The ISO/TS 80004 series of standards, from the International Organization for Standardization, describe vocabulary for nanotechnology and its applications. These were largely motivated by health, safety and environment concerns, many of them originally elaborated by Eric Drexler in his 1985 Engines of Creation[original research?] and echoed in more recent research.[1] The ISO standards simply describe vocabulary or terminology by which a number of critical discussions between members of various stakeholder communities, including the public and political leaders, can begin. Drexler, in Chapter 15 of his 1985 work, explained how such consultation and the evolution of new social media and mechanisms to make objective scientific determinations regardless of political and industrial and public pressures, would be important to the evolution of the field. Nonetheless, it took a quarter-century for the ISO to agree and eventually standardize on this terminology.[original research?]

Reviews of the field[2] often need to distinct various definitions of nanomaterials vs. mesomaterials, nanoscale objects from nanostructured materials (including nanoporous materials), and other confused terms. The intent of the ISO standards is to remove most potential for terminology clash especially when dealing with international regulatory synchronization. The standard currently consists of 11 published parts, while more parts are under preparation which addresses graphene and quantum phenomena.

ISO/TR 18401 provides plain language explanations of selected terms from the ISO 80004 series.[3]

The standards parts

ISO/TS 80004-7:2011 provides consistent and unambiguous use of terms for healthcare professionals, manufacturers, consumers, technologists, patent agents, regulators, NGOs, and researchers, etc.

Related standards


  1. ^ ISO consensus definitions relevant to nanomaterials and nanotechnologies Archived 2014-02-03 at the Wayback Machine European Commission, 29th and 30th March 2011
  2. ^ Nantotechnology: A Guide to Nano-Objects American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), May 2011
  3. ^ "ISO/TR 18401: Nanotechnologies — Plain language explanation of selected terms from the ISO/IEC 80004 series". International Organization for Standardization. 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  4. ^ ISO/TS 80004-1:2015
  5. ^ ISO/TS 80004-2:2015
  6. ^ ISO/TS 80004-3:2010
  7. ^ ISO/TS 80004-4:2011
  8. ^ ISO/TS 80004-5:2011
  9. ^ ISO/TS 80004-6:2013
  10. ^ ISO/TS 80004-7:2011
  11. ^ ISO/TS 80004-8:2013
  12. ^ IEC/TS 80004-9:2017
  13. ^ ISO/TS 80004-11:2017
  14. ^ ISO/TS 80004-12:2016
  15. ^ ISO/TR 13121:2011