Nanomaterials - Consulting and education

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Dieter Vollath


Generally, nanomaterials are defined as materials with grain sizes below 100 nm.

More stringent: Nanomaterials are materials with special properties depending on their small grain size. In many cases, the latter definition restricts nanomaterials to grain sizes below 10 nm.

The second definition is the more useful one, because nanomaterials are expensive. An expensive material without very special properties is senseless.
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Electron micrograph of Fe2O3 nano-particles.
The size of these particles is ca. 8 nm.
Some nanocrystalline ceramic materials or nanoglasses with particle sizes below 10 nm exhibit interesting physical properties. Except for properties related to grain boundaries, these are properties of single isolated particles. These special properties may be lost in the case that the particles are interacting. This phenomenon leads to the necessity of nanocomposites

For more details please visit one of our courses on nanomaterials.

Micrograph taken from the paper:
D. Vollath, D. V. Szabó, in: Innovative Processing of Films and Nanocrystalline Powders, Imperial Press, London (2002) p. 219