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Colloidal Nanoparticles:  Synthesis and Applications

Darrell Velegol, Department of Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

How can we synthesize, classify, stabilize, and assemble nanoparticles? The wealth of nanoparticles recipes makes many types of nanoparticles -- though not all types -- feasible to synthesize. But what about processing issues? Synthesis reactions are often limited to producing a few grams of material at a time. Classifying nanoparticles by size is often a bottleneck problem, for instance in the dielectrics industry. Separating nanoparticles from assemblies of the particles is equally challenging. And whereas stabilizing 100 nm or larger particles is a well-known science, stabilizing 10 nm particles is often a delicate art, especially since the use of dispersants is often prohibited by the need for further surface chemistry functionalization. Does Chemical Engineering provide any solutions for the question of whether nanomotors, SERS, dielectrics, and other applications will become realities?