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Why is bulk zinc oxide white and the nano form transparent?

  1. Jan 13, 2016 #1
    umm well thats about it
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2016 #2

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    What does one mean by nano-form? How many atomic layers in the nano-form?

    Think about ZrO2 or TiO2 and under what conditions they are white or transparent, or even Al2O3. Think about crystal vs amorphous vs granular/suspension.
     
  4. Jan 20, 2016 #3
    These materials are both transparent in the visible regime of light. However, because they have a higher index of refraction, the light passing through small particles is refracted and reflected off of many surfaces. The resultant scattered light makes them appear white. If the particles are smaller than the wavelength of light, they no longer interfere with its transmission and they are transparent again. They do have absorption bands in the UV regime, and still act as effective sun blocks.
     
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