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Chemistry LibreTexts

11.1: Prelude to Basic Science of Nanomaterials

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  • What do stained glass, sunscreen, magnetic hard drives, heterogeneous catalysts, consumer electronics, stain-resistant clothing, self-cleaning glass, and medical diagnostics all have in common? All of them derive some special property and utility from nanoscale materials: ordinary elements and inorganic compounds such as gold, silver, TiO2, chromium, SiO2, and silicon that acquire different properties when their characteristic dimensions are somewhere between 1 and 100 nm. In this chapter we will learn about the basic science of nanomaterials, i.e., what it is about their size that makes them different.