Nanotechnology, or Nanotech for short, often referred to by the Vanguard as "smoke", is a term primarily used as of 2072 to refer to militarized technology used by the Union. Nanotech has the ability to strip down organic matter, choke people, destroy machinery, hack systems, and provide a defensive shield against attacks.
Nanotech, at a glance, usually appears to be black, formless tendrils of smoke. However, a closer examination reveals that it is instead made up of millions of flying, minuscule machines, moving together in complex patterns. The upgraded form is a dark crimson color that was first used by Nemesis during the Battle of Chicago.
Nanotech's primary function is to disassemble and devour any organic material it comes in contact with. Being released onto the battlefield, Nanotech can seek and destroy enemy personnel, as well as other organic matter, like trees and grass. While Nanotech is unable to pierce machine hulls or personal armor, it would actively seek any weak point to pour in and destroy the operator.
Interestingly, Nanotech can discriminate targets and spare certain people from its effects inside the affected area, either by some sort of complex recognition system, or by receiving instruction from Union personnel.
While often using autonomously, as sort-of "smart chemical weapon", Nanotech can also be directly controlled by Union personnel such as Union personnel, or by certain machines such as Behemoths. Under such direct control, Nanotech is capable of more complex action, such as disrupting communications, creating physical obstructions, isolating targets or protecting against incoming fire.
- Organic disassembling - the most common function of Nanotech is to seek and destroy organic matter.
- Hacking - the Union spy was able to both unlock and lock doors and disable the Anvil's alarm system after sending Nanotech into electronic panels.
- Physical protection - the Behemoth demonstrated the ability to use large amount of Nanotech to create physical shield, protecting itself from missile attacks.
- Target isolation - demonstrated by Nemesis, as the ability to create dome-shaped or wall-shaped structures out of Nanotech to obstruct communications and visibility, thus isolating the selected target. Those structures, however, do not present an actual physical obstruction for objects.
- Physical Component Forming - Nemesis formed an enhanced version of Nanotech into additional or replacement components that connected to him, including limbs, swords, thicker armor and energy canons. The Nanotech could be quickly shaped for physical attack, as it was able to form into a giant hand that dragged a Hornbill.
- Small amounts of Nanotech can be disguised as everyday objects, such as coins, for covert operations.
- Powerful electric pulses are capable of disabling Nanotech, making weapons such as ESDs highly effective against it.
- Rufus Weller hints at Nanotech being the culprit preventing bio-synthetic regeneration for Julian Chase when he calls it "nasty stuff" in response to Chase's condition.
- Because the gen:LOCK program's Holons have no organic material, Nanotech cannot innately harm them. This forces the Union to develop a stronger yet deadly variant of the Nanotech that would harm holons full throttle.
- Union Nanotechnology can be classified as a NBCI (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Informational) warfare agent.