There is no specific answer to who invented nanotechnology, but the word ‘nanotechnology’ was coined by Professor Norio Taniguchi in 1974.
In 1959, Richard Feynman delivered a lecture at the American Physical Meeting Society about how molecules and atoms could be manipulated using specially-designed instruments. This was simply a proposition without a term for it yet, making Richard Feynman the one who invented nanotechnology as an idea. But in 1974, Professor Taniguchi wrote a paper describing the process of combining or separating atoms or molecules. It was then that he gave the process a term. Yet, the term was popularized by Dr K Eric Drexler through his book The Engines of Creation (1986), which was the first book of this subject.
Nanotechnology followed on in the 1980s when different sciences began to emerge, as well as the existence of STM, or Scanning Tunneling Microscope. With that, in the mid-80s, fullerenes were discovered and manipulated. Semiconductor nanocrystals were also developed, further improving the field of nanotechnology. In 1987, the first protein was engineered through the technology, which subject was brought up during a symposium. The next year, universities began to offer courses in nanotechnology. With nanotechnology the new hype, in 1991, the atomic force microscope was created, as well as the use of carbon nanotubes were increased.
Despite nanotechnology still being a new area, many scientists often refer to it to produce benefits. With nanotechnology, cleaner, purer water can be created, while plants or agricultural products that are genetically engineered can see to safer products for consumption. It is also known to be able to produce cheap energy, manufacture without pollution, and create drugs and medicines that are more effective because of their nanoparticles which can absorb into cells better. The marketing trend now is to use words like nanotechnology which even household people would happily buy after.