Nanoparticles have one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less. They have properties that are totally different from that of bulk materials. Therefore, the properties of conventional materials change when made from nanoparticles owing to the greater surface area per weight of nanoparticles.
Magnesium is strong and light in its pure form. Hence it can be used for several high volume manufacturing applications including in aerospace and automobile components. It tarnishes slightly when exposed to air and reacts with water at room temperature.
Magnesium nanoparticles are spherical black high surface area particles typically 20-60 nm in size with specific surface area ranging from 30 to 70 m2/g. These nanoparticles are also available in ultra high purity, high purity, coated and dispersed forms.
The chemical properties of magnesium nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.
The physical properties of magnesium nanoparticles are given in the following table.
The thermal properties of magnesium nanoparticles are provided in the table below.
Magnesium nanoparticles can be prepared using a number of methods. However, production of magnesium nanoparticles through mechanical milling process has been found to be an efficient method of producing magnesium nanoparticles.
Researchers at Sharif University of Technology, Iran, selected a mixture of magnesia and graphite powders as raw materials, and applied high-energy mechanical milling process on the mixture at different time intervals.
The results showed that the milling process reduces the initial temperature of carbothermic reduction reaction. As a result, the size of magnesia crystallites reduced to nanometric scale thereby forming amorphous graphite phase and increasing the interface of the nanoparticles.
The key applications of magnesium nanoparticles are listed below:
- Automobiles and airplanes
- Coatings, nanowires, plastics, and nanofibers
- Hydrogen storage
Moreover, magnesium nanoparticles have extremely good thermal absorption properties - hence they can be used in hyperthermia therapy for treating tumors.