School of Chemistry and Physics, Victoria University of Wellington,
Wellington, New Zealand
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Nanomaterials are materials that have at least one dimension confined to the range of nanometers. Nanoparticles are confined in three dimensions. Nanoparticles can have a number of applications that include MRI, cosmetics, magnetic sensors and biotechnology applications. For this reason, it is widely studied. Nanoparticles have different chemical, structural, magnetic and electronic properties when compared to the bulk. There are a number of conventional methods to synthesize them, including chemical methods, hydrothermal methods, sonication and ball milling. These methods and several novel ones like ion implantation, RF sputtering and arc discharge synthesis are constantly being developed in order to create smaller and more functional nanoparticles. Nanoparticles used for several biotechnology applications need desirable properties like large surface area and low disorder at the surface. For this reason, chemical agents are used to influence the properties of the surface. Methods are constantly being developed and modified in order to create crystalline nanoparticles with tunable properties. If we can control the nanoparticles, we can control the properties and hence any application developed with them.