Nanoparticles are particles with a size ranging from 1 to 100 nanometers, and they have unique properties that differ from those of larger particles. Their small size and high surface area to volume ratio make them useful in various applications, including:
Nanoparticles are great as catalysts due to their high surface area to volume ratio. This means that even a small amount of nanoparticles can have a large surface area, making them more efficient at speeding up chemical reactions. This property reduces the amount of material required, compared to traditional catalysts.
Fullerenes are a type of nanoparticle that scientists are researching for use in drug delivery. Because they are small, they can be used to deliver drugs directly to cells. Also, some fullerenes can conduct electricity, making them useful in the creation of small electrical circuits.
Nanoparticles, such as titanium dioxide, are useful in sunscreens as they are more effective at protecting our skin from harmful UV rays.
Titanium oxide has different properties in bulk form and nanoparticle form. In bulk form, it is white and is a pigment in white paint. However, in nanoparticle form, it is colourless and not visible on the skin, making it a preferred ingredient in sunscreens.
Like many innovations, the use of nanoparticles comes with its set of pros and cons. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages associated with nanoparticles: