NanomaterialsThe basic building blocks in many new material systems are based on structural units with dimensions in the nm range. Tubes and wires with 1 nm widths, particles with 30-100 nm diameters, biological molecules with 3-30 nm dimensions, films with 2-100 nm thicknesses, membranes with 10 nm widths, and solids with grain sizes < 500 nm are now routinely produced.
This diversity allows new classes of materials to be explored. Polymer-drug composites with particle sizes on the order of 100 nms are being developed for drug delivery using a variety of scheme for extended delivery. Hybrid structures that contain organic/biomolecular as well as inorganic structural units are being assembled for bioelectronic applications. Carbon nanotubes are the focus of much research due to potential applications in display technology, molecular electronics, sensors, and as reinforcements in structural materials. Nanodomains in complex oxide compounds are being controlled to induce new property combinations.