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Modern technology is definitely on its way from the world of micrometer sizes to that of nanometers, and the words "nanoworld" and "nanoscience" have become an integral part of terminology in the past two decades. Many international meetings are now using in their titles the word nanotechnology covering nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnologies and the technology of nanosize materials. Among the latter, nanocarbon clusters - fullerenes, nanotubes and onion-like carbons - are becoming increasingly important. The family of carbon nanostructures includes diamond particles with the characteristic size of a few nanometers, produced by detonation of carbon explosive materials.

Nanodiamonds represent new building blocks suitable for making nanocomposites and parts for molecular electronics. Besides, they can serve as a source material for hydrogen power industry, for the production of selective adsorbents and catalysts, as well as for medical and biological applications. Nanodiamond is a unique model substance for the study of the nanodiamond - onion-like carbon - nanographite phase transitions under various conditions. Colloidal solutions of nanodiamonds are suitable objects for the investigation of physical and chemical properties of solutions with a minimal size dispersion of particles. The use of nanodiamonds considerably improves the properties of microabrasive and polishing materials, lubricating oils, abrasive tools, polymer compositions, rubbers, and information-recording systems. In addition, nanodiamonds can be used for growing diamond films on various substrates and for making arrays of quantum dots of silicon carbide.

The first reports of the synthesis of nanodiamonds were made in Russia and then in the USA in the mid-1980s. During the last few years, there has been active interest in the production technologies, purification methods, physico-chemical properties, and applications of this unique material. The First International Symposium on Nanodiamonds has been initiated by the researchers in Russia and other CIS countries, who pioneered the study of physical and chemical properties of nanodiamond clusters and worked out commercial technologies for their production and purification. Other researchers involved in theoretical and applied investigations of this carbon modification have supported this initiative.

The Symposium will be held in St Petersburg, Russia, right after the 6th International Workshop "Fullerenes and Atomic Clusters"- IWFAC'2003. This provides the opportunity for specialists to attend both meetings in order to exchange views on many intriguing aspects of carbon nanoscience. The Symposium organizers will arrange for a sightseeing program to introduce the guests to St Petersburg on the eve of its 300th anniversary. The Symposium will be held in the period of bright nights, when the city looks especially beautiful.