Thursday, June 01, 2006

US Patent 7052777 - Nanoparticles With Metal Oxide Shells

A core/shell morphology is a useful way to prevent a nanoparticle (the core) from undesirably reacting with the enviroment. The inventors of this patent use metal oxide layers as shells and when the ambient temperature is raised above a sintering temperature of the shell material the shells coalesce into a binding structure for the core nanoparticles. Composite material formed by the core/shell nanoparticles may serve a variety of applications including oxygen storage/desorption and tailoring the refractive index for optical elements. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite nanoparticle material comprising a plurality of cores and a plurality of shells, with each of the shells comprising at least one metal oxide and a second metal or metal oxide, wherein at least one of the cores is encapsulated by one of the shells and at least two of the plurality of shells are capable of being sintered together to form a reticulated network.