Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology,
In a technical term, the word composite is used for material that is formed by the incorporation of a structural material in a specific matrix.Probably , the most prominent examples of such materials are inorganic fiber reinforced polymers.In many of the commercially available composites the structural unit is on the micrometer length scale and is usually applied to improve the mechanical properties of the matrix material.If the dimension of the structural building blocks shrinks to the nanometer scale, the resulting material is called a nanocomposite.In this length scale major properties change; on the one hand the physical properties of the building blocks can alter leading to the well known quantum size effects.T ypically, these nanocomponents provide novel mechanical, thermal, electronic, optical, or magnetic properties to the composites.
On the other hand, because of the small dimensions of the building blocks, the resulting materials are interfacedetermined which requires specific precautions in their synthesis.In particular, because the majority of nanocomposite materials are the result of mixing often incompatible inorganic and organic species in one material, specific techniques to increase their compatibility are required.
Another class of materials that is not clearly defined by the length scale of the building blocks, but combines inorganic and organic units on the molecular scale are the so called hybrid materials.Both, nanocomposites and hybrid materials have in common that the understanding of structure-property relationships at the inorganic-organic interface is necessary to tailor the properties of the final materials.
Erstellt aus der Publikationsdatenbank der Technischen Universitšt Wien.