Nano GrooveNanotechnology refers to a field of applied science whose theme is the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally speaking, nanotechnology deals with structures 100 nanometers or smaller, and involves developing materials or devices within that size.

The Nanotechnology Focus Area of the UC Merced Energy Research Institute studies the use of nanostructures (e.g., nanoparticles, nanowires, and nanotubes) to develop new types of solar energy generation technologies. Research in this area includes using carbon nanotube solar cells and quantum dot semiconductors for solar energy conversion, and the generation of hierarchical architectures using nanomaterials that can be readily integrated for device applications such as solar cells.