Please be aware that this is a machine translation from French to English. AVICENN is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate translations but welcomes suggestions for reformulation.

VeilleNanos - Glossary


In accordance with our editorial line, we work on popularizing nano related information, expressed clearly and, as far as possible, understandable by all. This is often a challenge, because the documents we work on are in their vast majority very “technical” and full of jargon, whether they are scientific publications, legal texts, or sociological or philosophical analyses…

Here are some vocabulary elements that may be necessary for a good understanding of the proposed texts.

The list will be expanded over time. Do not hesitate to help us to complete or clarify the terms of this glossary: you can contribute to improve it by sending us your comments to the address redaction(at)


Clusters of particles associated by weak or entangled physical bonds.


Clusters of particles associated by strong chemical bonds (covalent bonds) or fused


Ability to inflict DNA damage, which can promote the onset or development of cancer


Manufactured nano-objects, their aggregates and agglomerates.

Specific surface

Surface area of a particle or material relative to its volume → an important characteristic of nanomaterials is the magnitude of their specific surface area per unit volume.

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