Peter Thiel's Newest Obsession: Nanotechnology.

The co-founder of Palantir and PayPal has invested in and joined the board of Nanotronics Imaging, a microscopy and software company.

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By Catherine Clifford • Feb 2, 2014 Originally published Feb 2, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Peter Thiel decides to invest in a company, it's wise to pay attention.

After all, Thiel has got a pretty awesome batting average. He was the first outside investor in Facebook and co-founded both the online payment system PayPal and the big data analytics company Palantir. Thiel is seen as something of a harbinger for Silicon Valley.

Most recently, Thiel has taken a focus on the very, very tiny. He has agreed to be on the board of directors of Nanotronics Imaging, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based microscope technology and software company.

The nanotech company has also received a $7 million investment from Founders Fund, the San Francisco-based technology investment shop Thiel is a partner in. Founders Fund is a top-tier venture capital firm that has invested in blockbuster success stories like Palantir, SpaceX, Facebook and ZocDoc.

Related: 9 Successful Entrepreneurs Moonlighting as Professors

Nanotronics Imaging develops high-tech software for looking through very, very strong automated microscopes. These microscopes include exceptionally high resolution cameras. The Nanotronics Imaging technology allows a variety of industries ranging from semiconductors to medicine to test and create solutions in the product development phase much faster than with manual microscopic technology.

"By combining the very best in microscopy hardware with software that automates processes that can take a human hours to perform, we are hoping to save companies untold amounts of time and money," says Matthew Putman, one of the founders of Nanotronics, in the statement. Prior to launching Nanotronics, Putman was a professor of materials science and engineering at Columbia University.

Related: Peter Thiel on What You Can't Learn in College

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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