In a previous post, one of our experts clarified that Nanotechnology is about more than just a physical size-range, it’s about the unique properties of these materials due to quantum physics effects. Further, I’d say it would be almost stereotypical to think that every material with features measured in nanometers would actual display these bizarre effects. Sometimes, short of unique changes to the physics of materials, Nano-Scale materials are still important due to other (size related) properties.
As he mentioned “…It depends on the material system, the exciton Bohr radius of that material and the size of the crystal. With that said, nanoparticles in the 50-100 nm range, for many material systems, would not contain quantum physics effects, but, can be printed easier by inkjet (less likely to clog the nozzle – although agglomeration could occur), have a greater surface area (which can be both positive and negative), can give better dispersions, and have unique thermal conductivity properties, and lower annealing temperatures.”
These unique material properties change the way we think about our currently available materials. No longer can we simply say the thermal conductivity of ‘element X’ is ‘Y W/mK’, because it may be quite different when it is produced as a nano-scale material. The same holds true for many other properties that we all know for traditional materials. The world has a lot to re-learn.