Nanomanufacturing (NM), developed over the past three decades, bridges nanoscience discoveries to nanotechnology products by scaled-up, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing materials, structures, devices, and systems at the nanoscale (1–100 nm). At this scale, physical and chemical properties of the materials and tools have been dominated by classical Newtonian mechanics, although quantum confinement effects become increasingly observable. A number of top-down and bottom-up approaches were developed, including nanomechanical machining, nanolithography, energy beam machining, deposition and etching, nanoprinting, nano assembly, nano replication, etc. [1]. These techniques enabled a range of applications from medical imaging and renewable energy to sensor devices and quantum computing.

For continuing progress in this field, the continuous rapid shrinking of feature size to atomic scale, or the requirement of the improvement of sub-nm geometric accuracy, has encouraged researchers to seek alternative methods for scalable and high-throughput manufacturing technology, i.e., atomic and close-to-atomic scale manufacturing (ACSM), a key enabling technology of Manufacturing III [2]. When manufacturing precision moves from nanometre to atomic scales, quantum behaviour starts to dominate over Newtonian (classical) mechanics. Although order-of-magnitude improvements in the performance of materials and devices are promised, the nature of interactions is fundamentally changed, and significant consequences take place in surface properties [3]. Moreover, in ACSM, atomic precision is not the sole quality indicator—feature size and its performance at the atomic scale are equally important. Those opportunities and challenges drive our field to investigate the fundamentals, technologies, evaluations of ACSM in the next decades.

This special issue of “Nanomanufacturing and atomic & close-to-atomic scale manufacturing (ACSM)” collects three review papers and seven research articles in NM and ACSM. State-of-the-art atomic layer deposition methods, indirect metrology methods in NM, and preparation of atomically precise metal clusters are critically reviewed. Two articles about ACSM theoretical investigations are studied by flexible-enhanced molecular dynamics and first-principles methods. Included here are some of the latest developments in NM approaches including rotational-magnetorheological finishing, femtosecond pulsed laser irradiation, electrochemical etching, nanopatterning using molecular self-assembly and nanoindentation test using laser-induced shock waves.

We would like to acknowledge the contribution of all authors, reviewing experts, and the editorial team, for their time and effort in contributing, reviewing, and editing papers. The guidance and support from < Nanomanufacturing and Metrology > and Springer editorial office are greatly appreciated. You have made this special issue possible and ensured the process ran smoothly.