Nanomaterials- the Building Blocks of Nanotechnology

Introduction

Nanomaterials are the building blocks of nanotechnology. This booming technology has multiple applications in various fields. But, This is not the only reason as scientists are enticed by the unique properties and sizes of these nanomaterials.

In this article, we are going to acquire knowledge on nanomaterials and different types of nanomaterials.

History of nanomaterials

The Nanomaterials have existed from the very beginning of life as you can find them in many natural forms like volcanic ash, ocean spray, fine sand, and dust.

However, the nanomaterials came under the spotlight when the first scientific report on colloidal gold particles was given by Michael Faraday in 1857.

Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is all about using immeasurably minute materials to design, manipulate, and build the tiniest objects in various fields to serve different purposes, and in this whole process nanomaterial acts like the building block, these immeasurably minute materials have many magical properties.

Classification of nanomaterials

The classification of nanomaterials is done by considering two main factors:

  • Dimension
  • Composition

1.Classification Based On Dimensions

●   0dimensional

0D nanomaterials are defined as the nanomaterials with all dimensions measured within the nanoscale.

Properties:

             1.They can be found in both crystalline and amorphous forms.

             2.it can be single crystalline or polycrystalline.

             3.it can exist either individually or blended in a matrix.

             4.It can be in various shapes and forms.

             5.can be in metallic, ceramics, and polymeric.

Examples: Graphene quantum dots, carbon quantum dots, fullerenes

Application:

The above examples come under 0D carbon-based nanomaterial. This kind of nanomaterials is highly used in different sensors like PL sensor, an electronic sensor that helps in ion detection and disease diagnosis.

In order to come up with more clinical application valued biosensor scientists are working on studying the optical and electrical properties of 0D carbon-based nanomaterial.

●    1 dimensional

 1-dimensional nanomaterials are defined as nanomaterials with two dimensions at the nanoscale and one at the macroscale.

Properties

             1.They can be found in both crystalline and amorphous forms.

             2.it can be single crystalline or polycrystalline.

             3.it can exist either chemically pure or impure.

             4.it can either individual or blended in a medium.

             5.can be in metallic, ceramics, and polymeric.

   Examples: Nanotubes, nanorods, nanowires

Application

The 1-dimensional nanomaterial is used in electronic devices, tissue engineering, bone growth, photonics, etc.

●   2 dimensional

The 2 dimension nanomaterials are defined as the nanomaterials with one dimension at the nanoscale and two dimensions at the macroscale.

Properties

            1.They can be found in both crystalline and amorphous forms.

             2.there are made up of different chemical compositions.

            3.there are used as a single layer or as multilayer structures.

            4.form as a layer on another substrate.

            5.can be in metallic, ceramics, and polymeric.

Examples: Nanofilms, nanolayers, nanocoating

Application

The 2d nanomaterials are used in Food preservation, drug delivery, gene delivery, cosmetics, and biosensing.

●   3 dimensional

The 3-dimensional nanomaterial is defined as the nanomaterial with no dimension at the nanoscale and all dimensions at the macroscale.

Properties

            1.3d have the dispersions of nanoparticles, bundles of nanowires, and multi nanolayers.

             2.they can be made up of  multiple arrangements of nanosize crystals most typically in different orientations

 Examples: Box-shaped graphene (BSG),Carbon fullerene (C-60)

Application

The 3d nanomaterial is used in drug delivery, gene delivery, cosmetics, etc.

2.Classification based on Compositions

●   Carbon-based nanomaterial

Carbon-based nanomaterials are the nanomaterials that are composed of carbon and you can find them in different shapes like hollow spheres ellipsoids and tubes etc. the cylindrical-shaped carbon-based are called nanotubes and mostly the other shapes are called fullerenes.

Properties

           1.They exhibit exceptional physical and chemical properties

           2.great strength

           3.super resistance power towards corrosions

           4.they possess amazing thermal and electrical conductivity

Examples: fullerene, graphene and its derivatives, carbon nanotubes, etc.

Application

 These nanomaterials are used in electronics, biology, energy storage, medicine, commercial, etc.

●   Metal-based nanomaterial

Quantum dots, nanogold, and nanosilver oxides with metal bases are usually referred to as metal-based nanomaterials. These are synthesized by various methods like microemulsions.

Properties

1.high chemical bonding and conjugated properties are seen in metal-based nanomaterials.

            2.high surface area

            3.low melting properties

Examples: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, nanosilver, etc

Applications

The metal-based nanomaterial is widely used in biomedical and pharmaceuticals industries and health care like contract dyes that are used in MRI and scanning devices, food industry, catalysis, electronics, photography, and information storage

●   DENDRIMER

A dendrimer is referred as nanosized polymers that are built from branched units.

Their surface has innumerable chain ends which can help in performing chemical functions.

Properties

            1.They act as a great catalyst

            2.capability of self-assembling

            3.good chemical stability

            4.great solubility

EXAMPLES: Traditional polymers, buck balls

Applications

 Dendrimer are used in various industries such as drug delivery, gene delivery, sensors, biomedical

●   Composite-based nanomaterial

 Composite-based nanomaterials help in combining two nanoparticles or combining nanoparticles with different materials.

Properties

        1.high electrical conductivity

         2.thermal stability

         3.chemical resistance

         4.great strength and dimensional stability

ExampleS: poly(vinyl alcohol),poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG) etc.

Applications

Composite-based is used in various industries like Biomedical, tissue engineering, cellular therapies

Conclusion

Nanomaterials are attracting many scientists with their exceptional properties. Scientists are still experimenting with these tiny materials and coming up with revolutionary innovations.

WHAT MAKES NANOMATERIALS SO INTERESTING ARE OBVIOUSLY THEIR SIZE AND THEIR ASTONISHING PROPERTIES. HOWEVER, THE TINY THE PARTICLE THE HARDER IT GETS TO WORK WITH IT. THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY MANY PROMISES AND DREAMS ARE LEFT AS SAME FOR MANY NANOTECHNOLOGY SCIENTISTS. BUT, THIS 21 CENTURIES NEW TECHNOLOGY WILL NEVER FAIL TO SURPRISE US AS IT ALREADY MADE MANY CONTRIBUTIONS TO VARIOUS INDUSTRIES THE APPLICATIONS ARE ACCELARATING DAY BY DAY.

Reference:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fchem.2020.00320/full#:~:text=Zero%2Ddimensional%20(0D)%20nanomaterials,extensive%20research%20interest%20in%20the

https://old.taltech.ee/public/m/Mehaanikateaduskond/Instituudid/Materjalitehnika_instituut/MTX9100/Lecture5_NanomatFundamentals.pdf

https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology/introduction/introduction_to_nanotechnology_2.php

https://www.azonano.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=1872

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2013/101836/

http://www.photonetc.com/carbon-based-materials#:~:text=Carbon%2Dbased%20nanomaterials%20demonstrate%20unprecedented,and%20thermal%20conduction%20and%20stability.&text=A%20technique%20often%20used%20to%20analyze%20carbon%20nanomaterials%20is%20Raman%20scattering.

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