Nanochemistry . A discipline that studies the unique characteristics of sets of atoms or molecules at a level where individual interactions are considered and where quantum effects can be significant, enabling innovative forms of chemical reactions .
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- 1 Description
- 2 Main objective
- 3 Properties
- 4 Quantum nature
- 5 Sources
Nanotechnology and nanosciences (N&N) constitute an emerging area of scientific knowledge that will have a high impact on today’s society.
The nanometric scale (1 meter = 1,000,000,000 nanometers) is characteristic of objects with sizes between the dimensions of molecules and that of sub-micrometer particles.
Perhaps for this reason, the N&N terms have been used in different contexts and in relation to almost everything that can be measured at the “nano” scale.
This definition, in addition to lacking a sound scientific basis, can lead to an incorrect evaluation of the potential and limitations of N&N. A sufficiently broad definition and normally accepted in the scientific community, considers the N&N as an inter-disciplinary area that involves the knowledge and manipulation of materials with dimensions between 1-100 nm, presenting these singular properties in a sense that allow the development of innovative technological devices and applications.
In N&N various scientific disciplines come together, not only the physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at nano scale are different from typical solids and molecules, as it is also foreseeable that interesting discoveries will occur in interdisciplinary approaches on this branch of chemistry.
It is in this context of integration of various competencies that the term Nanochemistry arises, referring especially to typical knowledge of Chemical Science that are considered fundamental for the development of N&N.
The main objective of Nanochemistry is the synthesis and chemical manipulation of nano-objects that can be applied in the construction of new nano-structures.
The term Lego-Chemistry is often found associated with Nanochemistry, being a particularly happy analogy, because not only can nano-objects be compared to Lego game building pieces, but they also have certain morphological and functional characteristics. that by themselves are equally objects of study of Nanochemistry.
Nanoparticles are examples of nano-objects whose research has sparked growing interest from chemists.
The nanoparticles of certain materials have unique properties and exemplify the variation of certain properties such as particle size.
By way of example, it refers to the alteration of the color of some nano-crystalline semiconductors, or nano-metals with the variation of the average size of their particle.
In the case of semiconductors, the different colors observed in nanoparticles of the same material are due to different optical and electronic properties that result from dimensional quantum confinement effects that occur in those nanoparticles.
As the name itself suggests, this effect is only explainable taking into account the quantum nature of matter, so the semiconductor nanoparticles that exhibit this behavior are usually designated by quantum dots.
It is important to retain that this optical effect results from an alteration of the semiconductor electronic structure as a consequence of the variation of the average particle size.
It is not surprising, therefore, that a relevant component of Nanochemistry investigates chemical synthesis methods that enable rigorous control of the size, shape and nature of the surface of nanoparticles of diverse chemical composition. Currently, there are chemical methods that allow obtaining not only nanoparticles from various materials, from metals to polymers, as well as other types of nanostructures, for example nano-threads and nano-tubes.
In common, we have the fact that the properties exhibited by these nanomaterials will not leave the most distracted observer distracted.
The production of nanotechnology-based products also goes through nanochemistry. Once they are chemically modified, nanomaterials can be used in different fields of application, from medicine to optoelectronics.
For example, the use of nanoparticles for biomedical applications has been the subject of this research in recent years. Many of the applications to be investigated involve the chemical modification of the surface of the nanoparticles in order to make them biocompatible with biological systems.
In this way, for example, colloids consisting of magnetic nanoparticles for diagnostic and therapeutic techniques are investigated. Nanoparticles can also be applied to traditional industry products in the sense of giving them specific properties, this is what happens, for example, in the paint, textile and paper industries . Chemical manipulation of nano-objects in the sense of manufacturing new functional nano-structures has come to conquer an increasing number of researchers.
Some of these chemical methods seek to mimic natural self-assembly processes, giving rise to hierarchically organized and complex nanostructures. Nanochemistry still seeks to establish scientific methodologies that support the impact of nanotechnology-based products at the most diverse levels, especially in health and the environment.
In this perspective, enlightened public opinion is surely an important aspect in the sense of valuing the best that nanotechnology has to offer .