IIT, Bombay alumnus develops technique to control nanoparticle size

December 5th, 2007 - 2:51 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, December 5 (ANI): Those who have got bored of watching the same conventional black car tyres may now expect vehicles with colourful tyres to hit the roads in the days to come. The reason: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay alumnus Pratim Biswas has developed a method to control the size of the nanoparticles, opening up possibilities for new nanotechnology applications and different techniques.

“All tires are black in colour because of the carbon that is added. Which colour you want is not important, because now you could add a silica-based material which will allow you to get any colour of your choice,” said Dr. Biswas, the Stifel and Quinette Jens Professor and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering.

“Nanoparticles are going to be used everywhere. They are already being used in many applications cosmetics, microelectronics but now you are going to use it for tires,” he added.

He said that his technique allowed him to independently control the size of the nanoparticles that he made, without affecting their other properties.

He further said that by varying the size, nanoparticles could efficiently be tuned
to perform a specific task, be it cosmetics or pollution clean up.

“When I reduce the size of the object, then the properties are very different. They can have certain unique properties. By changing the size and the crystal structure you can tune the functionality,” he added.

Dr. Biswas uses a flame aerosol reactor (FLAR) to make such nanoparticles and to alter their size. According to him, the flame provides a high-temperature environment in which molecules can be assembled in a single step.

Describing his work in the recent issue of Nanotechnology, he said: “Bring the material in, react it, form the particles and then collect it and go and use it.

Dr. Biswas also revealed that upon determination of the conditions to produce the desired material, his technique also allowed for mass production.

He said that controlling the size of the nanoparticles would pave the way for new and unique uses.

“The applications are plentiful. The other thing is, if I can make materials of very narrow sizes, I can study the properties as a function of size which has not been possible in the past with very precise controls so we can do fundamental research. And that allows me to come up with new applications,” said Biswas. (ANI)

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