Metallic nanoparticles display fascinating properties that are quite different from those of individual atoms, surfaces or bulk rmaterials. They are a focus of interest for fundamental science and, because of their huge potential in nanotechnology, they are the subject of intense research effort in a range of disciplines. Applications, or potential applications, are diverse and interdisciplinary. They include, for example, use in biochemistry, in catalysis and as chemical and biological sensors, as systems for nanoelectronics and nanostructured magnetism (e.g. data storage devices), where the drive for further miniaturization provides tremendous technological challenges and, in medicine, there is interest in their potential as agents for drug delivery.
The book describes the structure of metallic nanoparticles, the experimental and theoretical techniques by which this is determined, and the models employed to facilitate understanding. The various methods for the production of nanoparticles are outlined. It surveys the properties of clusters and the methods of characterisation, such as photoionization, optical spectroscopy, chemical reactivity and magnetic behaviour, and discusses element-specific information that can be extracted by synchrotron-based techniques such as EXAFS, XMCD and XMLD. The properties of clusters can vary depending on whether they are free, deposited on a surface or embedded in a matrix of another material; these issues are explored. Clusters on a surface can be formed by the diffusion and aggregation of atoms; ways of modelling these processes are described. Finally we look at nanotechnology and examine the science behind the potential of metallic nanoparticles in chemical synthesis, catalysis, the magnetic separation of biomolecules, the detection of DNA, the controlled release of molecules and their relevance to data storage.
The book addresses a wide audience. There was a huge development