• Question: Why do nano particles react differently than the whole object itself?

    Asked by alexh to Serena on 24 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Serena Corr

      Serena Corr answered on 24 Jun 2013:

      Hi alexh

      This is a really good question. When we have a ‘whole’ object, most of the atoms that make that material up exist within the bulk of the material where we don’t see them and only a small percentage of atoms are on the surface of the object. When we start breaking that object down into smaller and smaller sizes, the percentage of atoms that exist on the surface changes. If we get down to nanosizes, the large number of atoms on the surface of that particle becomes really important and the properties of the particle might now change depending on its size.