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Nanomanufacturing is a term used by the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to refer to a sub-effort of nanotechnology--one of its five "priority areas." There is also a Nanomanufacturing Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation.
Nanomanufacturing should not be confused with molecular manufacturing which refers specifically to the manufacture of complex, nanoscale structures by means of nonbiological mechanosynthesis (and subsequent assembly). (Definition from glossary of Drexler's Nanosystems.)
The NNI has defined nanotechnology very broadly, to include a wide range of tiny structures including those created by large and imprecise tools.
Nanomanufacturing is not defined in the NNI's recent report, "Instrumentation and Metrology for Nanotechnology." (For contrast, another "priority area," nanofabrication, is defined as "the ability to fabricate, by directed or self-assembly methods, functional structures or devices at the atomic or molecular level." p. 67) Nanomanufacturing appears to be the near-term industrial-scale manufacture of nanotechnology-based objects, with emphasis on low cost and reliability.
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