International perspective on nanotechnology papers, patents, and NSF awards (2000–2016)

Hongyi Zhu, Shan Jiang, Hsinchun Chen, Mihail C. Roco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This paper presents the development of nanotechnology between 2000 and 2016 as reflected in the Web of Science papers, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), World International Property Organization (WIPO) patents, and National Science Foundation (NSF) awards, with a special reference to the United States (US), European Union (EU27), P.R. China, Japan, and South Korea. The field of nanotechnology is branching out into novel scientific and technology platforms, and it is increasingly difficult to separate foundational nanoscale components from divergent application areas. The average global growth rate has been sustained at about 15% for both papers and patents in the selected interval. The growth rates among regions are non-uniform. P.R. China and South Korea have increased faster in both the numbers and quality of their scientific publications, and currently P.R. China has the largest volume of nanotechnology publications and South Korea the most publications per capita in the field of nanotechnology. The US, EU27, and Japan are maintaining leadership in the upstream, better cited, conceptual components of nanotechnology research and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number370
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • International survey
  • Longitudinal evaluation
  • Nanoscience
  • Nanotechnology
  • Patent analysis
  • Public funding
  • Scientific papers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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