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Customizing nanoparticle properties.

Nanoscience will achieve true "disruptive" technology status when individual surfaces are functionalized. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) nanocoating of ultrafine particles can provide such an opportunity. This technique has been used by Karen Buechler at ALD NanoSolutions, Inc., Westminster, Colo., and Alan Weimer, Steven George, and John Ferguson at the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, to place nanothick films on individual primary ultrafine particles to functionalize them.

The developed process, Partlcle-ALD, deposits nearly perfect films of inorganic materials (ceramic or metallic) onto the surface of particles (inorganic or organic) to control individual primary particle surface chemistry, The generated films are conformal, pinhole-free, chemically bonded to the particle surface, and deposited as submonolayers to a thickness controlled to within approximately 0.1 nm, depending on the surface chemistry. This control during ALD is achieved by introducing the reactants individually in a sequential manner and carrying out self-limiting surface reactions that occur during each step on the substrate surface.

With Particle-ALD, ultrafine particles, including nanoparticles, can be passivated, activated, or functionalized. The results are particles with designed electrical, magnetic, optical, mechanical, and theological properties. Markets for such functionalized ultrafine powders are varied, ranging from microelectronics and defense to hardmetals.

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Title Annotation:Process Technology
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2004
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