on "English" to view the English-language version.]

National Centre for Nano-structured Materials (South Africa)

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan)

Nano Mission (India)

Nano Ned (Netherlands)

NanotecIT (Italy)

National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (China)

National Institute for Nanotechnology (Canada)

National Nanotechnology Center (Thailand)

Major Conferences

Below are two major international nanotechnology conferences, as well as a conference directory site. Many of the organizations in this webliography also host conferences, workshops, and other events (see each link for details).

International Nanotechnology Conference on Communications and Cooperation (INC)
INC brings together researchers, industry leaders, and policy makers from Europe, Japan, and the United States to foster communications about nanotechnology research and developments. The conference provides regional overviews and reports on current studies.

Nanotech Conference & Expo
The Nano Science and Technology Institute (see Institutes & Research Centers section) hosts the annual Nanotech Conference & Expo. The focus of the conference is the application of nanotechnology research. First held in 1998, the conference is attended by researchers, scientists, investors, and business executives. Nanotech is now is co-located with four other technology conferences.

Nanotechnology Conferences
This site provides a listing of worldwide conferences, meetings, and symposiums on nanotechnology.

Open Access Publications

Although there are numerous subscription-based journals that cover nanotechnology, it is the purpose of this webliography to include freely available online resources. Below is a directory for open access journals and an online archive of open access e-prints in the sciences.
ArXiv is an open access database of e-prints for physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics disciplines. The database has hundreds of research papers related to nanotechnology. It is owned and operated by Cornell University with support of user institutions.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
The Directory of Open Access Journals is an online directory of free, full-text scientific journals, many of which are searchable on the article level. DOAJ lists more than 20 journals covering the field of nanotechnology. Suggestion: use either "nanotechnology" or "nanomaterials" as a search term to find journals on the topic.


Patents are a crucial part of the research and development of nanotechnology applications. Patent research can be a complex and difficult task. The resources below assist with finding nanotechnology-related patents.

Class 977 Nanotechnology Cross-Reference Art Collection
The United States Patent and Trademark Office created a nanotechnology-related reference document to assist with the patent searches for this research area. There are more than 250 cross-reference art collection subclasses for nanotechnology.

Key Patent Strategies for Nanotechnology Inventors (Nanowerk)
Posted in 2008, this article provides nine "considerations" about bionanotechnology patents. The strategies given in the article are meant as a guide to protect new inventions. There are also several links to earlier articles concerning intellectual property rights as they apply to nanoscience.

Nano Patents and Innovations Blog
This blog is dedicated to news about nanotechnology patents, markets, and products. It is produced by a private research company, Innovative Research and Products.

Pioneer Researchers

The resources below are intended as a starting point for learning about nanotechnology pioneers.

Nanotechnology Pioneers
The Institute of Nanotechnology (see Institutes & Researchers Centers section) web site lists eight nanotechnology pioneers, along with a very brief biography for each.

Richard Feynman
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has posted the complete transcript of Dr. Richard Feynman's classic 1959 lecture "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom," given at the American Physical Society annual meeting.

U.S. Government

Several federal government agencies have been involved in nanotechnology research since the early 1990s. In 2001, the National Nanotechnology Initiative was created to coordinate intergovernmental work (see NNI below). U.S. government information for nanoscience includes career and educational resources, funding opportunities, legislation, and research studies.

THOMAS (Library of Congress) -- Congressional Legislation
Several congressional bills have been introduced concerning nanotechnology. The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (Public Law 108-153) authorized federal appropriations to implement a National Nanotechnology Program. The Library of Congress' THOMAS site provides freely available details and current status of congressional bills. It also provides links to enacted public laws.

Information Bridge: DOE Scientific and Technical Information
This government site provides freely available full-text articles and citations for more than 230,000 U.S. Department of Energy research reports. The database contains more than 5,000 reports on nanotechnology research.

National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)
Established in 2001, the National Nanotechnology Initiative coordinates nanotechnology research and development for 25 federal agencies. The goals of the NNI are to advance research, foster technology transfer, develop educational resources, and support ethical development of nanotechnology. The NNI web site lists funding opportunities, publications, research centers, and educational resources. It also provides a gateway to online government resources, including:
  • Government Departments and Agencies
  • NNI Centers, Networks and Facilities
  • NNI Research Centers
  • Regional, State and Local Initiatives in Nanotechnology


Bhushan, B. 2007. Introduction to nanotechnology. In: Bhushan, B., editor. Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology. 2nd ed. Berlin; New York: Springer. p. 1-12.

Edwards, S.A. 2006. The nanotech pioneers: Where are they taking us? Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. p. 1-14.

Taniguchi, N. 1974. On the basic concept of 'nano-technology.' In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Production Engineering, Tokyo, 1974. Tokyo: Japan Society of Precision Engineering.

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