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Why nanotechnology ?

• A property describes how a material acts under certain conditions
• Types of properties
– Optical (e.g. color, transparency)
– Electrical (e.g. conductivity)
– Physical (e.g. hardness, melting point)
– Chemical (e.g. reactivity, reaction rates)
• Properties are usually measured by looking at large (~1023) aggregations of
atoms or molecules
Optical Properties Example: Gold
• Bulk gold appears yellow in color
• Nanosized gold appears red in color
– The particles are so small that electrons are not free to move about as in bulk gold
– Because this movement is restricted, the particles react differently with light
Optical Properties Example:Zinc Oxide (ZnO)
• Large ZnO particles
– Block UV light
– Scatter visible light
– Appear white
• Nanosized ZnO particles
– Block UV light
– So small compared to the
wavelength of visible light that
they don’t scatter it
– Appear clear

Electrical Properties Example:

thin cylinders of carbon – They are 100 times stronger than steel. very flexible. or molecules in a substance have enough energy to overcome the intermolecular forces that hold the them in a “fixed” position in a solid – Surface atoms require less energy to move because they are in contact with fewer atoms of the substance Four important ways in which nanoscale materials may differ from macroscale materials – Gravitational forces become negligible and electromagnetic forces dominate – Quantum mechanics is the model used to describe motion and energy instead of the classical mechanics model – Greater surface area to volume ratios – Random molecular motion becomes more important Because the mass of nanoscale objects is so small. and have unique electrical properties • Their electrical properties change with diameter. gravity becomes negligible – Gravitational force is a function of mass and distance and is weak between (lowmass) nanosized particles – Electromagnetic force is a function of charge and distance is not affected by mass. “twist”. and number of walls – They can be either conducting or semi-conducting in their electrical behavior Physical Properties Change: Melting Point of a Substance • Melting Point (Microscopic Definition) – Temperature at which the atoms. so it can be very strong even when we have nanosized particles – The electromagnetic force between two protons is 1036 times stronger than the gravitational force! . ions.Conductivity of Nanotubes • Nanotubes are long.

we barely see movement.So as the size of a particle decrease till we a reach a nano scale the decrease in confining dimension makes the energy levels discrete and this increases or widens up the band gap and ultimately the band gap energy also increases.Since the band gap and wavelength are inversely related to each other the wavelength decrease with decrease in size and the proof is the emission of blue radiation .This emerging technology has given excellent properties to even those elements which at one time were thought of being useless For example Carbon is a non metal but when considered at the nano scale the carbon nano tubes are the best conductors .To understand this effect we break the words like quantum and confinement. The quantum confinement effect is observed when the size of the particle is too small to be comparable to the wavelength of the electron. batted about by smaller particles • Analogy – Imagine a huge (10 meter) balloon being batted about by the crowd in a stadium. the word confinement means to confine the motion of randomly moving electron to restrict its motion in specific energy levels( discreteness) and quantum reflects the atomic realm of particles. the particle is moving wildly. From an airplane.Well the answer is simple and that is Quantum confinement. But what is the enigma beyond size if this size can make a non conductor an insulator what is the basic physics beyond it .As surface area to volume ratio increases – A greater amount of a substance comes in contact with surrounding material – This results in better catalysts. or why it moves – At the nanoscale. you barely see movement or people hitting it. since a greater proportion of the material is exposed for potential reaction Random Molecular Motion is Significant • Tiny particles (like dust) move about randomly – At the macroscale. close up you see the balloon moving wildly. Comparison of a bulk material and nano particle reveals that too from the diagram the blue wavelength and the red wavelength . Quantum confinement in nano particles Nano technology an emerging technology which has gained fame in every field of life from an excellent sunscreen to an electronic chip.

dirt and water-repellent coatings (Nanowerk Spotlight) A surface is not simply the physical division between an object and its environment. Figure 1) is revered in Asia for its exceptional cleanness. water stains or fingermarks. . drops of water roll off free of residue. the processes involved in their manufacture.Superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon of in which charge can be transported with exactly zero electrical resistance. i. Although it grows in muddy waters.e. This means no heat. The following gives a short overview of the basis of these structures. sound or any other form of energy would be released from the material when it has reached the temperature at which the material becomes superconductive Posted: Jan 11. In recent years however. its leaves always appear immaculately clean. 2011 Nanotechnology solutions for selfcleaning. Self-cleaning I – the "Lotus-Effect" The lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera. Surfaces are supposed to feel good to the touch and to look good for as long as possible. and the effect they have on the environment and human health. In addition. magnetic fields are expelled from certain superconducting materials when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. the areas where they can be used. be easy to maintain and not be spoiled by dirt. advances have been made using methods ascribed to nanotechnology1. it fulfils a range of functions of its own which often play a crucial part in product design. taking any impurities with them. Traditional coating materials often do not stand the test of the increased demands made on materials today. The plants' leaves are superhydrophobic.

water-repellent. because carbon nanotubes have the highest . a state called ultrahydrophobia or superhydrophobia. Although. they are not brittle. A carbon nanotube with closed ends. the water drop immediately rolls off. They can be bent. they will spring back to their original shape. such as soot for example. When combined with the waxes' water-repellent chemical properties. carbon nanotubes are strong. which you might intuitively assume. it is smaller than that between the water and the dirt. can be washed away. these structures make the lotus leaf extremely non-wettable. The properties of nanotubes have caused researchers and companies to consider using them in several fields.e. i.Investigations into the surface using reflection electron microscopy (REM) have shown that the surface of the leaf is not especially even. with each carbon atom covalently bonded to three other carbon atoms. taking the dirt particles with it (Figure 3). the interplay of the surface tension and the low attraction force between the surfaces and the water produce a spherical water drop which only sits on the tips of the wax structures. and they give it its self-cleaning properties. which are no greater than a few nanometers or micrometers in size. and when released.Figure 1: The lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera). Dirt particles only sit on the tip of the wax crystals and as a result only a very small surface area comes into contact with the plant's surface. As the gravitational pull between the dirt and the leaf's surface is very slight. Carbon nanotubes have diameters as small as 1 nm and lengths up to several centimeters. nano-size wax crystals form three-dimensional structures. If the leaf tips in the slightest. like buckyballs. similar to small nipples. nanotubes are cylinders that haven’t folded around to create a sphere. but has instead a special. Carbon nanotubes are composed of carbon atoms linked in hexagonal shapes. even lipophilic impurities. characteristic roughness (Figure 2): Systematically arranged. If water falls onto a leaf surface like this. For example. Where buckyballs are round. A significant nanoparticle discovery that came to light in 1991 was carbon nanotubes.

strength-to-weight ratio of any known material. carbon nanotubes that have only one cylinder are called single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCTs). researchers at NASA are combining carbon nanotubes with other materials into composites that can be used to build lightweight spacecraft. called multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCTs) and shown in the following figure. Carbon nanotubes can occur as multiple concentric cylinders of carbon atoms. Both MWCT and SWCT are used to strengthen composite materials. . Logically enough.