The Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California at Santa Barbara (CNS-UCSB) is funded by the National Science Foundation and "serves as a national research and education center, a network hub among researchers and educators concerned with societal issues concerning nanotechnologies, and a resource base for studying these issues in the US and abroad." The CNS-UCSB began its operations in January 2006.
Nanotechnology (sometimes shortened to nanotech or nano) is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with structures sized between 1 and 100 nanometre in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices possessing at least one dimension within that size. Quantum mechanical effects are very important at this scale, which is in the quantum realm.