Definition of Nanotechnology by The Foresight Institute:
“Structures, devices, and systems having novel properties and functions due to the arrangement of their atoms on the 1 to 100 nanometer scale. Many fields of endeavor contribute to nanotechnology, including molecular physics, materials science, chemistry, biology, computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering.”
HOW THE NANOFIBERS CAN BE USED (to name only some):
Reactivity of Materials
The properties of many conventional materials change when formed as nano-sized particles (nanoparticles/nanofibers). This is generally because nanofibers have a greater surface area per weight than larger particles; they are therefore more reactive to some other molecules
Strength of Materials
Nanofibers, for instance of carbon, (for example nanotubes and bucky balls) are extremely strong.
Micro/Nano ElectroMechanical Systems
The ability to create gears, mirrors, sensor elements, as well as electronic circuitry in silicon surfaces allows the manufacture of miniature sensors such as those used to activate the airbags in cars. Using MEMS to produce a device reduces both the cost and size of the product. MEMS is a stepping stone to NEMS or Nano-ElectroMechanical Systems.
The gadget some nano-engineers envision is called a molecular fabricator; this device would use tiny manipulators to position atoms and molecules to build an object as complex as a desktop computer. Researchers believe that raw materials can be used to reproduce almost any inanimate object using this method.