The dream -- Nanotechnology is an expected future manufacturing technology that will make most products lighter, stronger, cleaner, less expensive and more precise.
Manufactured products are made from atoms. The properties of those products depend on how those atoms are arranged. If we rearrange the atoms in coal we can make diamond. If we rearrange the atoms in sand (and add a few other trace elements) we can make computer chips. If we rearrange the atoms in dirt, water and air we can make potatoes.
Today's manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level. Casting, grinding, milling and even lithography move atoms in great thundering statistical herds.
In the future, nanotechnology will let us arrange atoms at the molecular level one by one the way we want them-to create large structures with fundamentally new molecular organization.
Nanotechnology will let us fabricate an entire new generation of products that are cleaner, stronger, lighter, and with the exact precision for the job for which they are designed.