Nanoparticles are essential scientific tools that link bulk materials and atomic or molecular structures. They have excellent catalytic, magnetic and optical properties, and the potential to produce quantum effects.
Zirconium is a soft, ductile and malleable metal that is highly resistant to corrosion by alkalis, acids, salt water and other agents, and hence it is used for a variety of high temperature applications.
Zirconium nanoparticles are lighter and less susceptible to embrittlement by hydrogen.
The chemical properties of zirconium nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.
|[Kr] 4d2 5s2
The physical properties of zirconium nanoparticles are given in the following table.
The thermal properties of zirconium nanoparticles are provided in the table below.
Zirconium nanoparticles can be prepared by the reduction of zirconium oxide using reaction under autogenic pressure at elevated temperatures (RAPET) method. They can also be synthesized by reaction of a zirconium alkoxide with a chelating agent and a catalyst in a solvent.
The key applications of zirconium nanoparticles are listed below:
- Nano-crystalline zirconium alloys for space applications
- Alternatives for titanium in components of liquid rocket engines
- Nanowires, nanofibers and catalyst applications.