It is one of the more often used units for very small lengths, and equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology. Formerly, millimicron (symbol mµ) was used for the nanometre. The symbol µµ has also been used .
It is also the most common unit used to describe the manufacturing technology used in the semiconductor industry. It is the most common unit to describe the wavelength of light, with visible light falling in the region of 400–700 nm. The data in compact discs is stored as indentations (known as pits) that are approximately 100 nm deep by 500 nm wide.
The term nanoscale is used to refer to objects with dimensions on the order 1–100 nm. The term is often heard in relation to nanotechnology.