Nanotechnology as per Wikipedia is

the use of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale for industrial purposes. The earliest, widespread description of nanotechnology referred to the particular technological goal of precisely manipulating atoms and molecules for fabrication of macroscale products, also now referred to as molecular nanotechnology.

I have not seen nanotechnology being used outside of major superhero movies.

So, what was the first science fiction movie or TV show to feature nanotechnology?

I am particularly interested to see how the creators of the movie adapted the concept of nanotechnology into a movie/show on the screen.

  • 1
    Define "media." Are you just talking about movies/TV? Do you include comic books? Novels/short stories?
    – DavidW
    Mar 2, 2023 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


The first use of nanotechnology in TV/film I know of is in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Evolution" from 1986, where Wesley accidentally infects the Enterprise with nanites by not practicing proper environmental procedures when conducting an experiment.

Quoting from the episode's Wikipedia page:

Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), who had been working on a project involving microscopic nanites, realizes that he may have inadvertently let two nanites from his experiments loose. The nanites were programmed to find ways to work together and evolve. A scan of the computer core reveals that the nanites have determined a way of replicating themselves and have taken up residence in the computer core.

  • 1
    Fun lore: Dave Krieger, the eponym of Krieger waves, said that “nanites” was dubbed over “dust mites”. Mar 7, 2023 at 23:59

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