A nanocrystal is a crystalline particle with at least one dimension measuring less than 1000 nanometers (nm), where 1 nm is defined as 1 thousand-millionth of a meter (10-9 m).
Nanocrystals have a wide variety of proven and potential applications. They have been used in the manufacture of filters that refine crude oil into diesel fuel. Nanocrystals can also be layered and applied to flexible substrates to produce solar panels. Titania nanocrystals can be suspended in liquid form and applied to surfaces, making it possible to literally paint a solar panel onto an exterior wall or roof.
Possible future uses of nanocrystals include:
Production of hydrogen
Removal of pollutants and toxins
Bio-tags for gene identification
Optical and infrared lasers
Magneto-optical memory chips
Self-organized smart materials.
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