The formation of structural patterns on a nanometric scale is approached using the growth of thin layers. This approach is based on comprehension, until the atomic scale, of the relevant kinetic processes. A judicious exploitation of the energy hierarchy of these mechanisms led, by spontaneous organization of the matter deposited, to the emergence of a periodic arrangement of nanostructures with a specific geometry. These nanostructurated surfaces can then be used as matrices in order to control the growth of other materials. Thus, in only one stage, a great density of identical nano-objects is elaborate, starting point with the exploration of their physical properties. In addition to the growth techniques, the interaction of ions or even of light with surfaces can also lead to a formation of nanometric patterns.