During the last decade semiconductor technology has continued to make impressive advances in miniaturization. It is now possible to fabricate artificial structures whose chemical compositions and shapes are controlled with a nanometer accuracy—comparable to interatomic distances. These man‐made systems are too small to behave like the bulk parent compounds and too big to behave like atoms or molecules. We know from the basic principles of quantum mechanics that when the size of a system becomes comparable to the characteristic length scale that determines the coherence of the wavefunctions, quantum size effects occur. The properties then become size and shape dependent. The ability of modern technologies to actually make solid‐state systems in which these conditions are realized opens new opportunities for investigation of condensed matter that has two, one or zero dimensions. Furthermore, because we can tailor some of the properties of these systems for specific purposes, nanostructures have the potential for revolutionary applications in electronics and optoelectronics. Feasibility demonstrations of some of these applications have already been performed, and implementations in actual devices have been achieved.

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