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Homework Help: Stability of Nanoparticles

  1. Dec 2, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I have a simple writing assignment where my professor has asked us to write a couple pages about:
    - What a nano particle is, and the physics of how it's structure remains stable.

    The first part I've got covered. It's the structure part that's throwing me off. This is a very basic physics course so nothing outrageous is required, but after many searches through my school library database and through google, every resource I find is either way too complicated for me to understand or off-topic.

    Also, every source that I'm finding seems to be chemistry related so I'm not sure why he gave us this assignment. Anyway, if anyone could provide some simple resources - or maybe hint at what's he getting at with the structure that would be greatly appreciated.

    So far in class he has covered (very lightly) some topics like quantum energy states of electrons and gave us this equation:
    2. h x nu = E2-E1
    and also talked a bit about how states can be super positioned? or something. I'm not sure that's even related though, so it's entirely possible he has never covered anything that I would need.
    but we don't need any math for the course as that is not the focus. It is just about understanding concepts at a basic level.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So far I have found mentions of multivalent bonding causing nanoparticles to be more stable on wikipedia but that is all. Unfortunately, I cannot simply write about what I believe to be the answer without providing sources.

    Thank you for any assistance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2015 #2


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    Homework Helper

    I think your proffesor is testing your googling skills and finding information. It is vitally important in such a fast growing field to develop this skill. It takes patience and repeated attempts and modifying your searches to get what you want. It would be wise to talk to a librarian to get an idea of how to conduct such searches. This site might be a good starting point http://education.mrsec.wisc.edu/213.htm
  4. Dec 2, 2015 #3
    Thank you for your reply andrevdh. It does seem like he testing googling skills lol. Up until now I thought I was actually pretty decent at googling, but apparently not.

    Could you comment on what he might mean by 'stability' of the nanoparticles? Everything I found so far points to that fact that nanoparticles very often are not stable, and when they are stable - it seems to be caused by a lot of things I don't understand, most of which seem more chemistry than physics.

    For example; from a google search I find an article that discusses "formation and structure of self-assembled monolayer protected gold nanoparticles; colloid stability—DLVO and non-DLVO forces; photochemistry, photochromism and pyrimidine; and manipulation of colloid stability with external stimuli." Should I be looking at say, colloid stabillity then? I'm really not sure...
  5. Dec 3, 2015 #4


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    Homework Helper

    Your professor really throwed you into the deep end of the pool. This means that you can swim off into many different directions and he cannot blame you for choosing your own path. You are now entering a new field with a lot of strange teminology - like what is multivalent bonding or a colloid? Best to make yourself a dictionary that explains the relevant terms. You should be especially interested when physics enters the meaning of the terminology. Try and zoom in on the knowledge you want. You probably would need the - operator in your searches https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?rd=1
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
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