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Published by: వాసు చౌదరి on Feb 27, 2011
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Nanoparticles are sized between 1 and 100 nanometers. Nanoparticles may or may not exhibit size-

related properties that differ significantly from those observed in fine particles or bulk materials.

Nanoclusters have at least one dimension between 1 and 10 nanometers and a narrow size

distribution [4, 5]. Nanopowders [6] are agglomerates of ultra fine particles, nanoparticles, or nano-

clusters. Nanometer-sized single crystals, or single-domain ultra fine particles, are often referred to

as nanocrystals. Nanoparticles are of great scientific interest as they are effectively a bridge

between bulk materials and atomic or molecular structures.

A bulk material should have constant physical properties regardless of its size, but at the nano-scale

size-dependent properties are often observed. Thus, the properties of materials change as their size

approaches the nanoscale and as the percentage of atoms at the surface of a material becomes

significant. For bulk materials larger than one micrometer (or micron), the percentage of atoms at

the surface is insignificant in relation to the number of atoms in the bulk of the material. The

interesting and sometimes unexpected properties of nanoparticles are therefore largely due to the

large surface area of the material, which dominates the contributions made by the small bulk of the

material. Suspensions of nanoparticles are possible since the interaction of the particle surface with

the solvent is strong enough to overcome density differences, which otherwise usually result in a

material either sinking or floating in a liquid. Nanoparticles also often possess unexpected optical

properties as they are small enough to confine their electrons and produce quantum effects. For

example, gold nanoparticles appear deep red to black in solution. Nanoparticles have a very high

surface area to volume ratio, which provides a tremendous driving force for diffusion, especially at

elevated temperatures. Sintering can take place at lower temperatures, over shorter time scales than

for larger particles.

Aluminium oxide is an amphoteric oxide of aluminium with the chemical formula Al2O3. It is also

commonly referred to as alumina, corundum, sapphire, ruby or aloxite in the mining, ceramic and

materials science communities. This theoretically does not affect the density of the final product,

though flow difficulties and the tendency of nanoparticles to agglomerate complicates matters. The

large surface area to volume ratio also reduces the incipient melting temperature of nanoparticles

[7]. Common nanoparticles which are used now a days are Oxide ceramics – Al2O3, CuO, Metal

carbides – SiC, Nitrides – AlN, SiN, Metals – Al, Cu, Nonmetals – Graphite, carbon nanotubes,

Layered – Al + Al2O3, Cu + C, PCM – S/S, Functionalized nanoparticles.

Common host fluids include water, ethylene or triethyleneglycols and other coolants, oil and other

lubricants, bio-fluids, polymer solutions, and organic liquids. Nanoparticles are typically made of


chemically stable metals, metal oxides or carbon in various forms. The size of the nanoparticles

imparts some unique characteristics to these fluids, including greatly enhanced energy, momentum

and mass transfer, as well as reduced tendency for sedimentation and erosion of the containing

surfaces. Nanofluids are being investigated for numerous applications, including cooling,

manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical processes, medical treatments, cosmetics, etc.

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