Nanoparticles are ultra-small objects with dimensions measured in nanometres (nm). Nanoparticles typically have at least one dimension less than 100nm in size.
What Makes Nanoparticles Special
Nanoparticles fascinate materials scientists and engineers because they possess properties different from those seen in bulk samples of the same material. Copper, as an example, is known as a soft, malleable metal – but copper nanoparticles smaller than 50nm diameter are known as ultra-hard materials. Nanoparticles smaller than 10nm are known to emit light or glow with a light frequency determined by material composition and particle size. These nanoparticles are known as quantum dots.
The unique properties of nanoparticles are often caused by either the extremely high surface area to volume ratio or quantum
Types of Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles come in a range of different types. Nanoparticles can be man-made to possess highly desired and specific properties or they can simply be found in nature. Man-made nanoparticles include:
- Quantum Dots
- Carbon Nanotubes also known as Buckyballs and Buckytubes