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Nanocomposite
Nanocomposite
 
  Page 1
 
   A nanocomposite is as a multiphase solid material where one of the phases has one, two or three dimensions of less than 100 nanometers (nm), or structures having nano-scale repeat distances between the different phases that make up the material.[1] In the broadest sense this definition can include porous media, colloids, gels and copolymers, but is more usually taken to mean the solid combination of a bulk matrix and nano-dimensional phase(s) differing in properties due to dissimilarities in structure and chemistry. The mechanical, electrical, thermal, optical, electrochemical, catalytic properties of the nanocomposite will differ markedly from that of the component materials. Size limits for these effects have been proposed[2], <5 nm for catalytic activity, <20 nm for making a hard magnetic material soft, <50 nm for refractive index changes, and <100 nm for achieving superparamagnetism, mechanical strengthening or restricting matrix dislocation movement.

    Nanocomposites are found in nature, for example in the structure of the abalone shell and bone. The use of nanoparticle-rich materials long predates the understanding of the physical and chemical nature of these materials. Jose-Yacaman et al. [3] investigated the origin of the depth of colour and the resistance to acids and bio-corrosion of Maya blue paint, attributing it to a nanoparticle mechanism. From the mid 1950s nanoscale organo-clays have been used to control flow of polymer solutions (e.g. as paint viscosifiers) or the constitution of gels (e.g. as a thickening substance in cosmetics, keeping the preparations in homogeneous form). By the 1970s polymer/clay composites were the topic of textbooks [4], although the term "nanocomposites" was not in common use.
 
 
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