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Engineered nanomaterials

Engineered nanomaterials have a positive impact in improving many sectors of economy, including consumer products, pharmaceutics, cosmetics, transportation, energy and agriculture etc., and are being increasingly produced for a wide range of applications within industry and research establishments. These are intentionally designed and created with physical properties tailored to meet the needs of specific applications. They can be end products in and of themselves, as in the case of quantum dots or pharmaceutical drugs, or they can be components later incorporated into separate end products, such as carbon black in rubber products. Either way, the physical properties of the particles are extremely important to their performance and the performance of any product into which they are ultimately incorporated.

Engineered nanomaterials can be grouped into four types:
1 - Carbon based materials, usu¬ally including fullerene, single walled carbon na¬notube (SWCNT) and multiwalled carbon nano¬tubes (MWCNT);
2 - Metal based materials such as quantum dots, nanogold, nanozinc, nanoalumi¬num and nanoscales metal oxides like TiO2, ZnO and Al2O3;
3 - Dendrimers which are nano-sized polymers built from branched units, capable of being tailored to perform specific chemical func¬tion and
4 - Composites which combine nanoparticles with other nanoparticles or with larger bulk-type materials and present differ¬ent morphologies such as spheres, tubes, rods and prisms.
Nanoscale materials are used in electronic, magnetic and optoelectronic, biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, energy, catalytic and materials applications. Areas producing the greatest revenue for nanoparticles reportedly are chemical-mechanical polishing, magnetic recording tapes, sunscreens, automotive catalyst supports, biolabeling, electro conductive coatings, optical fibers, non-volatile magnetic memory, automotive sensors, landmine detectors and solid-state compasses.

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