Explain any two size-dependent properties of nanomaterials


Surface area:

  • The total surface area (or) the number of the surface atoms increases with the reducing size of the particles.
  • The physical and chemical properties property of nanomaterials is size-dependent because on the nanoscale more surface area will be exposed compared to bulk materials.
  • If the bulk materials are subdivided into nanomaterials, the collective surface area is greatly increased as shown in the figure.
  • Change in surface to area volume on breaking down the molecules affects the physical, chemical, mechanical and other properties invariably.
  • At Nano-scale, the material properties change -melting point, fluorescence, electrical conductivity, and chemical reactivity Surface size is larger so a greater amount of the material comes into contact with surrounding materials and increases reactivity

Catalytic properties:

  • Nanomaterial-based catalysts are usually heterogeneous catalysts broken up into metal nanoparticles in order to enhance the catalytic process.
  • Metal nanoparticles have a high surface area, which can increase catalytic activity.
  • The catalytic activity of the catalyst increases with an increase in the surface area hence the nanomaterial exhibits better catalytic activity.
  • For example, Gold in the macro medium is an inert catalyst, whereas on the Nanoscale it acts as a good catalyst.

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