The strange and exciting world of nanoparticles

Nanoparticles may be defined as colloids about 1-100 nanometers in size and are considered a cornerstone of the emerging discipline of nanoscience and nanotechnology. At such small length scales, nanoparticles often exhibit unusual properties that differ from their bulk counterparts. For example, a semiconductor nanoparticle of the same material can emit all colors of the rainbow as its size is varied from 1 to 7 nanometers in diameter while nanoparticles of gold no longer glitter but look red under room light. These properties are only beginning to be exploited for use in the medical, electronic and chemical industry and will undoubtedly have a great impact on next-generation technologies. Through this seminar module, students will be introduced to different nanoparticles and their physicochemical properties from a chemist’s perspective. They will also be introduced to the latest discoveries in nanoparticle research that are being translated rapidly into commercially available technologies.

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