Archive for category nanoparticles

Nanoparticles Purifying Water: All Hype or Reality?

Recent findings that say nanoparticles can help purify water seem like something you can expect from a science fiction movie or something that you can read from a book by Jules Verne. Can nanoparticles really help give us cleaner and purer water, and if so, how does it work to do this?

When you talk about nanoparticles, you may begin to visualize those little robots that a certain cartoon character developed to help him with certain tasks and deeds. These are nano-bots and are not what scientists in universities in Mexico have developed in order to help clean water of toxic substances in less than an hour.

How this happens seems to need the power of the sun or of ultraviolet light to complete the purification process. What the researchers in these universities used was titanium oxide nanoparticles that have been made to adhere to glass with the use of heat.

Once water in these glass containers that have been treated with these nanoparticles is hit by sunlight or by UV rays, the water is then purified. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nanoparticles and Their Applications

Nanoparticles and their applications, are essentially very small pieces of material that measure no more than an atom or two across. They are small enough that they can interact easily on the same level with microscopic pathogens such as bacteria or viruses.

Since they can literally be particles from any substance, they are also versatile enough that they can be used in many types of technological applications, from delicate electronics to revolutionary medical procedures. Most of all, you should be interested in the nanoparticle for one very important reason—it’s going to change your life.

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White Light Nanoparticles

In the burgeoning field of nanotechnology, all kinds of strange and miraculous effects are made possible by breaking elements into particles and either using their innate particular properties or manipulating them until they exhibit the desired characteristics. White light nanoparticles are another amazing discovery in Nanotechnology.

One of the most effective recent experiments using this principle involves silver nanoparticles, which researchers at the University of Utah have organized into a microscopic white light-emitting mirror that has a wide range of useful applications in the future of the medical industry.

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Engineered Nanoparticles

Nanotechnology has advanced to such a degree that there are now companies whose sole focus is to act as nanoparticle suppliers. They offer a variety of engineered nanoparticles that can be used in research and development, but more importantly, these companies may provide the foundation for the burgeoning nanotechnology industry.

Nanotech is expected to take over both science and technology in upcoming decades, so our future may soon be closely related to what suppliers of engineered nanoparticles choose to do with their businesses.As is often the case with major advances, the medical community stands to gain the most from this new technology.

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What Are Nanoparticles?

Nanotechnology may be the next big thing in science, and before long we will probably find ourselves immersed in it. Currently, however, intimate knowledge of what nanotechnology is and how it works tends to be rather limited. Essentially this field studies materials at their most basic level; it breaks substances down into particles and then either uses their natural properties or manipulates them in order to achieve desired effects.

Hence, any discussion of nanotechnology—its processes, its applications, its impacts—must of necessity revolve around one of the tiniest things in the world: the nanoparticle.Wondering what are nanoparticles? A nanoparticle is defined as the smallest unit that can still behave as a whole entity in terms of properties and transport.

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Nanoparticle Patents

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, nanotechnology was nothing more than a vague pipe dream, but the sheer number of nanoparticle patents being filed shows us that those days are officially over.

Today we can see hard proof that it has become a full-blown reality, as more scientists and research groups devote themselves wholly to the pursuit of nanotechnology.

Each of these groups is likely to find a new and different application for nanotechnology, since it is an extremely universal discipline.

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Silicon Nanoparticles

Nanotechnology breaks down and modifies elements at their molecular level, and new uses have been found for all kinds of materials, including silicon nanoparticles.

Researchers have applied this versatile technology to a wide array of products, and the latest to be enhanced is the silicon solar panel.

Researchers at the University of Illinois worked with several institutions in Saudi Arabia to increase the efficiency and performance of the conventional solar panel, and found that by using nanoparticles of the same material the solar panels were made out of, they could create a thin coating for the panel that would enable it to perform all its normal functions with greater speed and efficiency.

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Nanoparticle Masks and Goggles

Most people who know about nanoparticle masks probably wish they didn’t, since these micro-filtering protection devices first entered public awareness during the SARS outbreak of 2003.

These masks have been equipped with a filtration system that uses clusters of nanoparticles to remove microscopic biological pathogens from the air, and they were a huge success in Asian countries where the SARS epidemic hit hardest.

Now that the initial fear has faded, nanoparticle masks are once again on the margins of public attention. But the fact remains that they can perform an array of useful functions and may become indispensable in the event of a future disease outbreak.

How do nano-masks work? A molecularly enhanced particle coating is put on the mask’s filter; the nanoparticles in the coating have a tendency to cluster together enough to create a layer of ions that works together with trace amounts of chlorine to catch and eradicate any undesirable particles they encounter.

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Metal Nanoparticles

In recent years, researchers in the field of nanotechnology are finding that metal nanoparticles have all kinds of previously-unexpected benefits in both the conventional technology and experimental medical industries.

These nanostructured metal powders (in some cases they may even be alloys) are typically reduced to their particle size using metal salts or some type of corrosive alcohol.

Copper nanoparticles constitute some of the most versatile and useful metal nanoparticles currently in production.

In electronics manufacturing it has been found that thin films of extra-small copper particles exhibit a peculiarly strong electrocatalytic behavior, making them prime candidates for many types of electric processes.

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Gold Nanoparticles 101

You may have heard of gold nanoparticles and not even realized it, since they’re also known as “colloidal gold” or sometimes “nano-gold.”

Tiny molecular particles of gold are suspended in a fluid (usually water) and if the gold particles are extremely small, the liquid appears to be an intense shade of red. If the particles are on the larger size, the liquid will be a dirty yellow color.

When gold is broken into nanoparticles it can break many different ways, depending on the process. Researchers have found particles in an assortment of shapes including rods, cubes, cap-shaped pieces, and spheres.

Nanotechnology is fairly new to our civilization, but it turns out that colloidal gold has been around since ancient times—and it was originally used to stain glass. It was rediscovered by Michael Faraday in the 1850s and almost immediately became one of science’s favorite substances.

Gold nanoparticles are highly useful for a wide range of processes including general nanotechnology, electronics manufacturing, and the synthesizing of rare materials.

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