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August 21st, 2007

Instant insight: The shape of things to come

Abstract:
Just as the morphology and size of organs is of key importance in the human anatomy, in nanoscience and nanotechnology the size and shape of an object may play a key role in determining its electronic and chemical behaviour. There are many examples where the physical and chemical properties of nanocrystals and clusters deviate significantly from their bulk crystalline phase. Gold in its bulk state displays no catalytic activity and yet in nanoparticle form it is an extremely good catalyst for selective oxidation of hydrocarbons and the complete combustion of carbon monoxide in air. The shape or crystal morphology can be equally important, such as in ceria nanoparticles for automotive catalysis.

Source:
rsc.org

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