Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the Technical University of Denmark have developed a method that makes it possible to map the individual responses of nanoparticles in different situations and contexts. The results pave the way for better nanomaterials and safer nanotechnology and were recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
In the future almost all new technology will be based on nanotechnology in some form. But nanoparticles are temperamental personalities. Even when they look the same from a distance, they are obstinately individual when you zoom in to each individual one.
Svetlana Alekseeva and Christoph Langhammer at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, together with researchers at the Technical University of Denmark, have discovered why different polycrystalline nanoparticles behave so distinctly when they come into contact with hydrogen. This knowledge is essential in order to develop better hydrogen detectors, which are expected to play an important role in the safety of hydrogen cars.
“Our experiments clearly showed how the reaction with hydrogen depends on the specifics of the way in which the nanoparticles are constructed. It was surprising to see how strong the correlation was between properties and response – and how well it could be predicted theoretically,” says Svetlana Alekseeva, a Postdoc at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology.