In a previous blog, we discussed the Brief concept of nanotechnology. Today we discuss the properties of nanomaterial, application of nanomaterial and disadvantages of nanomaterial.nano particles have several properties.
Properties of nanomaterial
Nanomaterial has a structure in between, atoms and bulk materials. While the most microstructured material has same properties corresponding to the bulk material, the properties of a material in nanometers are widely different from their bulk structure. This happens mainly because of their nanometer size.
Due to smaller dimensions, nanoparticles have an extremely large surface area to volume ratio, resulting more surface depending upon the material properties.specially when the size of nanoparticles or nanomaterials compared to length, an entire material effect due to surface properties. This, in turn, may enhance or modify the properties of bulk materials. A nanoscale also has Quantum confinement effect on a material, which brings the Quantum effects. Quantum effect especially changes Electrical and optical properties of the bulk material.
The most important properties are
- Nanoparticles or Nanomaterials have high strength, hardness, and toughness.
- These materials are more brittle.
- These materials exhibit superplasticity even at a lower temperature.
- In nanoparticles, magnetic effect of a material can be increased by decreasing size of the material.
- The optical density of these materials can be varied with the diameter.
- Size of the grains; controls the mechanical, electrical, optical, chemical, semiconducting magnetic properties.
- The melting point of nanomaterials gets reduced on reducing the grain size.
- The magnetization and coercivity are higher.
Disadvantages of Nanomaterials
No doubt that nanotechnology is providing noble materials and devices with wide range of applications. However, like all other new discoveries and their applications to the world of science and technology, their very novel nature raises various issues and also have some disadvantages are listed below.
- Impurity – nanomaterials are so much reactive so that it combined with impurities.this is the disadvantage of nanopaticles.
- Difficulty in synthesis, isolation, and application – It is extremely hard to retain the size of nanoparticles once they are synthesized in a solution. Hence, the nanomaterials have to be encapsulated in a bigger and stable molecule/material. Hence free nanoparticles are hard to utilized in isolation, and they have to have interacted for intended use via secondary means of exposition
- Instability of the particles – Retaining the active metal nanoparticles is highly challenging and the kinetics associated with nanomaterials is rapid.
- Nanoparticles are small enough to be absorbed by the skin and cause irritation and have indicated to be carcinogenic.
- Breathing in any fine or tiny solid particles can cause irritation in the lungs and can cause lung damage and cancer. Example, coal workers, quarry workers etc.
- Chemicals in the form of tiny nanoparticles have been shown to spread throughout a plant and affect growth and soil fertility.
- Nanosilver particles kill bacteria. But they kill good non-bacterial cells or good bacteria it is inhaled or ingested.
- There are no hard and fast safe disposal policies evolved for nanomaterials.
- Nanomaterials are more costly to produce compared to more traditional bulk materials
Application of nanomaterials
- The nanomaterial is used for fabrication of signal processing elements such as filters, delay lines, switches etc.
- Using these materials, soft and permanent magnets can be manufactured which is said to have a wider application.
- Nanocrystalline materials like tungsten carbide, tantalum carbide, and titanium carbide are used in making cutting tools. These tools are much harder and last longer than their conventional (large-grained) counterparts.
- materials are used to make semiconductor lasers, nanotransistors, memory devices such as recording heads and magnetic storage devices etc.
- Hydrogen-based sensors made by nanomaterials are used in power generation.
- Nanomaterials are used for the manufacturing of small size, lightweight microstrip patch antennas.These miniaturized antennas are said to have a large bandwidth, tunability, and mechanical flexibility.
- These materials are used in enzyme removal of C02 from air and wastewater treatment.
- Nanocrystalline ZnO thermistors are used in current controlling devices. nanocrystalline is used in making artificial heart valves due to its low weight, high strength, inertness, extreme hardness, and wear resistance. When nanocrystalline ceramics such as zirconia and alumina are used as liners in an automobile engine cylinder, they help in retaining heat much more efficiently and result in complete and efficient combustion of the fuel.
The application of nanomaterials is not limited only to the above mentioned. There are a Numbers of applications and uses of it.