Renaissance (1450-1600 AD)
Artisans coloring pottery in fifteenth and sixteenth century Deruta, Umbria practiced an early form of nanotechnology.
Deruta ceramicists produced dramatic iridescent or metallic glazes, which, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, were in demand throughout Europe.
To achieve the red and gold luster effects, particles of copper and silver metal between 5 and 100 billionths of a meter were used. Instead of scattering light, the particles cause light to bounce off their surface at different wavelengths, giving metallic or iridescent effects.