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11: Basic Science of Nanomaterials

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    Learning Objectives

    • Understand the physical basis of mesoscopic behavior in nanoscale semiconducting and magnetic particles.
    • Describe how the particle-in-a-box equation applies to electrons in quantum wells.
    • Use the Brus formula to calculate the band gap energy of nanoscale semiconductor particles.
    • Use the surface energy concept to calculate changes in the melting point and vapor pressure of nanoparticles.
    • Describe the methods used to make semiconducting and metal nanocrystals of uniform size.
    • Explain the origin of the localized surface plasmon resonance effect in metal nanoparticles.
    • Describe the emerging analytical and biomedical applications of metal nanoparticles.

    Nanomaterials describe materials of which a single unit is sized (in at least one dimension) between 1 and 1000 nanometers, but is usually 1—100 nm. Nanomaterials research takes a materials science-based approach to nanotechnology, leveraging advances in materials metrology and synthesis which have been developed in support of microfabrication research. Materials with structure at the nanoscale often have unique optical, electronic, or mechanical properties. In this chapter we will learn about the basic science of nanomaterials, i.e., what it is about their size that makes them different.

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