Nanomaterials are being applied across a wide range of high-tech industries and advanced technologies due to their excellent optical, magnetic, catalytic and electronic properties. The properties of nanomaterials depend greatly on their structure, shape, and size.
Cerium is a Block F, Period 6 element. It is the most abundant of the rare earth elements, and is found in minerals bastnasite, synchysite, hydroxylbastnasite, sallanite, monazite, rhabdophane, and zircon. It is malleable, and oxidizes very readily at room temperature.
Cerium nanoparticles are graded as highly flammable and harmful.
The chemical properties of cerium nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.
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The physical properties of cerium nanoparticles are given in the following table.
The thermal properties of cerium nanoparticles are provided in the table below.
The key applications of cerium nanoparticles are as follows:
- Used for many fuel cell functions such as in the electrolyte of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
- Used to remove ultrafine diesel particle emissions like carbon
- In steel manufacturing, they are used to remove free oxygen and sulfur by forming stable oxysulfides, and by tying up unwanted trace elements like antimony and lead
- Very efficient glass polishing agents that can be used for precision optical polishing
- Applied to decolor glass
The nanoparticles of cerium oxide are used as in the following areas:
- As a catalyst, and in sunscreens, gas sensors, and cosmetic creams
- used in chemical and mechanical polishing (CMP) and in the wood coating industry
- Very good optical properties and can filter UV rays.
Researchers are exploring the anti-inflammatory properties of cerium oxide nanoparticles.