The prefix “nano” can be traced to the Greek word nanos, meaning
dwarf. It is used presently to indicate one billionth. A nanometer (nm) is one
billionth of a meter, roughly ten times the size of an individual atom. A common comparison places one nanometer at approximately 100 times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair. Nanoscience involves the study of materials at the nanoscale. From this point on, terminology becomes less clear, as there are not internationally standardized definitions of many nanorelated terms.
Generally speaking, a nanoparticle is a particle with the dimension of
100nm or less, the size at or under which novel, size-dependent properties
of physics at the nanoscale typically develop. These properties differentiate
nanoparticles from the same material in bulk. It should be noted that
nanomaterials may be larger than 100nm, e.g., carbon nanotubes, but must
have at least one structural feature at the nanoscale. The unique properties
of nanoparticles and materials are related to greater surface area per unit
volume, which leads to increased chemical reactivity, and size-dependent
changes in magnetic, optical, and electrical properties.
With this in mind, there is no standard definition of nanotechnology. Perhaps
the most widely recognized definition, which itself has undergone revision,
is that of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI website n.d.).
Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions
of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel
applications. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology,
nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating
matter at this length scale.
Nanotechnology research and development, according to the NNI website,
is largely concerned with creating improved materials, devices, and systems
that exploit nanoscale properties.
Source: NANOTECHNOLOGY. Ethics and Society.
© 2008 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Polymer nanocomposites consist of a polymer matrix inside which ultradispersed particles or clusters (an aggregate of adjoining discrete metal particles of indefinite form and value) are randomly distributed.
Polymer nanocomposites have attracted great attention due to the unique properties introduced by nanofillers, which typically refer to carbon blacks, silicas, clays, or carbon nanotubes (CNT). The polymer matrix acts as a supporting medium and the improvement in the properties of the nanocomposites generally originates from the nature of these nanofillers.
Sources: Metal-Polymer Nanocomposites
Luigi Nicolais, and Gianfranco Carotenuto
© 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc
© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Nanotechnology. Big Things from a Tiny World. Download
National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).
Carlos Espinoza is a member of the The International NanoScience Community (TINC). Polymer Nanocomposite Group.
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