In product development, the nanoscale is the scale at which quantum mechanical effects become important. This means that at the nanoscale, materials can have very different properties than they do at larger scales. For example, they can be much stronger or more conductive. As a result, nanoscale engineering is essential for developing many new products, such as nanotechnology-based drugs and stronger, lighter materials for use in construction and transportation. In addition to being very small, nanoscale objects are also very difficult to produce and manipulate. This is because they are so small that traditional manufacturing methods cannot be used. As a result, special techniques, such as electron beam lithography, must be used to create them.
NASA innovators developed a new metal alloy that is significantly stronger and more durable than the components currently used in aviation.