INDUSTRIALLY RELEVANT NANOPARTICLES––HEMATITE: ITS SYNTHESIS, FUNCTIONALIZATION, AND APPLICATIONS
Innovations in modern technology are directed towards smaller, cheaper, faster and smarter products than that is currently available in the market. These properties are interconnected with size reduction. For instance, size reduction to 10-9 meters, considerably changes the physical and chemical properties of the material. “Metals” or “Metal oxides” are old materials. However, their fabrication in new forms, more specifically in the nano-scale has aroused tremendous interest. (Kline et. al., 2006) Nanotechnology is a broad interdisciplinary area of R&D and industrial activity. It involves manufacturing, processing, and application of materials with size below 100 nm. Research areas in nanotechnology can be broadly grouped under nanomedicine, nanofabrication, nanometrology, nanomaterials, and nanoparticles. (Bakunin et. al., 2004; Aitken et. al., 2006) Through the years, we have seen increasing relevance for nanoparticles and nanomaterials in fundamental and applied science. These nanoparticles and nanostructures exhibit different physical and chemical properties compared to bulk. They have been of keen interest to science and technology, especially in miniaturized devices. Nanotechnology based industries are expected to have a market of USD 1 trillion by 2015. Aitken et. al.,, has provided a detailed review on the potential of nanotechnology. (Aitken et. al., 2006) He opines that an impediment to the quantum jump in growth of this industry is the issue of scale-up from lab scale to industrial level production. There is a need to develop or reorient the synthesis and functionalization strategies of industrially relevant metal or metal oxide nanoparticles.