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Ceramics is one of the fields where nanoscience and nanotechnology have shown

remarkable progress, producing a variety of advanced materials with unique

properties and performance. Nanoceramics is a term used to refer to ceramic
materials fabricated from ultrafine particles, i.e., less than 100 nm in diameter. In
this field, a great deal of research has been accomplished in the last 20 years and
has resulted in significant outcomes that are of great impact academically as well
as industrially.


"NANO" is a buzz word for a reason. By the close of the 20th Century, large-scale
industrial operations were run by computers and robots, far exceeding imaginations
of 19th Century science fiction writers. This century will see the miniaturization and
increased capacity of many things made with materials. Material scientists are
challenged to control and build nanostructures to test, discover, and utilize the
potential we know exists.

Some of the areas with promise in the early stages of nanotechnology

development include:

Controlled Nanostructures for Structural Applications

Continuous coatings for corrosive environments

Precision blade edges

Nozzles and filters

Strengthening and toughening of lightweight ceramics

Electronic and Optical Applications

Precision thin layer multilayer capacitors

Continuous smooth nanocrystalline thin films for sensors and electrochromic


Size reduction and control of electro-mechanical devices

Nanotube arrays
Quantum dot structures

Optical filters

Energy Storage and Savings

Fuel cells with controlled composition and reproducible behavior

Inexpensive solar cells

Efficient micro-batteries

Biomedical and Bioactive Applications

Biomaterials such as valves for artificial hearts

Internal drug release devices


Nano-ceramics are ceramic materials that utilize nano-technology to ensure that all
grains and boundaries enjoy maximum strength and super-plasticity. Nano-ceramics
have enhanced dynamic, electrical, calorific, magnetic and optical properties.


Nano-ceramics are manufactured using the latest advances in the preparation of

nano-powders, molding and fritting.


Nano-ceramic worktops are especially effective in low-temperature applications

where rigidity and fractural strength are key requirements.

Surface Coatings in Egyptian Art Characterized Through Spectroscopy

For objects dating back dozens of centuries, very few records of their construction
and composition remain. Yet it is extremely important to have accurate information
regarding the surface chemistry of art objects when preservation or restorative
techniques are applied. Furthermore, it is essential that the object be not
substantially consumed during characterization. To this end, the Cleveland Museum
of Art has partnered with the micro spectroscopy laboratory at the NASA Glenn
Research Center at Lewis Field to characterize the surface coating of their prized
Egyptian antiquities.

Samples from the micro relief of the Nome Gods Bearing Offerings, coffin lids, the
bust of Amenhotep III Wearing the Blue Crown (see "Collection / Egyptian highlights
tour" for art objects), and other art objects were characterized by Fourier Transform
Infrared Spectroscopy (FT -IR) to determine the composition and, if possible, identify
products deterioration associated with aging or centuries. The characterization is
complex because the artisans applied selectively in various varnishes multiple
locations of a given object. The different surface coatings appear to have been
chosen on the basis of aesthetics, such as color and gloss, rather than protection.
The process of identifying the original surface composition is further complicated by
the treatments used by early Restorers, such as impregnation or painted with
beeswax or paraffin materials, materials also used by the original artisans.

FT-IR Clearly distinguishes wax resin from plant materials, but it is not possible at
this time to determining if the wax is from an original application or a restorative
measure. There are many applications of various plant resins in the construction of
art objects. In the case of the bust of Amenhotep III, several sections of carved
stone were glued together. The nose sustained damage and was restored with
putty. The bust was finished by the application of various colored pigments and
varnish. Plant applications include resin putty for restoration artisan or disguise
flaws, binder for the various pigments of paint, and varnish to hold the paint in
place or provide a glossy appearance. It is difficult to identify the exact plant
providing various resins, however, in many cases it is possible with the use of FT-IR,
in combination with optical microscopy and fluorescence to differentiate between
different resins applied to an object. Finally, materials such as animal hides were
used to formulate glues and other liquids that were used in art objects. Animal
materials are distinguishable from waxes and resins, but, at this time, we have not
identified any in the Egyptian art works that we are examining.

The spectra obtained from coatings on the Nome gods relief, a portrait Nefertiti, and
three dummy jars are virtually identical, suggesting that the coatings were of
similar material. The quality of the spectra obtained from the bust of Amenhotep
are distorted because of contamination or degradation age, but several key peaks
in the spectra indicate that this coating is a varnish similar to that on other objects.
Aside from the academic value of accurately identifying the methods of
construction, this information is crucial when attempts are made to Reconstruct the
original appearance of an object with poorly preserved decorative layers.