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Nanoscale Materials in Chemistry

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Nanotechnology is almost a household word now-a-days, or at least some word with ‘‘nano’’ in it, such as nanoscale, nanoparticle, nanophase, nanocrystal, or nanomachine. This field now enjoys worldwide attention and a National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is about to be launched.

This field owes its parentage to investigations of reactive species (free atoms, clusters, reactive particles) throughout the 1970s and 1980s, coupled with new techniques and instruments (pulsed cluster beams, innovations in mass spectrometry, vacuum technology, microscopes, and more).

Excitement is high and spread throughout different fields, including chemistry, physics, material science, engineering, and biology. This excitement is warranted because nanoscale materials represent a new realm of matter, and the possibilities for interesting basic science as well as useful technologies for society are widespread and real.

In spite of all this interest, there is a need for a book that serves the basic science community, especially chemists.

This book was written to serve first as a advanced textbook for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in ‘‘nanochemistry’’, and second as a resource and reference for chemists and other scientists working in the field. Therefore, the reader will find that the chapters are written as a teacher might teach the subject, and not simply as a reference work. Therefore, we hope that this book will be adopted for teaching numerous advanced courses in nanotechnology, materials chemistry, and related subjects.

The coverage of this volume is as follows: First, a detailed introduction of nanotechnology and a brief historical account is given. This is followed by masterful chapters on nanosize metals by Gunter Schmid, semiconductors by Marie Pileni, and ceramics by Abbas Khaleel and Ryan Richards. The next chapters deal more with properties, such as optical properties by Paul Mulvaney, magnetic properties by Chris Sorensen, catalytic and chemical properties by the editor and Ravi Mulukutla, physical properties by Olga Koper and Slawomir Winecki, and finally a short chapter on applications of nanomaterials by John Parker.

The editor gratefully acknowledges the contributing authors of these chapters, who are world renowned experts in this burgeoning field of nanotechnology. Their enthusiasm and hard work are very much appreciated. The editor also acknowledges the help of his students and colleagues, as well as his family for their patience and understanding.
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