Nanoparticle research has the capacity to make a significant difference in the global market in the coming years. Researchers have already studied how properties of elements vary at very small particle sizes, and then used these particles to accomplish various functions. With the findings from several studies, researchers can now radically enhance everything from flexible electronics to life-saving medical processes.
Antimony can be found free in nature sometimes; however it is mainly obtained from the ores stibnite (Sb2S3) and valentinite (Sb2O3). Antimony is a Block P, Period 5 element. Antimony is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. It is known to increase the hardness and mechanical strength of lead alloys.
The morphology of antimony nanoparticles is spherical or faceted , and they appear a silvery colour.
Antimony nanoparticles are dangerous for the environment, thus the material should be handled with care. They are harmful if inhaled or swallowed by humans, and are toxic for aquatic life as well.
The chemical properties of antimony nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.
||[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p3
The physical properties of antimony nanoparticles are given in the following table.
The thermal properties of antimony nanoparticles are provided in the table below.
Antimony nanoparticles can be manufactured using a facile electrochemical method. Bulk antimony electrode is dispersed under highly cathodic polarization in different media at room temperature without the need for precursor ions or organic capping agents.
The as-prepared antimony nanoparticles have to be immediately transferred into Sb–Sb2O3 core–shell nanoparticles during post treatment and characterization as surface oxidation of antimony nanoparticles by oxygen in the air occurs.
The following are the key applications of antimony nanoparticles:
- Anti-friction alloys
- Small arms and tracer bullets
- Cable sheathing
- Paints and ceramic enamels
- Flame-proofing compounds
- Pottery glazes
Antimony-tin oxide nanoparticles can be added into coatings to provide scratch-resistance and offer transparent protection from UV radiation.