Biswas described the technique and his work in the July 2007 issue of Nanotechnology.
Controlling the size of these particles is what opens doors to new and unique uses.
The applications are plentiful, said Biswas. The other thing is, if I can make materials of very narrow sizes, I can study the properties as a function of size, which has not been possible in the past, with very precise controls so we can do fundamental research. And that allows me to come up with new applications.
Dig those crazy tires
Such new applications may even change the way we think about driving. Tired of boring, black car tires? With nanotechnology, tires could become a fashion statement with red, pink, blue, green, any color you want as possibilities.
All tires are black in color because of the carbon that is added. The colors not important but now you could add a silica-based material which will allow you to get any color of your choice, said Biswas. Nanoparticles are going to be used everywhere. They are already being used in many applicationscosmetics, microelectronicsbut now you are going to use it for tires.
With all of these new applications come budding new fields of study. One area is nanotoxicology, which researches the health and environmental safety of new materials containing nanoparticles. To test safety, nanotechnologists join forces with biologists to determine the safety of different-sized particles. For example, one size particle may provide the best effects in a cosmetic, but manufacturers must make sure that it shouldnt cause toxic effects in a persons body.
We dont want to just release it to the environment. The general f
|Contact: Pratim Biswas|
Washington University in St. Louis