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Home > Press > Gold nanoparticles enrich everyday products

Dr Adrian Fuchs
Dr Adrian Fuchs

Abstract:
Durable paint, water purification, faster computers, tougher shoe soles, and lighter and cheaper televisions are all possibilities now that a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) scientist has discovered a way to disperse gold nanoparticles evenly through plastic.

Gold nanoparticles enrich everyday products

Brisbane, Australia | Posted on May 9th, 2010

Adrian Fuchs, from QUT's School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, said the technique he had developed was a model for dispersing metals in nanoparticle form throughout polymers or plastic materials.

"The properties of metals change when they are in nano form and so combining the unique property of nanoparticles with plastic leads to a whole new range of composite materials that could be used for novel catalysts, drug delivery, and coatings," Dr Fuchs said.

"Paint is essentially a plastic so when gold nanoparticles are added it makes colours more intense across the whole visible spectrum. The paint would also be more durable when exposed to a harsh environment."

Dr Fuchs said gold had good conductivity and became a useful catalyst when mixed with different metals.

"If you put gold nanoparticles with titanium dioxide using a plastic mould, you can make a very efficient catalyst to purify water; the titania absorbs the light and converts it into electricity which is then passed into the conductive gold," he said.

Dr Fuchs said his method for dispersing nanoparticles through plastic could also be applied to encapsulating drugs into plastic casings so that they could be ingested and used for cancer detection and destruction.

####

About Queensland University of Technology
Based in Brisbane, QUT is a top Australian university with global connections and a reputation for quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses, a wide range of studies and applied research best suited to the needs of industry and the community.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media contact:
Niki Widdowson
QUT media officer
07 3138 1841

Copyright © Queensland University of Technology

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