The World of MesoMaterials and not Nano Sizes

Nanotechnology is often described as the realm defined by feature sizes that are 100nm or less. Size alone is not nano! Granted that it is very difficult to create structures and devices with dimensions less than 100nm. So why should the dimensional size not define the nanoworld?

The answer is that something interesting happens as the size of objects approach the single digit nanometer dimension. This is the realm where materials behave differently from our everyday world. The bulk property of materials is what we know in everyday life. Gold is a conductor, silver is not magnetic, carbon is primarily graphite or diamonds, and the melting point of materials is well defined. The other world of materials that has been investigated for some time is the quantum world. Here the interactions of individual atoms drive the effects.

There exists another world, a middle world, of materials. The properties of these mesomaterials are basically unknown for most materials. Gold is a semiconductor at 1nm. Thirteen atoms of silver have been shown theoretically to be magnetic. Carbon exists as carbon nanotubes and buckyballs with unexpected properties. The melting point of gold decreases from 1064 degrees C to less than 500 degrees C as the particle size drops below 10nm. Germanium also decreases in melting point as the size decreases toward 1nm, but insert those same size particles in glass and the melting point increases by 200 degrees C! We are constantly learning more about these mesomaterials, but there is a vast amount of work that needs to be done.

We are starting to investigate this realm. We want this site to be a reference point to work being done around the world. In 2007, more information will be available. For comments or queries, please contact us. We also encourage you to send links to references that demonstrate other unique properties that are a result of the mesomaterial properties. Submit links to

We will link any submissions as soon as we can verify the accuracy of the claims.