Properties and current applications of nanoparticles
There are a wide range of properties that change as the particle size of materials reduces to below a critical size. The actual size this change occurs at is material dependent.
|Optical|| Anti-reflection coatings.
Tailored refractive index of surfaces.
Light based sensors for cancer diagnosis .
|Magnetic|| Increased density storage media.
Nanomagnetic particles to create improved detail and contrast in MRI images.
|Thermal|| Enhance heat transfer from solar collectors to storage tanks.
Improve efficiency of coolants in transformers .
|Mechanical|| Improved wear resistance.
New anti-corrosion properties.
New structural materials, composites, stronger and lighter.
|Electronic|| High performance and smaller components, e,g, capacitors for small consumer devices such as mobile phones.
Displays that are cheaper, larger, brighter, and more efficient.
High conductivity materials.
|Energy|| High energy density and more durable batteries.
Hydrogen storage applications using metal nanoclusters.
Electrocatalysts for high efficiency fuel cells.
Renewable energy, ultra high performance solar cells.
Catalysts for combustion engines to improve efficiency, hence economy.
|Biomedical|| Antibacterial silver coatings on wound dressings.
Sensors for disease detection (quantum dots).
Programmed release drug delivery systems.
“interactive” food and beverages that change color, flavor or nutrients depending on a diner’s taste or health.
|Environmental|| Clean up of soil contamination and pollution, e.g. oil.
Aids for germination.
Treatment of industrial emissions.
More efficient and effective water filtration.
|Surfaces|| Dissolution rates of materials are highly size dependant.
Activity of catalysts.
Coatings for self cleaning surfaces, Pilkington’s glass for example.
|Personal care||Effective clear inorganic sunscreens .|