Difference Between Nano and Micro

Nano vs Micro | Nano vs Micro Technologies

Both micro and nano technologies are about miniaturizing the products to be more compact and efficient. Here, the terms micro and nano refer to, how small the size of manipulation. Some manufacturing processes, which were earlier belonged to micro technology, have now further scaled down and now they are in the scope of nanotechnology. Tasks of micro and nano technology related operations are done in specially designed clean rooms, where dust and dirt is not available. Also, in both micro and nano technology research, scientists have to follow special dress codes to prevent small dust particles interacting with products.

Micro technology

Micrometer (also referred to as micron) is a millionth of a meter (10 ^-6 m). Micro technology is used in manufacturing miniaturized systems or objects at micrometer scale. Printer heads, sensors and integrated circuits are examples for micro scale products.

Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) is one of the popular micrometer scale application. MEMS contain tiny mechanical components such as levers, springs and fluid channels along with electronic circuits are embedded to a tiny chip. MEMS is now further being evolved to NEMS (Nanoelectromechanical System).


Nano is a Greek word meaning ‘Dwarf’ and nanometer is a billionth of a meter (10^-9m ). Nanotechnology is designing, developing or manipulating at nanometer (a billionth of a meter) scale. The size of the dealing object should be less than hundred nanometers, at least in one dimension, to call something to be nanotechnology. Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistor (CNTFET) is an example for a nanotechnology product.

Nanotechnology is applied in many areas including IT, automobile, healthcare, textile and agricultural industries. Nanotechnology is expected to be the next revolution and many governments, universities and companies all over the invest lot of money on nanotechnology research.

Difference between micro and nano technologies

1. The dealing object’s scale in nanotechnology is thousand times smaller than microtechnology

2. Nanotechnology is newer than micro technology and more research is done across the world on it.

3. Cost of nanotechnology research is higher than of micro technologies at present.

4. Although, bottom-up approach is followed in both micro and nano technologies, molecular scale assembly is only available in nanotechnology.

5. Some production processes which were earlier belonged to micro technology, have now further scaled down, and now they are belong to nanotechnology.

6. Results that are different in microtechnologies can be obtained through nanotechnology as laws of quantum physics become increasingly important at lower scale.

7. Since, aspect ratio (surface area / volume) is higher for nano particles, products of nanotechnology are more reactive than micro technology.