Nanotechnologies - Vocabulary - Part 4: Nanostructured materials
ISO/TS 80004-4:2011 gives terms and definitions for materials in the field of nanotechnologies where one or more components are nanoscale regions and the materials exhibit properties attributable to the presence of those nanoscale regions. It is intended to facilitate communications between organizations and individuals in industry and those who interact with them. Materials classified as nanostructured have an internal or surface structure with a significant fraction of features, grains, voids or precipitates in the nanoscale. Articles that contain nano-objects or nanostructured materials are not necessarily nanostructured materials themselves. ISO/TS 80004-4:2011 includes nanodispersion.
Standards Content (Sample)
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary —
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulaire —
Partie 4: Matériaux nanostructurés
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ISO/TS 80004-4 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies.
ISO/TS 80004 consists of the following parts, under the general title Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary:
Part 1: Core terms
Part 3: Carbon nano-objects
Part 4: Nanostructured materials
Part 5: Nano/bio interface
Part 7: Diagnostics and therapeutics for healthcare
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The following parts are under preparation:
Part 2: Nano-objects: Nanoparticle, nanofibre and nanoplate
Part 6: Nanoscale measurement and instrumentation
Part 8: Nanomanufacturing processes
1) ISO/TS 27687:2008, Nanotechnologies — Terminology and definitions for nano-objects — Nanoparticle, nanofibre
and nanoplate, will be revised as ISO 80004-2.
iv © ISO 2011 – All rights reserved
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With increasing scientific knowledge and a growing number of technical terms in this field, the purpose of this
Technical Specification is to define important terms for nanostructured materials.
Nanostructured materials are characterized by internal structures or surface structures at the nanoscale.
Nano-objects (material with one, two or three external dimensions in the nanoscale) can be nanostructured.
A material should not be classified as nanostructured based solely on its crystalline properties
(three-dimensional arrangements of atoms or molecules forming a crystallite, short range order of atoms in
amorphous or quasi-amorphous phases, grain boundaries, intragranular interfaces, dislocations, etc.). In
contrast, materials with a grain size distribution having a significant fraction of grains in the nanoscale
(nanocrystalline), voids and pores in the nanoscale, or precipitations in the nanoscale (i.e. nano-objects in a
solid matrix) are sufficient features for materials to be classified as “nanostructured” (see
ISO/TS 80004-1:2010, 2.4, nanomaterial). Similarly, almost all materials always have surfaces with
morphological and chemical heterogeneities in the nanoscale. Only surfaces that have been intentionally
modified or textured to have morphological or chemical heterogeneities in the nanoscale identify materials as
Five categories of nanostructured materials are covered in this Technical Specification (see Figure 1):
1) nanostructured powder;
3) solid nanofoam;
4) nanoporous material;
5) fluid nanodispersion.
For some of these five categories, a number of subcategory terms are also defined. The category and
subcategory terms are not comprehensive; additional categories and subcategories will be added in later
revisions of this Technical Specification.
General terms Nanostructured material
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
nanostructured nanocomposite solid nanofoam nanoporous fluid
powder material nanodispersion
Figure 1 — Categories of nanostructured materials defined in this Technical Specification
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In both nanopowders and fluid nanodispersions, the nano-objects (or their aggregates or agglomerates) are
arranged in a non-random distribution (generating a short-range order, i.e. a structure). Also, it is recognized
that in many cases the nano-objects (or their aggregates or agglomerates) will interact with the molecules of
the liquid (particularly in polar liquids) in a thin boundary layer on the surface of each particle. The
homogeneity of properties in the liquid is modified in terms of a “nanostructure”. The effects can be revealed
by physico-chemical measurements.
If, on the other hand, the liquid medium serves as a background and there is no particular interrelation among
the nano-objects contained within it, then such a nanosuspension is not considered “nanostructured” as a
whole but rather just as an ensemble of nano-objects. In this sense, the term “nanosuspension” as defined
here recognizes a grey zone between nanostructured material and a material consisting of nano-objects.
Overall, the conclusion was that the term “nanosuspension” should be included in this Technical Specification
because of its current and expanding usage to describe materials in the field.
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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ISO/TS 80004-4:2011(E)
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary —
This Technical Specification gives terms and definitions for materials in the field of nanotechnologies where
one or more components are nanoscale regions and the materials exhibit properties attributable to the
presence of those nanoscale regions. It is intended to facilitate communications between organizations and
individuals in industry and those who interact with them.
Materials have topographical or compositional features at the nanoscale, but this is not sufficient to classify
the material as nanostructured. Materials classified as nanostructured have an internal or surface structure
with a significant fraction of features, grains, voids or precipitates in the nanoscale. Articles that contain nano-
objects or nanostructured materials are not necessarily nanostructured materials themselves.
This Technical Specification includes nanodispersion.
2 Basic terms used in the description of nanostructured material
size range from approximately 1 nm to 100 nm
NOTE 1 Properties that are not extrapolations from a larger size will typically, but not exclusively, be exhibited in this
size range. For such properties the size limits are considered approximate.
NOTE 2 The lower limit in this definition (approximately 1 nm) is introduced to avoid single and small groups of atoms
from being designated as nano-objects or elements of nanostructures, which might be implied by the absence of a lower
[ISO/TS 80004-1:2010, definition 2.1]
material with one, two or three external dimensions in the nanoscale (2.1)
NOTE Generic term for all discrete nanoscale objects.
[ISO/TS 80004-1:2010, definition 2.5]
material with any external dimension in the nanoscale (2.1) or having internal structure or surface structure in
NOTE This generic term is inclusive of nano-object (2.2) and nanostructured material (2.11).
[ISO/TS 80004-1:2010, definition 2.4]
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nano-object (2.2) with all three external dimensions in the nanoscale (2.1)
NOTE If the lengths of the longest to the shortest axes of the nano-object differ significantly (typically by more than
three times), the terms nanofibre (2.5) or nanoplate (2.6) are intended to be used instead of the term nanoparticle.
[ISO/TS 27687:2008, definition 4.1]
nano-object (2.2) with two similar external dimensions in the nanoscale (2.1) and the third dimension
NOTE Adapted from ISO/TS 27687:2008, definition 4.3.
nano-object (2.2) with one external dimension in the nanoscale (2.1) and the two other external dimensions
NOTE 1 The smallest external dimension is the thickness of the nanoplate.
NOTE 2 The two significantly larger dimensions are considered to differ from the nanoscale dimension by more than
NOTE 3 The larger external dimensions are not necessarily in the nanoscale.
[ISO/TS 27687:2008, definition 4.2]
particle comprising strongly bonded or fused particles where the resulting external surface area may be
significantly smaller than the sum of calculated surface areas of the individual components
NOTE 1 The forces holding an aggregate together are strong forces, for example covalent bonds, or those resulting
from sintering or complex physical entanglement.
NOTE 2 Aggregates are also termed secondary particles and the original source particles are termed primary particles.
[ISO/TS 27687:2008, definition 3.3]
collection of weakly bound particles or aggregates or mixtures of the two where the resulting external surface
area is similar to the sum of the surface areas of the individual components
NOTE 1 The forces holding an agglomerate together are weak forces, for example van der Waals forces, or simple
NOTE 2 Agglomerates are also termed secondary particles and the original source particles are termed primary
[ISO/TS 27687:2008, definition 3.2]
composition of inter-related constituent parts in which one or more of those parts is a nanosca