Nanomaterials are natural, incidental or engineered materials containing particles in the free, aggregated or agglomerated state, and in which, for at least 50% of the particles in the number size distribution, one or more external dimensions are in the range of 1 nm to 100 nm (1 nanometer (nm) = 1 billionth of a meter).
Nanomaterials have unique physical, chemical, electrical and mechanical properties that change as they decrease in size. These properties are different from the corresponding original materials (not in "nano" form) and depend on the increased surface-volume ratio which leads to increased reactivity, greater conductivity and electrical resistance and, potentially, greater biological activity. It is these characteristics that make nanomaterials particularly interesting for use in various fields of application; they have been in use for decades and new generations of nanoform materials continue to develop rapidly, so much so that their market is expected to grow.
Fonte: Istituto Superiore di Sanità
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