Functional nanomaterials: Fit for purpose

Functional nanomaterials present at least one dimension in the nanometer scale, a size range that can give them unique optical, electronic or mechanical properties, which are radically different from the corresponding bulk material. Due to their small dimensions, they have very large area to volume ratio and can be further surface-engineered to provide specific functional properties that the bulk materials do not exhibit.

Initially driven by curiosity, the field of nanomaterials explored new phenomena, such as plasmonics, negative refractive index, teleportation of information between atoms and quantum confinement. With maturity came a period of application-driven research, prone to have a real societal impact and produce true economic value. Indeed, nano-engineered materials already represent a significant share of the global catalyst market and different types of nanoparticles have made their way from bench-to-bedside. Gold nanoparticles are used for on-site medical diagnostics, magnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs) provide better contrast in MRI diagnostic and drug-loaded nanoparticles are used for the treatment of ovarian and metastatic breast cancer.

Post time: Jul-17-2019